How Keto Diet Affects Metabolic Syndrome?

metabolic syndrome

You may have heard the term metabolic syndrome and how its incidence is on the rise in the United States. What exactly is this condition and what can you do about it? How does a keto diet affect metabolic syndrome? Read on to find the answers to these questions.

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is not a disease in itself. Instead, it is a group of risk factors – high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels and abdominal fat.

Specifically, metabolic syndrome can lead to a buildup of plaque in the arteries, known as atherosclerosis. This is when fat, cholesterol and other substances adhere to the sides of the arteries. The arteries then become clogged and brittle. When the artery walls are damaged blood clots form. Blood clots can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

Obviously, having any one of these risk factors is not a good thing. But when they combine, they set the stage for serious problems. These risk factors double your risk of developing blood vessel and heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. They increase your risk of developing diabetes fivefold.

What Cause the Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is closely associated with being overweight or obese and inactivity.

It is also associated with a condition called insulin resistance. Under normal circumstances, your digestive system breaks down the food you eat into sugar. Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that helps sugar get into your cells to be used as fuel.

In people with insulin resistance, the cells do not respond properly to insulin and glucose cannot enter the cells easily. Therefore, even if your body produces more and more insulin to try to lower your blood sugar, your blood sugar levels will rise.

Risk factors

The following factors increase your chances of having metabolic syndrome:

  • Age. Your risk of metabolic syndrome increases with age.
  • Ethnicity. In the United States, Hispanics – and Hispanic women in particular – appear to be at the greatest risk of developing metabolic syndrome. The reasons for this are not entirely clear.
  • Obesity. Carrying too much weight, especially in your abdomen, increases your risk of metabolic syndrome.
  • Diabetes. You’re more likely to have metabolic syndrome if you had diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
  • Other diseases. If you have ever had NAFLD, polycystic ovary syndrome or sleep apnea, you are at a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

What is the Treatment for Metabolic Syndrome?

metabolic syndrome treatment

Fortunately, the outlook for people with this syndrome can be positive if symptoms are properly managed. The best idea is to try to prevent metabolic syndrome before it occurs by maintaining a healthy waistline, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

If you have the condition, the goal is usually to make lifestyle changes that can help you improve risk factors, such as losing weight and regulating blood pressure. Some doctors recommend treatment with certain medications, while others focus more on lifestyle modifications. Your doctor or health professional may recommend quitting smoking and making certain diet and exercise changes to improve your symptoms and overall health.

Many doctors now recommend a keto diet for metabolic syndrome. You should always talk to your health care provider before changing your diet.

How the Keto Diet Helps Improve Metabolic Syndrome

The keto diet has been shown to help improve the risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome. As a low-carb, high-fat diet, the keto diet works to lower high blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance by allowing the body to break down fat into ketone bodies for energy. Metabolic syndrome is a group of signs associated with a variety of health problems, including diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Signs of metabolic syndrome include excess waist fat, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglyceride levels and low HDL or “good” cholesterol.

Researchers at Bethel University in Minnesota conducted a study comparing the health status of three groups of adults with metabolic syndrome. The first group followed a keto diet and did not exercise, the second group followed the Standard American Diet and did not exercise, and the third group followed the Standard American Diet and did 30 minutes of exercise or physical activity three to five days a week. The results of the study showed that the keto diet without exercise was much more effective than the other groups in promoting weight loss, reducing body fat and lowering HbA1c.

Bottom Line

If you’ve just been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you may be feeling anxious. But think of it as a wake-up call. Now is the time to get serious about improving your health. Making a few simple changes to your habits now such as taking keto diet can prevent serious illness in the future.

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