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
Diet 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
Fruits tend to
reduce the chances of metabolic syndrome, mainly due to the presence of soluble
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