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Poor Diet Among People with the Metabolic Syndrome

Jan. 13, 2014|181 views

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I keep reminding you that eating a healthful diet is crucial for good health. And eating a poor diet is linked to the development of a host of serious diseases that are all-too-common these days. Many people make resolutions with the beginning of a new year but the truth is that statistics show that less than 10% of those resolutions are being kept.

I always say that knowledge is power, but some researchers say that even those who are informed have hard time making dietary changes. In fact, when they’ve been counseled on how to make changes for the better, many people who are at risk for diet-related illnesses continue to eat poorly. That was the conclusion of a study conducted in Finland recently.

Subjects were people who either had the metabolic syndrome or were at risk for the condition. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of risk factors that increases a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Factors include things like obesity, high blood pressure and high fasting blood sugar levels. The people in the study ate a diet that is too high in fat, salt and saturated fat. More tellingly, their diets were too low in fiber, monounsaturated fats and vitamin D. Many of the participants also consumed too much alcohol. While one unit of alcohol a day is considered heart-healthy for middle-aged women, and two units per day may benefit men, any more than that is associated with increased risks for cancer and other problems.

Monounsaturated fats are the heart-healthy types of fats found in plant foods. Vegetables and fruits are rich in dietary fiber, too. Essentially, the people who are at greatest risk for serious life-threatening disease were not eating enough plant foods, and were eating too many processed, salty snack foods and processed meats. Metabolic syndrome is on the rise around the world, mirroring the increase in overweight and obesity. Changing one’s diet is extremely important for preventing the condition.

I think that perhaps we need 2 decades of education regarding the results of poor eating. Perhaps something similar to the non-smoking campaigns conducted for many years. True some people still chose to smoke, but the awareness of the terrible side effects from smoking is so prominent that the average 8 year old can tell you that you shouldn't smoke.

Perhaps an educational campaign about what happens when we consume those bad foods since childhood would yield to a new generation of children.
What do you think? Leave me your comments below

Svandis Erna Jonsdottir, Lea Brader, Ingibjorg Gunnarsdottir, Ola Kally Magnusdottir, Ursula Schwab, Marjukka Kolehmainen, Ulf Risérus, Karl-Heinz Herzig, Lieselotte Cloetens, Hannah Helgegren, Anna Johansson-Persson, Janne Hukkanen, Kaisa Poutanen, Matti Uusitupa, Kjeld Hermansen, Inga Thorsdottir. Adherence to the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations in a Nordic population with metabolic syndrome: high salt consumption and low dietary fibre intake (The SYSDIET study). Food & Nutrition Research, 2013; 57 (0) DOI: 10.3402/fnr.v57i0.21391

Tags:  cancer risks, chronic illness
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