metabolic syndrome

  1. Avocado reduces risk of metabolic syndrome

    Beat the odds with this 'forbidden' summer snack

    Well, another summer is upon us. School's out... the sun's out... and patio tables are full of all your favorite picnic treats.

    This is a great time of year to load up on all the great produce that's in season, whether it's strawberries, summer squash, watermelon, or corn on the cob.

    Go ahead, fill your plate! And make sure you don't skip out on one of the summer's most misunderstood snacks: guacamole.

    Because according to the latest research, avocados are a lot healthier than what the mainstream has let on.

    You may have been told to avoid them because they're too high in fat -- but, in fact, studies show that they can reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome!

    Now, metabolic syndrome is not a stand-alone disease. Instead, it's a cluster of risk factors -- like obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol -- that can lead to cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes.

    And avocado seems to zero in on one risk factor in particular: cholesterol.

    In their analysis of a number of studies that have documented the benefits of avocado, researchers in Iran focused on one in which avocados were given to participants with either "healthy" or "high" cholesterol levels.

    After one week, BOTH groups showed significant reductions in LDL ("bad") cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

    In their review of these studies, the researchers also discovered that eating avocados helped overweight and obese adults lose both weight AND body mass!

    And those folks in the study who had "a little more to love" didn't skimp out on their portion sizes, either. They ate one WHOLE avocado... every day... for six weeks!

    Now, you probably can't eat that much guacamole. But fortunately, that's only one way to enjoy this creamy treat.

    You can also sprinkle avocado into salads... slice up it for sandwiches... spread it on toast... drizzle it with olive oil and lemon juice... and even throw it on the grill!

    And for a preparation that's particularly Paleo-friendly, slice one in half and fill it with a protein -- like tuna -- or scramble some with your eggs.

    Going Paleo is also a great way to send metabolic syndrome packing.

    You may think of avocado as a vegetable, but it's actually a fruit. And it's the ONLY fruit that delivers a substantial amount of healthy fat AND nearly 20 vitamins and minerals -- including calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, B, C, and E -- in a single serving.

    And while eating avocado can't offset poor eating habits on its own, it can be a recipe for success when you combine it with daily exercise and an all-around healthy diet.

  2. Black-eyed peas combat metabolic syndrome

    Don't miss this "lucky" New Year's dish

    There are so many holidays we associate with food.

    Whether it's the Thanksgiving turkey, the Christmas goose, or the Easter ham, these dishes are often as symbolic as they are delicious.

    But there's one culinary tradition that occurs in January and has incredible health benefits -- and if you've never heard of it, it's not too late to get started on it now.

    Ringing in the new year by cooking black-eyed peas is popular in the American South and in the Southwest as a way to bring prosperity for the coming year. Some folks serve them with collard greens, representing money, and corn bread for gold.

    But according to the latest research, the bounty of black-eyed peas doesn't end there -- because they contain compounds that can help alleviate symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

    Brought to the U.S. from Africa generations ago, these tasty little legumes actually aren't peas at all, but beans -- with a distinctive, ivory-colored skin and a little black "eye" in the middle (hence, their name).

    Like all beans, they're packed with fiber and protein, plus potassium, magnesium, and iron. They're also full of natural antioxidant compounds called polyphenols.

    And a recent data review conducted by French scientists found that a diet rich in polyphenols can help alleviate symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

    Metabolic syndrome is not a disease per se, but a cluster of health conditions or characteristics that are known to significantly raise your risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes.

    These conditions include obesity -- especially extra weight around the belly -- plus high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. When they exist together, these conditions can form a perfect storm for chronic and deadly diseases.

    The study examined the effects of polyphenols on different features of MetS, and found that different types of polyphenols improved different symptoms of MetS.

    While just eating foods rich in polyphenols can't destroy MetS on its own, when combined with regular exercise and an all-around healthy diet -- that's a recipe for success

    It's never too late to celebrate with a "lucky" meal that showcases black-eyed peas. Go for dried rather than canned, and soak them in water for a few hours. Then simmer in broth with some chopped onion, seasonings, and a little bacon for rich flavor, until they're tender. You can even make them in the slow-cooker.

    Other delicious examples of polyphenol-rich foods include green tea, citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, brightly colored berries, dark cocoa powder, and cinnamon.

    You can also find plenty of cell-protecting, inflammation-busting polyphenols in red wine and dark beers... so go ahead and propose a toast to 2017. Cheers to a healthy year!

    Sources:
    Effects of dietary polyphenols on metabolic syndrome features in humans: a systematic review
    (onlinelibrary.wiley.com)

  3. Vitamin D improves metabolic syndrome

    Metabolic syndrome goes hand-in-hand with a vitamin deficiency -- but you can turn your health around by making sure you get all the vitamin D you need. Here's how.
  4. CoQ10 effective against metabolic syndrome

    If you’ve got metabolic syndrome, it’s incredibly easy to fall head-first into a diagnosis of diabetes or heart disease. You’ve got to lose that belly fat, but that takes time – time that you may not have. Here’s a natural supplement that will help support your blood sugar and energize your heart to put you on the fast-track back to health and steer you far away from this incredibly dangerous “combo pack” of risk factors.
  5. Metabolic syndrome strikes half of all seniors

    Metabolic syndrome is getting more common, with new research showing that half of all seniors now have the condition.
  6. Omega-3s protect the heart

    The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can protect the heart, especially in patients suffering from metabolic syndrome, according to new research.
  7. Extra pounds, extra risk

    There's no such thing as being obese and healthy, as new research confirms the extra pounds will double your risk of heart attack.
  8. Wine can keep blood sugar under control

    Wine and other alcoholic beverages can help reduce insulin resistance by up to 30 percent, according to a new study.
  9. Liposuction leads to more fat in worse places

    Liposuction might suck fat out of your belly, but it could also lead to an increase in fat where you want it least.
  10. Vitamin D slashes heart risk

    If you're battling metabolic syndrome, make sure you raise your D levels -- because the sunshine vitamin can slash your risk of death by heart disease.

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