Health Tip: Help Prevent Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome occurs when being overweight or obese -- combined with other risk factors -- increase a person's chances of developing heart disease and diabetes.
These risk factors include abdominal obesity, elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and a poor ratio of good-to-bad cholesterol.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute suggests how you can help prevent metabolic syndrome:
- Maintain a healthy body-mass index (BMI) of less than 25.
- Keep your waistline at a healthy size. Less than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men is ideal.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Talk to your doctor about the best weight for you.
- Stick to a low-calorie, low-cholesterol and low-fat eating plan.
- Get regular exercise. In general, 60 minutes worth, five-to-seven days per week, is recommended for most people.
- Visit your doctor regularly, and frequently test your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
Health Tip: What's Behind High Cholesterol?
High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. If your numbers are rising, there are a few possible reasons.
The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute lists these factors that can affect blood cholesterol:
- A diet high in saturated fat or cholesterol-rich foods.
- Being overweight.
- Not getting enough exercise.
- Getting older, and being a postmenopausal female.
- A family history of high cholesterol.