6 way TO PRE­VENT IT

Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - FEATURES -

For­tu­nately, sim­ple life­style changes can help you pre­vent and man­age meta­bolic syn­drome. If you have al­ready been di­ag­nosed, dis­cuss with your GP any med­i­ca­tions that may be required.

1 Lose belly fat

Los­ing weight is an im­por­tant fi step. Re­search has shown that los­ing just 5–10 per cent of your body weight can re­duce your risk of de­vel­op­ing type 2 di­a­betes. It will also help to im­prove blood pres­sure and choles­terol.

2 Move more

Try to be ac­tive for 30–60 min­utes ev­ery day, and sit less dur­ing the day. You don’t need to pump iron at 5am or run 10km in your lunch break. In­stead, if you find a phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity that you ac­tu­ally en­joy, you’re much more likely to stick to it. Why not join a dance or yoga class, or start a walk­ing group with friends?

3 Cut back al­co­hol

Your waist­line will thank you — and your heart will too. Al­co­hol is brim­ming with al­most twice as many kilo­joules as car­bo­hy­drates and pro­tein — which can help con­trib­ute to weight gain. And binge drink­ing in par­tic­u­lar can harm your ticker by rais­ing your blood pres­sure and triglyc­erides. The Na­tional Heart Foun­da­tion rec­om­mends no more than two stan­dard drinks per day.

4 QUIT SMOK­ING

Smok­ing in­creases your risk of coro­nary heart dis­ease and stroke, but your risk re­duces once you quit. After 15 years smoke free, your risk will have low­ered sig­nif­i­cantly and be al­most as low as a non-smoker. You can do it!

5 Eat a healthy diet

There’s no need to fork out on ex­pen­sive, fad­dish su­per­foods. Keep it sim­ple by choos­ing nat­u­ral, fresh foods while also lim­it­ing pro­cessed ones. Cook at home where pos­si­ble; use less salt and choose healthy fats (p36). Opt for low-GI choices, such as whole­grain bread in­stead of white, and snack on fresh fruit or nuts to boost your fi­bre in­take.

6 STRESS LESS

Stress can con­trib­ute to hy­per­ten­sion and poor eat­ing habits. Re­mem­ber that last time you were fraz­zled at work and you reached for that choco­late bar in the vend­ing ma­chine? Find a way to un­wind that doesn’t in­volve food. Take a hot bath, lis­ten to your favourite al­bum, or read a few chap­ters of your new book.

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