Aggressive lifestyle changes are usually required to prevent serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. These changes include:
- Exercise. Doctors recommend getting 30 or more minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, every day.
- Lose weight. Losing weight can reduce insulin resistance and blood pressure and decrease your risk of diabetes.
- Eat healthy. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean diet, like many healthy-eating plans, limit unhealthy fats and emphasize fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains. Both of these dietary approaches have been found to offer important health benefits — in addition to weight loss — for people who have components of metabolic syndrome.
- Stop smoking. Smoking cigarettes worsens the health consequences of metabolic syndrome. Talk to your doctor if you need help kicking the cigarette habit.
Aug. 22, 2014
Pyramid or plate? Explore these healthy diet options
These pyramids reflect the same general principles of healthy eating but allow for different food choices.
- Metabolic syndrome. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ms. Accessed June 12, 2014.
- Insulin resistance and prediabetes. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/insulinresistance. Accessed June 12, 2014.
- Jameson JL, et al. Endocrinology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 12, 2014.
- Meigs JB. The metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance syndrome or syndrome X). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 12, 2014.
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