Are you at risk?

Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - FEATURES -

Some risk fac­tors for meta­bolic syn­drome are ge­netic, while oth­ers are in­flu­enced by life­style — and the syn­drome’s fre­quency in­creases with age. Here’s a break­down of the most common risk fac­tors linked to it. Ex­cess belly fat Think ‘ap­ple-shaped’ bod­ies — sim­i­lar to the (some­what ex­ag­ger­ated) fig­ure you can see on the page op­po­site. Hav­ing too much fat around your waist is known to be dan­ger­ous, be­cause that fat can make its way into your vi­tal or­gans. High blood pres­sure The healthy range is be­low 120/80 mmHg. Your blood pres­sure can be af­fected by your ge­net­ics, ac­tiv­ity lev­els, weight, diet (par­tic­u­larly sodium), stress, al­co­hol and whether you’re a smoker or non-smoker. Di­a­betes, in­sulin re­sis­tance or im­paired fast­ing glu­cose In a nut­shell, di­a­betes oc­curs when your body can’t ef­fi­ciently re­move the sugar in the blood that de­vel­ops as car­bo­hy­drates break down. In­sulin is the hor­mone that as­sists this process. The risk of meta­bolic syn­drome is much higher if you have di­a­betes or pre-di­a­betes. Too much ‘bad’ choles­terol Oth­er­wise known as LDL choles­terol, this type of choles­terol is bad for your heart and can block your ar­ter­ies. Your LDL choles­terol can creep up if you fol­low a diet high in sat­u­rated fat. Not enough ‘good’ choles­terol Also known as HDL choles­terol, this choles­terol pro­tects your heart. You can im­prove your HDL choles­terol by con­sum­ing more healthy fats like ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil, nuts and sal­mon.

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