Metabolic Syndrome & Plant-Based Diets

Metabolic Syndrome & Plant-Based Diets
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Plant-based diets appear to protect against metabolic syndrome, also known as syndrome X, which is characterized by the so-called “deadly quartet”—abdominal obesity, high fasting sugars, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Metabolic syndrome, also known as syndrome X, is a medical disorder characterized by the so-called “deadly quartet”—abdominal obesity, high fasting sugars, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure. And, it sets people up for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. It’s been estimated to afflict about a quarter of the American population.

How do we stop it? How do we prevent it? Well, if it’s all about obesity, the level of fat in our blood, and high blood pressure, then that seems like a job for plant-based nutrition. We didn’t know for sure, though, until recently.

Even after adjusting for lifestyle factors, such as smoking and exercise, risk was highest in those eating non-vegetarian; intermediate risk for those eating semi-vegetarian; and lowest in those eating vegetarian—cutting the odds of having metabolic syndrome by more than half.

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Images thanks to James Heilman, MD via Wikimedia Commons.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Metabolic syndrome, also known as syndrome X, is a medical disorder characterized by the so-called “deadly quartet”—abdominal obesity, high fasting sugars, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure. And, it sets people up for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. It’s been estimated to afflict about a quarter of the American population.

How do we stop it? How do we prevent it? Well, if it’s all about obesity, the level of fat in our blood, and high blood pressure, then that seems like a job for plant-based nutrition. We didn’t know for sure, though, until recently.

Even after adjusting for lifestyle factors, such as smoking and exercise, risk was highest in those eating non-vegetarian; intermediate risk for those eating semi-vegetarian; and lowest in those eating vegetarian—cutting the odds of having metabolic syndrome by more than half.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Images thanks to James Heilman, MD via Wikimedia Commons.

Doctor's Note

We see this same stepwise progression towards lower disease risk the more plant-based one’s diet gets, with high blood pressure and diabetes (see Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death); cataracts (see Preventing Cataracts with Diet); and obesity (see Thousands of Vegans Studied). So, it’s not all or nothing. Just adding more healthy plant foods to crowd out some of the animal and junk foods in the diet can offer significant protection. It does appear, though, that to maximize one’s benefits, one has to move towards maximizing the proportion of plants in the diet.

For more context, please check out my associated blog posts:  Plant-Based Diets for Metabolic SyndromePlant-Based Diets for Fibromyalgia; and The Science of Açaí Berries.

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