Diet may influence the development of metabolic syndrome in Brazilians, according to a published article.
Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that increase a person's chance of suffering from heart disease. These include abnormal lipid levels, obesity, high blood pressure and abnormal fasting glucose tests.
AdvertisementDiet is one of the contributing factors for metabolic syndrome. This is especially true for the western diet comprising of processed meat, refined grains, fried meat and sugar-based desserts. On the other hand, Mediterranean diet is inversely related to the risk of metabolic syndrome. Diets that include vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grain, fiber, fish, lean meat, poultry and fat-free dairy products have a protective effect on metabolic syndrome.
Fruits tend to reduce the chances of metabolic syndrome, mainly due to the presence of soluble fibers. These fibers lower blood glucose by reducing absorption of carbohydrates, and reduce the abnormal lipid levels. Potassium from fruits reduces blood pressure.
Dividing food into multiple portions has also been found to have a beneficial effect on the lipid levels.
A study was conducted on Brazilian adults to evaluate if their diet was associated with metabolic syndrome. A number of parameters like marital status, educational level and family income were noted. Body measurements were taken to assess body composition. Blood pressure was measured and blood tests were done. People with abnormal values for three or more of the following, that is triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, blood pressure and waist circumference, were considered as suffering from metabolic syndrome in the study.
Intake of diet was calculated from individuals based on the information provided every 24 hours.
In the study, people with metabolic syndrome were older and less educated compared to those without metabolic syndrome. People with metabolic syndrome showed a lower intake of fruits and less variety in food. Saturated fats were also shown to be harmful in terms of developing metabolic syndrome.
The study also found that meat intake was associated with less variety in food and more commonly associated with metabolic syndrome. Older individuals were less likely to eat a variety of meals and thus are associated with metabolic syndrome. This relation between less variety in food and metabolic syndrome needs to be established through further studies.
1. Erick Prado de Oliveira. Dietary factors associated with Metabolic Syndrome in Brazilian adults. Nutrition Journal 2012, 11:13 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-13.