Key Points About Metabolic Syndrome
- Metabolic syndrome is a condition that includes a cluster of risk factors specific for cardiovascular disease.
- The cluster of metabolic factors include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, impaired fasting glucose, high triglyceride levels, and low HDL cholesterol levels.
- Metabolic syndrome greatly raises the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, or all three.
- Management and prevention of metabolic syndrome include maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, eliminating the use of cigarettes or other tobacco products, and being physical active.
Treating Cholesterol When You Have Diabetes
If you have high cholesterol and diabetes, itâs important to get treated for both conditions. That will reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Eating a healthy diet andexercising regularly are both crucial for regulating blood sugar. Some research shows that these lead to better cholesterol levels in people with diabetes, too, especially if you lose extra weight.
In addition to making lifestyle changes, your doctor may recommend you take medication to improve your cholesterol levels. Medications that treat high cholesterol levels include:
General Guidelines For Eating Heart Healthy
There are some general nutritional guidelines that you should follow in order to stay heart healthy. When you go to the grocery store, pick up the items listed below. Notice that you wont be going on the inside aisles of the grocery store. More likely you will be working the parameter or outside aisle. Thats where you will find whole, heart healthy foods. Leave the frozen foods and packaged foods on the shelf. You will want to pick up some packaged foods from the middle aisles, but they will be whole grain products. This is good. We want you shopping for real, not processed foods for the most part. They are simply healthier for you.
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What Foods Or Supplements Have Natural Cholesterol Lowering Properties
There are a number of supplements that people use to lower LDL-C and triglycerides. Make sure to talk with your health care provider about which ones are safe for you to try. Some listed are proven to reduce cholesterol, and some have not been proven to lower cholesterol. Its important to have a conversation with your doctor if you decide to start any new supplements.
B Is For Blood Pressure And Diabetes
About 70% of people with diabetes either have high blood pressure — a score of at least 140/90 — or use prescription drugs to keep their blood pressure down. High blood pressure raises your chance of having other health problems that diabetes can cause, like eye disease and kidney damage. It also makes you more likely to have heart disease and stroke.
Why Does Blood Pressure Matter?
Keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level lowers your chances of having heart disease by 33% to 50% — a big benefit. It can also help prevent or delay kidney disease, another common problem with diabetes.
What’s Your Blood Pressure Goal?
Aim for a blood pressure score below 140/80 most of the time. Get your blood pressure checked at least four times a year or at each diabetes checkup. You could also use a blood pressure monitor at home to check your blood pressure more often.
How Can You Improve Your Blood Pressure?
All the things that are good for your heart will help you control your blood pressure: eat a low-salt diet, eat more foods high in potassium, get regular exercise, limit alcohol, quit smoking, and stay at a healthy weight. When lifestyle changes aren’t enough to control high blood pressure, drugs can help lower it.
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What Are The Causes Of High Cholesterol
Many different things can cause a person to have high cholesterol levels. Some we can control, and some we cannot control. The factors that we cannot control are:
- our gender
- certain diseases and conditions that we already have, such as thyroid disorder
Though we cannot control our genetics, how old we are, or whether we are male of female or have a certain disease for the most part, there are risk factors for high cholesterol that can be controlled. Interestingly, the same risk factors that can be controlled to bring down high cholesterol also can bring down our risk for diabetes.
- our nutritional intake, including how much bad and good cholesterol is in the foods we eat
- our weight as extra pounds increase cholesterol levels
- whether or not we are physically active
- whether or not we are taking certain medications
These Foods Are Notorious For Raising Levels Of Ldl Cholesterol
More than 90 million adults in the United States have high cholesterol which means their levels of these blood fats exceed 200 milligrams per deciliter . Soaring cholesterol levels are serious because they put you at higher risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Certain foods, like oatmeal, nuts, and fatty fish, help to . And not all high cholesterol foods are bad for you. For example, are high in cholesterol, but theyre also packed with protein and other nutrients. Its the foods that are high in saturated fat that you need to worry about, because they can raise your cholesterol levels AND make you gain weight.
What are the worst foods for high cholesterol? , fried foods, and baked goods are notorious for raising levels of , the sticky kind that builds up in artery walls.
Here are 4 foods youll want to avoid if you have high cholesterol:
1. Red meat. Beef, pork, and lamb are generally high in saturated fat. Cut of meat like hamburger, ribs, pork chops, and roasts are highest in fat. You dont have to avoid meat entirely, just eat it only on occasion. Limit yourself to the recommended 3-ounce portion size and stick to leaner cuts like sirloin, pork loin, or filet mignon. Better yet, replace meat with proteins that are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, like skinless chicken or turkey breast, fish, and beans.
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What Causes Metabolic Syndrome
Experts don’t fully understand what causes metabolic syndrome. Several factors are interconnected. Obesity plus a sedentary lifestyle contributes to risk factors for metabolic syndrome. These include high cholesterol, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure. These risk factors may lead to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Because metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance are closely tied, many healthcare providers believe that insulin resistance may be a cause of metabolic syndrome. But they have not found a direct link between the two conditions. Others believe that hormone changes caused by chronic stress lead to abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, and higher blood lipids .
Other factors that may contribute to metabolic syndrome include genetic changes in a person’s ability to break down fats in the blood, older age, and problems in how body fat is distributed.
Pre Diabetic High Cholesterol Diet
Diabetes and hypercholesterolemia are on the rise. The bad news, its quite common to find the two conditions together. What you eat can affect the overall health of your blood sugar and cholesterol in long term. If youre diagnosed with pre-diabetes and your cholesterol level is borderline high, the following are important checklists to remember for your pre diabetic high cholesterol diet!
Pre-diabetes means that the long-term damage of diabetes may already be starting. But it can be prevented from becoming type-2 diabetes. The good news, pre-diabetic diet is also good for your blood cholesterol levels.
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Heart Smart Foods For Cholesterol And Diabetes Control
People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing high cholesterol, a factor in heart disease and stroke. Heart smart foods for cholesterol and diabetes control can help lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol and keep your blood sugar in check.
Adding heart smart foods to your diet can reduce your cholesterol levels, improve blood sugar control and help prevent heart disease. Swap out unhealthy foods for tasty heart smart ones. A few simple changes can go a long way when it comes to protecting your heart and health.
Do You Have High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is a natural and essential part of all cells in your body. It helps produce hormones, make vitamin D, provide cells with structure, and plays a role in the process of digesting fats. The liver creates all of the cholesterol that your body needs, so it is not required that you get it from foods. Foods that come from animals such as meat, cheese, and eggs all provide dietary cholesterol to the body.
There are two types of cholesterol: high-density lipoproteins and low-density lipoproteins . HDL is thought of as the good type of cholesterol because it carries cholesterol from your blood to your liver to be removed. This is helpful to the heart. LDL is the bad type of cholesterol: It causes a buildup of cholesterol in the blood, which leads to furring up of the arteries. This is called atherosclerosis and is a direct cause of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral artery disease.
Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood. They are separate to and different from cholesterol, but they are nearly always included in the cholesterol lab panel since they have a similar effect on your heart and overall health. Triglycerides come from eating too many calories . These extra calories are stored in the blood as triglycerides. High triglyceride levels can lead to heart disease and problems in your pancreas and liver, including fatty liver disease.
Here are the normal ranges for cholesterol and triglyceride levels in adults :
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Plant Stanols And Sterols
Distant cousins to cholesterol , phytosterols, or plant stanols and sterols, are natural substances found in plant cell membranes that compete with cholesterol for absorption in the intestinal tract. End result? A lower LDL cholesterol level. You can lower your LDL cholesterol by up to 15 percent by consuming at least 2 grams of phytosterols every day.
Natural sources of plant stanols and sterols include fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. However, it can be challenging to consume much more than 500 milligrams of phytosterols daily from these food sources.
A number of foods are fortified with phytosterols, including certain brands of vegetable oil spread , juice, yogurt, soy milk, rice milk, snack bars, and even chocolate. Over-the-counter phytosterol supplements are also available. Read the label carefully if you decide to go this route. You may need to take phytosterol supplements twice a day.
Plant stanols and sterols are quite safe. However, check with your doctor if you take a cholesterol-lowering medication and are thinking of taking a phytosterol supplement.
Living With Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a lifelong condition that will require changes in your lifestyle. If you already have heart disease or diabetes, follow your healthcare providers recommendations for managing these conditions.
Lifestyle changes involved in managing metabolic syndrome include:
- A healthy diet
- Stopping smoking if youre a smoker or use other tobacco products
- Losing weight if you are overweight or obese
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Does Sugar Affect Cholesterol Levels
While addressing the question of how to lower cholesterol, it is important to take into account the relationship between sugar and cholesterol. High blood sugar has always been implicated in elevated risks of heart disease and cardiovascular distress. Several studies like this one have consistently linked diabetes and elevated blood sugar to higher LDL & VLDL levels, and reduced HDL levels. The primary factor that explains this close relationship between glucose and cholesterol is the phenomenon of insulin resistance.
Insulin is a hormone produced by specialized beta cells in your pancreas. Insulin functions by removing sugar from the blood and driving them into cells for either consumption or storage. There exist specialized receptors on the surface of the cells in your body that bind to insulin and withdraw glucose from the blood. As time progresses, cells in vulnerable individuals begin reacting abnormally to insulin and develop resistance. This leaves excess sugar in the bloodstream, something that eventually evolves into full-blown diabetes. Insulin resistance also has other far-reaching consequences as it hampers the traditional cholesterol pathway. Individuals with insulin resistance and those who consume higher amounts of processed and added sugars were shown to have higher levels of LDL and VLDL cholesterol, with markedly reduced HDL levels.
If I Already Have Cardiovascular Disease What Should My Cholesterol Numbers Be
If you already have cardiovascular disease, target numbers are a little bit tweaked. Although your total cholesterol number should still be less than 200 mg/dl, and your LDL-C, or bad cholesterol should still be less than 100 mg/dl, your HDL-C, or good cholesterol, should be greater than 35 mg/dl, and your triglyceride number should be less than 200 mg/dl. This makes sense, because the good fats being present in your bloodstream will take the bad cholesterol and triglycerides away in the bloodstream to be disposed of via the liver.
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Putting Together A Low Cholesterol Diet
When it comes to investing money, experts recommend creating a portfolio of diverse investments instead of putting all your eggs in one basket. The same holds true for eating your way to lower cholesterol. Adding several foods to lower cholesterol in different ways should work better than focusing on one or two.
A largely vegetarian “dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods” substantially lowers LDL, triglycerides, and blood pressure. The key dietary components are plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains instead of highly refined ones, and protein mostly from plants. Add margarine enriched with plant sterols oats, barley, psyllium, okra, and eggplant, all rich in soluble fiber soy protein and whole almonds.
Of course, shifting to a cholesterol-lowering diet takes more attention than popping a daily statin. It means expanding the variety of foods you usually put in your shopping cart and getting used to new textures and flavors. But it’s a “natural” way to lower cholesterol, and it avoids the risk of muscle problems and other side effects that plague some people who take statins.
Just as important, a diet that is heavy on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts is good for the body in ways beyond lowering cholesterol. It keeps blood pressure in check. It helps arteries stay flexible and responsive. It’s good for bones and digestive health, for vision and mental health.
A Is For A1c Testing For Diabetes
Why Does A1c Matter?
Keeping control of your blood sugar over time helps lower your risk of problems such as kidney, nerve, and eye disease. It may also make you less likely to have a heart attack, stroke, and death from heart disease. Each percentage point you drop in your A1c test result can drop your risk of kidney, eye, and nerve disease by a whopping 40%.
If you have diabetes, you should check your blood sugar often to make sure your levels are in check. A hemoglobin A1c test is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. It’s a way to check how well you control your blood sugar over time. A1c measures how much glucose has been “sticking” to your red blood cells. If your treatment changes or your blood sugar control is not on target, then you should repeat the test every 3 months.
What’s Your A1c Goal?
Aim for an A1c of around 7% or less.
How Can You Improve Your Score?
If you think of daily blood sugar testing like a pop quiz, the A1c test is a midterm. Steady daily blood sugar control improves your A1c score, which shows your past efforts. Take your diabetes drugs and make sure you eat healthy, get exercise, and follow the other heart-healthy guidelines below. This will help you reach your A1c goal.
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How Food Impacts Cholesterol
The main culprits that cause high cholesterol are saturated fats and partially hydrogenated oil known as trans fat. These are commonly found in highly processed foods like:
- Commercial baked goods like doughnuts.
- Commercial snack foods like potato chips.
- Deep-fried foods.
- Fast food.
Keep in mind that trans fat can sneak into peanut butter, coffee creamers, frozen pizza and microwave popcorn. So read those labels. Even items that claim zero grams of trans fat may include partially hydrogenated oils. The fat in these items increases your bad cholesterol, lowers your good cholesterol and causes inflammation, the underlying cause of heart disease, explains Zumpano. Inflammation can contribute to plaque buildup in your arteries and cause blood clots to form around them, blocking blood flow.
Additionally, eating too many unhealthy foods can produce excess triglycerides, another form of fat found in your blood. High triglyceride levels result from having too many calories most often from too much fat or sugar in the diet. Triglycerides also stick to the walls of your arteries, worsening plaque buildup.
Who Is At Risk For Metabolic Syndrome
Knowing your risk factors for any disease can help guide you to take the appropriate actions. This includes changing behaviors and being monitored by your healthcare provider for the disease.
Risk factors most closely tied to metabolic syndrome include:
- Age. You are more likely to have metabolic syndrome the older you are.
- Ethnicity. African Americans and Mexican Americans are more likely to get metabolic syndrome. African-American women are about 60% more likely than African-American men to have the syndrome.
- Body mass index greater than 25. The BMI is a measure of body fat compared with height and weight.
- Personal or family history of diabetes. Women who have had diabetes during pregnancy or people who have a family member with type 2 diabetes are at greater risk for metabolic syndrome.
Here are the types of treatment that may be recommended for metabolic syndrome.
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