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How Omega-3s can help fight metabolic syndrome, one day at a time

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Let’s talk about something that those with diabetes or a family history of type 2 diabetes are at risk for. While no one wants to think about what could go wrong with a stroke of bad luck — sometimes, in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we need to be quite frank. Let’s talk about metabolic syndrome.

First things first. What exactly is metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is, at its core, the result of multiple issues — mostly in the bloodstream — occurring simultaneously. It’s unlike some other conditions and syndromes in that you’re likely to experience other problems before it happens, and by the time metabolic syndrome is in play, it’s time for serious action.

It’s also unique in its near-ubiquity — according to MayoClinic, almost 1 in 3 adults in the United States suffer from metabolic syndrome. If you have irregular cholesterol levels, high blood sugar, increased blood pressure or triglyceride levels, or high buildup of fat around the belly (known as central obesity), you are at high risk because two or more of these together is what results in metabolic syndrome.

How can I tell if I might have metabolic syndrome?

If you are slightly or excessively overweight and much of that excess body fat has compiled around the center of your body, you may be at risk. This is the first thing to look for and one of the tell-tale signs of someone at high risk. Additionally, those with a history of sleep apnea — in which your breathing regularly stops and re-starts while sleeping — are at a higher risk than the general population.

And, those with fatty liver disease or polycystic ovary syndrome should keep a particularly keen eye out.

Metabolic syndrome can, with time, increase your risk of developing type-2 diabetes along with heart conditions. 

What are the best ways to prevent metabolic syndrome?

Prevention starts at home, and it starts now. If you aren’t eating a diet high in Omega-3s, it may be time to consider finding foods that can offer more, such as spinach, certain kinds of seafood, and extra virgin olive oil. A supplement such as GLX3 can be a good addition as well because it ensures that you are receiving high amounts of Omega-3s on a daily basis.

Beyond Omega-3s, a generally healthy diet high in whole grains, fresh vegetables, and lean proteins like grilled chicken, help minimize excess body fat and help to keep your bodily systems functioning properly. Watch your salt intake, and if you’re a smoker, perhaps this is the big push you need to finally butt out for good.

Can those with metabolic syndrome be physically active?

Before making any changes to your lifestyle (other than kicking that smoking habit to the curb), you should always consult your doctor. But generally, those with metabolic syndrome can maintain a relatively active lifestyle as they are comfortable with — taking care to remain in a pain-free range and being mindful of their heartbeat. 

In fact, exercise is one of the most important ways to be proactive in metabolic syndrome prevention. If you can, try to get out for a walk, light jog, or another moderate exercise on most days. If you can hit the 10,000 step mark most days, you’re doing better than most — use apps like Google Fit to track!

How do Omega-3 fatty acids fit into the picture?

As is the case with Omega-3 fatty acids and many of the conditions they benefit, it all comes down to inflammation. Taking a supplement such as GLX3 can reduce inflammation in joints and around the body. When inflammation in the upper body is in play, added pressure to the heart can be a result — and the goal then becomes reducing that inflammation. 

This is where the Omega-3s come into play.

Furthermore, Omega-3s can boost your resistance to insulin and can reduce your risk for certain heart diseases. We did a deep dive on the topic in this article, but for the short and sweet, just know this — omega-3s are proven to reduce inflammation. 

Because of the outsize role inflammation plays in metabolic syndrome, taking action to fight inflammation is a strong step.  Now, we’re not saying that omega-3 fatty acids are the end-all, be-all for fighting metabolic syndrome and the conditions that lead to it. As always, speak with your doctor and follow the plan that the two of you develop for treatment. Along the way, the small decisions you make can have an outsize impact on reducing inflammation. Adding an Omega-3 supplement to your daily routine is worth speaking to your doctor about.

And, the next time you’re seated at a nice restaurant, trying to decide between the beef or the salmon, consider opting for the omega-3 rich salmon.

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