Health Tip: Help Prevent Metabolic Syndrome

A possible precursor to diabetes and heart disease

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(HealthDay News) -- Metabolic syndrome occurs when being overweight or obese -- combined with other risk factors -- increase a person's chances of developing heart disease and diabetes.

These risk factors include abdominal obesity, elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and a poor ratio of good-to-bad cholesterol.

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute suggests how you can help prevent metabolic syndrome:

  • Maintain a healthy body-mass index (BMI) of less than 25.
  • Keep your waistline at a healthy size. Less than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men is ideal.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Talk to your doctor about the best weight for you.
  • Stick to a low-calorie, low-cholesterol and low-fat eating plan.
  • Get regular exercise. In general, 60 minutes worth, five-to-seven days per week, is recommended for most people.
  • Visit your doctor regularly, and frequently test your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.

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