Do you have Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a group of five risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Lifestyle changes like losing weight, exercise, and dietary changes can help prevent or reverse metabolic syndrome.

The five risk factors are: increased blood pressure (greater than 130/85 mmHg); high blood sugar levels (insulin resistance); excess fat around the waist; high triglyceride levels and/or low levels of good cholesterol (HDL).

Having one of these risk factors does not mean that you have metabolic syndrome. However, having one will increase your chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Having three or more of these factors will result in a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome and it will increase your risk of health complications.

The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that 23 percent of adults currently have metabolic syndrome.

Did you know that there really are NO discernible symptoms for metabolic syndrome? Aside from a large waist circumference of greater than 40 inches in men, and greater than 35 inches in women, most of the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome have no symptoms.

To find out if you have (or are prone to) metabolic syndrome, your doctor will perform several different tests in addition to checking your waist circumference.

Your fasting blood triglycerides will be tested— is your level 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) or greater?

You will be asked about your cholesterol levels. Is your HDL cholesterol less than 40 mg/dL (men) or less than 50 mg/dL (women)?

You will have your fasting glucose level checked. Is it 100 mg/dL or greater?

How is your blood pressure? Is your Systolic blood pressure (top number) 130 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or greater, or diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) of 85 mm Hg or greater?

If your answers are yes to any of three or more of tests, you may have metabolic syndrome.

So, if you’re having trouble losing weight, metabolic syndrome could be the reason why! When your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to convert glucose to energy for your cells, it gets stored as excess fat. Even though you may be eating LESS than your skinny friends!

If you think you may be one of the 25% of adults affected by this disorder, there are a few things you can do to reverse the symptoms if you have it and if you don’t have it you can prevent it from happening to you.

The first is increase your exercise. Find something you like doing and start slowly. It can be something as simple as taking your dog for a walk more often and gradually increasing distance, or parking further away from you destination’s entrance to increase the number of steps you take each day.

This next tip is always harder than it sounds: lose weight if you’re overweight. It will be easier to lose weight if you do increase your exercise.

Make certain to eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and low fat dairy. Go easy on the saturated fats, trans fat, cholesterol, and salt—it will make a difference.

You can also add supplements to your diet. I personally added Peak Performance Metabolic Health Bundle to help provide metabolic support. This supplement pack works to slow my body’s absorption of sugar, inhibits the release of sugar in the bloodstream, and supports thermogenesis as well efficient calorie burning for healthy weight management. It seems to work for me—the weight loss and toning is quite noticeable!

Quit smoking if you smoke. Seriously, does any smoke anymore? It is just so bad for you!

Lastly, Schedule regular checkups with your healthcare provider to monitor and manage blood glucose, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure.

Download The American Heart Association’s printable Answers by Heart sheet: What is Metabolic Syndrome? (PDF)

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Staying active at any size

Physical activity may seem hard if you’re overweight. You may get short of breath or tired quickly. Finding or affording the right clothes and equipment may be frustrating. Or, perhaps you may not feel comfortable working out in front of others.

The good news is you can overcome these challenges. Not only can you be active at any size, you can have fun and feel good at the same time.

Research strongly shows that physical activity is safe for almost everyone. The health benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks.1

If you have problems moving or staying steady on your feet, or if you get out of breath easily, talk with a health care professional before you start. You also should talk with a health care professional if you are unsure of your health, have any concerns that physical activity may be unsafe for you, or have:

Being active may help you live longer and protect you from developing serious health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. Regular physical activity is linked to many health benefits, such as:
• healthy bones, muscles, and joints
• lower blood pressure and blood glucose, or blood sugar
• a strong heart and lungs
• better sleep at night and improved mood

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition defines regular physical activity as a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking. Brisk walking is a pace of three miles per hour or faster. A moderate-intensity activity makes you breathe harder but does not overwork or overheat you. You should also do muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week.

You may reach this goal by starting with five minutes of physical activity several times a day, five to six days a week. You could then gradually work up to 10 minutes per session, three times a day. If you do even more activity, you may gain even more health benefits.1

When combined with healthy eating, regular physical activity may also help you control your weight. However, research shows that even if you can’t lose weight or maintain your weight loss, you still can enjoy important health benefits from regular physical activity.

Physical activity also can be a lot of fun if you do activities you enjoy and are active with other people. Being active with others may give you a chance to meet new people or spend more time with family and friends. You also may inspire and motivate one another to get and stay active.

Arsenic, Lead Found in Popular Protein Supplements

Whether for weight loss, muscle building, or simply as a convenient quick meal on the go, many Americans turn to protein powders and drinks.

But a new study shows that many of the top-selling powders and drinks may contain concerning levels of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead, and toxins like bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in some plastic containers and food can liners.

These substances have been linked to cancer, brain damage, and reproductive issues. When products were tested, many contained detectable levels of at least one heavy metal and 55 percent tested positive for BPA.The problem is, these toxins accumulate in your body and can stay there for years. Frequent consumption of foods that contain them can have adverse effects on your health.

This article from Consumer Reports provides a review of popular protein powders and drink supplements available today, and whether they’re necessary for most people.

The company I work with manufactures protein supplements and happily each product is made from only the finest ingredients to deliver the healthy, benefits. Every product in one line is also soy-free, gluten-free, and GMO-free, does not contain artificial sweeteners, and is kosher. A few specific products are also dairy-free and vegan.

Whether your goal is to maintain healthy blood sugar, build muscle, achieve a healthy weight, or just snack smarter, you need to be knowledgeable to protect your body every step of your journey. I’ve attached this article to help learn more about healthier for you flavors and formulas. You owe it to yourself to make an informed healthy choice.