Most people with metabolic syndrome don't adhere to a proper diet

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Curing metabolic syndrome – a set of risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease – is largely based on making diet and lifestyle changes.

But new research from a Nordic study suggests that most people who have metabolic syndrome, as well as those who are at high risk for developing it, aren't eating properly.

"In most cases, the diet is too high in salt and saturated fat, and too low in dietary fiber and unsaturated fat," a press release on the study stated. "Furthermore, many don't have a sufficient intake of vitamin D."

It's all in the diet

Participants in the study kept food diaries and were assessed for how well they adhered to a proper nutrient balance in their meals. Results showed that more than 80 percent of the participants ate too much saturated fat, not enough polyunsaturated fats, and minimal amounts of fiber. Alcohol consumption was also too high, given the participants' health, and 65 percent of the patients consumed too much salt.

The researchers noted that poor nutrition only makes metabolic syndrome worse – and it increases risk for type 2 diabetes. Yet changes in diet for the better can reverse these same health problems.

"The study also included a six-month dietary intervention which established that the recommended diet consisting of Nordic ingredients improved serum lipid profile and, consequently, reduced the risk of coronary artery disease," the statement concluded. "The healthy Nordic diet also decreased the inflammation factor levels associated with metabolic syndrome."

Results of the study are published in Food and Nutrition Research.

Source: University of Eastern Finland

 
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