Category Archives: Weight Loss

Treating Metabolic Syndrome Naturally

Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms that have been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. About 35% of the US adult population has metabolic syndrome. For those aged 60 or more, the rate is close to 50%.

Women are more likely to suffer with metabolic syndrome than men, and Hispanics have a higher rate than non-Hispanics.

Just What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a group of 5 symptoms. If you have 3 or more of these symptoms you are said to have metabolic syndrome. These symptoms are:
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  1. Elevated blood pressure of 130/85 or more.
  2. High triglycerides of 150 mg/dl or more
  3. Low HDL cholesterol, less than or equal to 40mg/dl for men and 50mg/dl in women
  4. Elevated fasting blood glucose levels of 100 mg/dl or more
  5. Central obesity generally associated with a BMI of 30 or more

A study reported in the the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that metabolic syndrome is increasing long term in the United States. In 2003-2004 the rate was 32.9% but increased to 34.7% in 2011-2012, a 5% increase. Some short term studies indicate that in recent years the rate have leveled out.

The prevalence of metabolic syndrome means that many people are suffering from increased risks for a number of diseases including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. And often the symptoms and diseases result in limitations of lifestyle options. In addition, a study of members of 3 health care plans indicated that those with 3 symptoms had 60% higher costs for health care than those without symptoms. And, the costs increased by a further 24% when a fourth or or fifth symptom was added.

These individual symptoms are pretty common among Americans. About a third of Americans have high blood pressure. About a third of American have high triglycerides. A fifth of American adults have low HDL cholesterol. Slightly under 10% of the population has elevated fasting blood glucose levels. And, a third of the population is obese.

Next, let’s look at how doctors treat metabolic syndrome. Continue reading

Is Drinking Diet Soda a Good Weight Loss Strategy?

Non-nutritive sweeteners (like aspartame, saccharin, stevia, acesulfame K, rebaudioside A, neotame, and sucralose) are in common use in thousands of products, including diet sodas, yogurts and desserts . These artificial sweeteners provide the sweet taste without the high calories of traditional sweeteners like table sugar (sucrose), honey, fruit juice concentrates, or corn syrup.

The American Diabetes Association lists buying diet sodas as a good way to lose weight.

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This seems like good advice because a study reported in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation reported research reporting that consumers of sugar sweetened beverages had an overall 30% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This study pooled risk data from a number of other studies showing increased risks of type 2 diabetes in sugary beverage drinkers.

The risk from these studies vary slightly and are shown here: Continue reading

Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

fat in gym photo

Photo by ~Twon~

You’ve gone to the gym to do aerobics. You’ve done crunches and tried hours of spinning classes. You’ve done resistance exercises to build muscle to raise your metabolism.

You’ve tried the Zone diet, the South Beach diet, the Mediterranean diet, and even the Weight Watchers diet.

And you’re still ready to shout: Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

Missing Key to Weight Loss

You probably know that to lose weight, especially to lose fat, you need to cut back on calories. Calories represent the energy value of foods. Now, the cells of your body get their energy from these sources: Continue reading

Pollution and Weight Loss

Pollution is a fact of life in an industrialized society. Pollution, by its very definition, can cause harm to people, animals, and plants. As far as humans are concerned, pollution contributes to a number of serious illnesses including obesity and increased mortality.

Pollutants in the Atmosphere

A major pollutant produced by combustion is NO, nitrogen oxide. This reacts with ozone to for NO2. Another pollutant is SO2 which is produced by burning sulphur-containing fossil fuels (primarily coal and heavy oils).

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are another class of atmospheric pollutants. These includes numberous chemicals or an organic nature such as benzene.

Most atmospheric pollutants affect the respiratory system, but some can get into the blood and cause other diseases such as cancer.

Organic Pollutants

These chemicals last a long time in the environment and move though the food chain. These include pesticides, dioxins, and PCBs. Dioxins are formed by incomplete combustion and whenever plastics are burned. While dioxins are not dissolved by water, they enter the food chains by binding to lipids or fats. Continue reading