5 Nutritional tips to aid the management of metabolic syndrome

Fig 1. Components of metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic disorders. It is multifactorial in origin. These disorders raise the likelihood of developing diabetes, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.

Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a large waist circumference (Abdominal Obesity), Insulin resistance, dyslipidemia (abnormal cholesterol levels). This is an important topic to address because more than 40% of adults over 50 year of age are affected. Metabolic syndrome is more likely the older you are.

The cause of metabolic syndrome is still not full understood but obesity and a sedentary lifestyle have been found to be risk factors.

The management always involves lifestyle modifications( exercise and dietary changes)

Illustration of an individual with metabolic syndrome

Dietary /Nutritional Aspect of Metabolic Syndrome Management

  1. Use healthy fats which can be found in nuts, seeds, olive oil, safflower oil, canola oil
  2. Substitute your usual food choices for whole grain options. for example; take whole wheat bread and brown rice instead of white bread and white rice. This is because whole grains are absorbed slowly by the body and therefore do not result in insulin spikes.
  3. Integrate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. For instance, if you consume about 2000 kcal a day, you should be taking at least 2.5 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruits a day.
  4. Portion control is an important aspect of dietary modifications. Note that you don’t need to finish all the food on your plate at one time. You can always save it for later.
  5. Pay attention to “nutritional facts” labels on products.

These are just a few brief but important tips to help you manage your risk of metabolic syndrome and its complications.

Published by Gray Healthcare Foundation

A Non Governmental organisation with Headquarters in Africa ,dedicated to uplifting the health of the elderly population .Passionate about the elderly , we drive increased inclusivity ,availability of essential health care services, advocacy and research for those aged 60 years and above.

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