Metabolic syndrome (MS) seems like an unusual health monster. It is a cluster of toxic conditions that all occur simultaneously. This can increase a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes all at once. This condition affects nearly 40% of Americans and presents itself as a complex with symptoms of increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Wow! What a mess!
Metabolic syndrome is closely linked to obesity and insulin resistance. Normally, the digestive tract breaks down foods into glucose, which then enters the cells. However, this normal cycle is disrupted when toxic foods are eaten and can end up causing excessive weight gain. Obesity then causes blood sugar levels to rise, and as a result, the body creates more and more insulin in an effort to lower blood sugar levels. But it is an unending, repeating cycle as the body struggles with each meal that contains high amounts of white sugar and high-fat food choices (think: milkshakes and burgers).
In addition, one study found that 63% of morbidly obese individuals also had MS, and almost 51% of them were vitamin D deficient.1 Researchers are unsure of the relationship between obesity and vitamin D, but they believe it may be because obese individuals spend less time doing outdoor activities, and as a result, are exposed to the sun less frequently.
Clearly, the first step back to a healthy balance is to consider adopting a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Kick out those sugary rolls and red meat burgers in favor of delicious, plant-based meals, such as bean burritos and veggie stews. In addition, step up your nutrient levels with natural-source vitamin D to help boost the immune system.
- Vitamin D deficiency is associated with the metabolic syndrome in morbid obesity. Botella-Carretero JI, Alvarez-Blasco F, Villafruela JJ, Balsa JA, Vázquez C, Escobar-Morreale HF Clin Nutr. 2007 Oct; 26(5):573-80.