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
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