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Reducing Your Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Reducing Your Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

Small changes can help lower the risk of metabolic syndrome. It is easier to make changes slowly over time.

Losing Weight—If Needed

  • Setting a realistic weight loss goal
  • Learning how to make better eating choices—to reach and keep a healthful weight
  • Losing weight slowly and steadily
  • Keeping track of weight

Eating Healthful Foods

  • Using nutrition labels as a guide
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Choosing lean cuts of meat
  • Baking, broiling, or grilling poultry and fish
  • Limiting salt and high sodium foods
  • Limiting saturated and trans fats
  • Eating more fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables.
  • Eating less sugar
  • Limiting or not drinking soda and other sugary drinks—even juice

The Mediterranean diet may help to lower the risk of metabolic syndrome. This diet includes plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, and olive oil. It also includes some fish, poultry, and dairy products.

Getting More Physical Activity

  • Aiming for 30 minutes or more of physical activity each day
  • Doing enjoyable physical activities
  • Moving more throughout the day

Seeing the Doctor

  • Getting regular physical exams
  • Tracking weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels
  • Getting help finding the right eating and physical activity plan

Other Ways to Reduce the Risk

Working with the doctor to:

  • Control blood pressure
  • Control cholesterol levels
  • Prevent diabetes through healthful eating and exercise
  • Quit smoking


  • Chen JP, Chen GC, et al. Dietary fiber and metabolic syndrome: a meta-analysis and review of related mechanisms. Nutrients. 2017;10(1):24.
  • Metabolic syndrome in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/metabolic-syndrome-in-adults.
  • Metabolic syndrome. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/nutritional-disorders/obesity-and-the-metabolic-syndrome/metabolic-syndrome.
  • Metabolic syndrome. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/metabolic-syndrome.
  • Prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome. American Heart Association website. Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/metabolic-syndrome/prevention-and-treatment-of-metabolic-syndrome.


  • Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.