Home » Diet and Nutrition News & Advice » 6 Foods to Avoid if You Have Metabolic Syndrome

6 Foods to Avoid if You Have Metabolic Syndrome


There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of metabolic syndrome, which is sometimes referred to as metabolic disease. It’s actually a group of issues that, when combined, can significantly increase one’s chance of developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Typically, the chances of acquiring metabolic syndrome increase as we age, with nearly half of all Americans in their 60s and 70s being affected by the issue.

The symptoms of this disease vary widely, though metabolic syndrome patients do tend to have more weight around the abdomen than the average person. They may also be resistant to insulin or struggle with increased production of insulin. Sometimes symptoms show on the body, such as through the emergence of skin tags and benign growths. The good news is that there are ways to reduce the impact of metabolic syndrome; for example, one can make a serious difference in their health by simply avoiding certain foods. So, what foods should you avoid if you’ve been diagnosed with this condition?

1. Fake sweeteners

A few decades ago, the hottest trend to hit the food and beverage industry was, without a doubt, the diet alternative. Coke was now joined by Diet Coke, Pepsi by Diet Pepsi. Eventually, just about every major food product had a diet equivalent, and in cases where the central ingredient was sugar, that meant replacing it with an artificial sweetener.

These artificial sweeteners have become household names in the years since: there’s aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin. Unfortunately, there’s still not a lot of evidence to suggest these replacements for sugar are actually okay for the human body. In fact, some evidence suggests they could be dangerous and may increase the chances of gaining weight, developing diabetes, or even having heart disease emerge. For someone with metabolic syndrome, it (almost) goes without saying that these fake sweeteners must be avoided.

2. Diet pop

There was a time when only people on actual diets would drink diet soda. Now, however, many diet sodas outsell their regular counterparts. And while it’s true that most diet sodas have zero calories and no added sugar, they often replace sugar with chemicals we just don’t know that much about.

For example, it’s still not clear if taking sugar out of a soda and replacing it with sucralose does anything to improve one’s chances of keeping off weight or holding type 2 diabetes at arm’s length. For those who have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, it just isn’t worth the risk. Instead, stick to water and unsweetened green tea.

3. Trans fats

A few years ago many of the biggest companies in the food and beverage industry made a serious effort to remove trans fats from their products. That’s because trans fats, which are most often found in foods made using hydrogenated oils and fats, can increase one’s chances of becoming overweight and developing heart-related health problems.

But many foods, and particularly highly processed baked goods, still contain trans fats. Although the number of products with trans fats in them is dwindling, anyone with metabolic syndrome should be vigilant in seeking foods that have absolutely zero trans fats contained inside.

4. Refined sugars

Consuming too much refined sugar and carbohydrates can cause insulin levels to spike, increasing the chances that someone will develop type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. It can also lead to significant weight gain, which can place undue pressure on the heart and other parts of the body, from the bones and joints to muscles and major organs.

Because they have already been identified as being at increased risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and stroke, people with metabolic syndrome need to severely limit their exposure to refined sugars and carbohydrates, which can often be found in highly processed foods like bread and cookies.

5. Alcohol

There’s no denying that many of the world’s most vibrant cultures are heavily steeped in alcohol consumption. In films, television shows and books, drinking alcohol is often cast as acceptable, even desirable, in order to win friends and enjoy life.

But alcohol consumption, especially to excess, places huge pressures on the body. For one, it contains a lot of calories, which add up and can eventually lead to significant weight gain. Second, drinking a lot of alcohol can raise your blood pressure and make you more vulnerable to heart disease. Given that people with metabolic syndrome are already vulnerable to heart problems, it makes sense that they should avoid drinking alcohol at all costs.

6. Highly processed foods

Individuals who have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome should immediately go through their kitchen in search of the most heavily processed foods. Once these foods are rounded up — and in the typical American kitchen that could take some time — they should be thrown right in the waste bin.

That’s because highly processed foods — whether frozen, canned, boxed or bagged — have none of the nutrients that people with metabolic syndrome need to manage their condition. Often, these foods are loaded down with salt, sugar, and preservatives.

ADVERTISEMENT

We Recommend

More on ActiveBeat

  • The 8 Best Food Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    Omega-3s are polyunsatured fats that offer a wealth of health benefits. Not only are they crucial for maintaining good overall health, omega-3s are also beneficial for preventing...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Foods That Are Valuable Sources of Prebiotics
    Over the past few years, the lengthy list of benefits associated with probiotics have become common knowledge, and many people work hard to get a beneficial amount of them into...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Best Foods to Eat After a Workout
    Generally speaking, you want to eat something light and healthy -- such as a yogurt, piece of fruit, or energy bar -- prior to getting your workout on.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 10 Ways to Enjoy Hot Tea Month in January
    It's cold outside in many parts of the world, so perhaps tea is already a cozy part of your daily regimen. Thankfully, January is National Hot Tea Month, in Canada and the U.S.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 7 Tricky Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables
    Telling your kids to eat something "because it's good for you" doesn't always fly. In fact, as a parent, you know it can have the opposite effect in some cases.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Physical Signs of a Poor Diet
    There are many ways we can do harm to our bodies, for instance eating high-fat, high-calorie processed foods, smoking tobacco, or drinking alcohol to excess.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 7 Weight Loss Tips for Surviving the Mall Food Court
    One of the biggest struggles facing those trying to losing weight is eating on the go. Certain places can be huge food temptation triggers, like mall food courts.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Types of Medicinal Mushrooms
    For thousands of years mushrooms have been used to help sustain people around the world. But they do more than simply feed us and keep us alive.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Antioxidants: What Are They and Where Can You Get Them?
    You hear so much talk about antioxidants in the health, wellness and nutrition worlds. It seems these days that the word gets thrown around a lot without much clarity on what it...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Reasons Springtime Greens Are Worth a Healthy Nibble
    The start of the spring season signifies a return of longer days, sunnier days, warmer days and an abundance of produce, particularly spring greens!
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Crunch on This: 6 Must-Know Granola Facts
    (function(d, s, id) { if (d.getElementById(id)) return; var js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 7 Reasons to Eat Better that Have Nothing to Do with Weight Loss
    In the dead of winter, it’s difficult on to focus on the weight you’ve packed on while hibernating and binge watching Netflix.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • The 8 Best Vegetables for Building Muscle
    The stereotypical gym diet has always consisted of a lot of meat, because meat contains lots of protein and protein (among other things) builds muscle.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 7 Health Benefits of Hot Sauce
    How spicy do you like it? Many people enjoy that tongue-tingling, lip-burning sensation that comes from eating hot sauces, which contain the scorching heat of chile peppers.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Carb-Rich Foods that Actually Help Burn Calories
    If you're watching your weight, the word carbohydrates probably conjures feelings of fear in you. However, carbohydrates are an essential part of our diet.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice