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Belly Fat and Breathing Problems

Did you know that metabolic syndrome is linked with lung problems? One study found that those with the syndrome did worse on a spirometry test. For this test, you breathe through a tube to measure how much you inhale and exhale, and how quickly you exhale. Of all the risk factors of metabolic syndrome, abdominal obesity is most strongly linked with breathing problems. Fat around the middle may limit the lungs by keeping the diaphragm muscle from dropping down and the chest from expanding so lungs can fill with air. Also, it might be that body fat causes inflammation, which may make breathing difficult. Tame Your Belly Fat To lose excess body fat around your middle, you know the drill--eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Take in fewer calories than you burn, and limit your fat intake to 25 to 35 percent of daily calories. Focus on eating fruit, vegetables, whole grains, fish, skinless poultry, and low-fat dairy products. Build up to 30 to 60 minutes of moderateintensity exercise on most days. If you have breathing problems that won't go away or limit your activity, tell your doctor.

good quesTion

Good Health Guidelines

can losing one inch off your Waist help? Trimming waist size by just an inch reduces the risk for metabolic syndrome. Researchers followed men and women ages 30 to 64 for nine years. During that time, the average increase in waist circumference was a little over 1 inch in men and about 1½ inches in women. In men and women whose waistline increased by nearly 3 inches or more, the risk for metabolic syndrome was nearly eight and five times higher, respectively, compared to those whose waistline remained stable. This group also had harmful changes in glucose, blood pressure, triglycerides, HDl cholesterol, lDl cholesterol (in men), and insulin. However, the 14 percent of men and women who decreased their waist circumference by about 1 inch or more were significantly less likely to have metabolic syndrome at nine years and saw beneficial changes in triglycerides and insulin. The women also had healthier blood pressure. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors (elevated triglycerides, increased blood pressure and blood sugar, lowered levels of HDL cholesterol, and increased abdominal fat) in a person that increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. People with this condition need to get certain tests and screenings. Please discuss the following topics with your health care provider. Having a lipid profile done at least once a year Having your blood pressure checked at every office visit Screening for diabetes once a year, or every three years if your blood sugar reading is normal Reviewing your medications Be sure to talk with your doctor about these topics: Managing your weight Getting help to quit smoking

a closer look

How to Review Your Medications When it comes to both your prescription and overthe-counter (OTC) medications, it's a good idea to make certain that you understand how to use them effectively and safely. Here's what you can do: Keep a complete, current list of everything you take, including dose and directions. Update it whenever something changes. Show the list to all your health care providers at every visit, especially before getting new prescriptions. ask them to review it so that you can steer clear of drug interactions or avoid taking more medications than you need. ask your provider whether there are generic medications you can use that can save you money. Every time you refill a prescription or replenish an OTC product, see whether the size, shape, color, or texture of the pill itself has changed. If so, ask the pharmacist to check that you have the right item. Although these are suggested guidelines for care, please check with your benefits plan for coverage.

The information presented in this publication is not intended to be a substitute for medical care or advice provided by a physician. always consult your physician for appropriate examinations, treatment and care recommendations. If you have any questions about this information, you should call your physician. Specific treatments and therapies may not be covered by your health plan. for questions about your benefits, please consult your health plan. any reference in this material to other organizations or companies, including their Internet sites, is not an endorsement or warranty of the services, information or products provided by those organizations or companies. all models are used for illustrative purposes only. © 2009 Healthways, Inc.


Healthy Outlook fall 2009


How Managing Your Blood Sugar May Help Avoid


High blood glucose (sugar) due to insulin resistance or diabetes may raise the risk for peripheral artery disease (PAD). In order to help steer clear of PAD, it's important to keep your blood glucose levels in check.

What Is PAD? PAD means plaque has built up in your arteries, narrowing them and reducing blood flow. When you have high blood sugar, it may cause your arteries to weaken. This damage to the arteries may then cause plaque buildup to occur. That's why maintaining healthy blood sugar levels may help prevent PAD. PAD mainly affects the legs, where it can cause pain with walking. It also raises your risk for narrowed heart arteries, heart attack, and stroke. Are You At Risk? High blood sugar is only one factor that raises your PAD risk. Smoking and older age raise your risk, too. So does having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease or stroke, or a family history of these conditions. Managing the risk factors you can control is your best bet.

Lifestyle and Other Tactics to Dodge PAD You can help control high blood sugar by making lifestyle changes. Try these strategies to keep PAD at bay: Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderateintensity activity on most days. Focus your diet on plant-based foods, like vegetables, beans, and whole grains, and choose skinless poultry and low- or nonfat dairy products. Eat less fat and more fiber. If you've already been taking medications to control high blood sugar, or for other PAD risk factors, be sure to take them as prescribed.

Think about talking with your doctor to determine if you need blood pressure or blood flow tests to check for PAD. Let your doctor know if you have any PAD symptoms, such as leg pain or numbness when you walk; sores on your legs or feet that don't heal well; or legs that are paler or cooler than normal. If lifestyle changes aren't enough, your doctor may give you medication to help reduce the symptoms or complications of PAD. Procedures like angioplasty--which opens an artery with a balloon or a tube called a stent--are also used to treat PAD.

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Healthy Outlook


special reporT


Lipid levels matter for everyone interested in protecting their hearts. Lipids are fats and fatlike substances that help make up the structure of your cells. Packages made from lipids and proteins--called lipoproteins--carry cholesterol and triglycerides through your bloodstream.

Having some amount is fine, even necessary. But having unhealthy levels raises your risk for heart disease. And if you have metabolic syndrome, you're already at increased risk for heart disease. So it's even more important to keep your lipids in check. See below to test your lipid knowledge. Match each of the recommended blood levels with one of the substances below. Substances: __ low-density lipoprotein (lDl) cholesterol __ High-density lipoprotein (HDl) cholesterol __ Triglycerides __ Total cholesterol Recommended Blood Levels: 1 = less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) 2 = less than 200 mg/dl 3 = less than 100 mg/dl 4 = 60 mg/dl or higher AnSWeRS LDL ("bad") cholesterol level Answer: 3--less than 100 mg/dl. Excess LDL can collect on the walls of your arteries, forming plaque that narrows and hardens your arteries, limiting blood flow. In the coronary (heart) arteries, this can cause chest pain called angina. Plaque can burst, causing blood clots that block blood flow more. In coronary arteries, this can cause a heart attack.

HDL ("good") cholesterol level Answer: 4--60 mg/dl or higher. HDL


carries cholesterol to your liver so your body can eliminate it. The higher your HDL, the lower your heart disease risk. Low HDL--less than 50 mg/dl for women and 40 mg/dl for men--is one of the risk factors of metabolic syndrome. Triglyceride level Answer: 1--less than 150 mg/dl. A higher level may raise your risk for heart disease and is another risk factor of metabolic syndrome. Total cholesterol level Answer: 2--less than 200 mg/dl. This figure alone won't tell you much about your risk for heart disease. Total cholesterol can be deceiving if you have high levels of HDL cholesterol. But the general rule of thumb is lower is better.


Match each of the recommended daily levels with one of the substances below. Substances: __ Saturated fat __ Total fat __ Trans fats __ Cholesterol Recommended Daily Levels: 1 = 25 to 35 percent of daily calories 2 = less than 1 percent of daily calories 3 = less than 200 mg per day 4 = less than 7 percent of daily calories


Healthy Outlook fall 2009

healThy changes

AnSWeRS Saturated fat Answer: 4--less than 7 percent of daily calories. Saturated fat will raise LDL levels more than anything else you eat. Fatty meats, poultry with skin, and whole-fat dairy products have the most saturated fat. Total fat Answer: 1--25 to 35 percent of daily calories. Curbing total fat helps you limit saturated fat. It also helps you limit calories because fat is high in calories. This matters if you're overweight. Losing excess weight helps lower LDL and triglycerides and raise HDL. Trans fats Answer: 2--less than 1 percent of daily calories. Most trans fats in our diet come from products that contain hydrogenated oil. These include stick margarine (soft margarine has less trans fat); baked goods, such as crackers, cookies, and doughnuts; and foods, like french fries or chicken, fried in hydrogenated oil. cholesterol Answer: 3--less than 200 mg per day. Your body needs some cholesterol, but it makes all it needs, so you don't have to eat any. Limiting cholesterol intake helps lower your LDL. Cholesterol is found only in animal products, not in vegetables, fruits, or grains. Always check Nutrition Facts labels on foods for the amount of saturated fat, total fat, trans fats, and cholesterol in each serving. Don't know your current lipid levels or your target levels? Check with your doctor.

exercise for a Busy Lifestyle

You already know exercise is an essential part of being healthy. But who has time? You do. Learn how you can creatively wedge exercise into your routine.

adults need at least 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week, at a moderate intensity. Two strategies can help you achieve this without feeling squeezed.

Do Double Duty Combine exercise with other activities you want to fit in or would do anyway. Walk, ride a bike, do sit-ups, or stretch while you watch TV. While doing errands, walk as far as possible at a brisk pace, and carry a shopping basket instead of pushing a cart. Meet friends for a workout date, not a meal. During family time, play tag, or ride bicycles. Seize Open Time Slots Divide your 30 minutes of daily exercise into 10-minute segments. During work breaks and lunch, take a brisk walk. Waiting for the bus or your child after school? Move--don't sit. Try getting up 10 minutes earlier each day and taking 10 minutes after dinner to exercise. Making time for fitness, whether it's 10 or 30 minutes, may be as easy as writing it on your schedule.

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Healthy Outlook


Terms To knoW



Diaphragm. a muscle your body uses to help with breathing. High-fructose corn syrup. a combination of two simple sugars: fructose and glucose. It is often used to sweeten foods and drinks. Consuming too much can lead to health problems. Moderate intensity exercise. Physical activity in which your intensity level is a 5 or 6 on a scale of 0 to 10. Your breathing and heart rate should increase. You should be able to talk but not sing. Preeclampsia. a condition in which a woman will experience high blood pressure toward the end of pregnancy. left untreated, it potentially threatens both the mother and child. Some of the risk factors include being overweight, having diabetes, and being older than 35.

What Women need to Know

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is called the "silent killer" because it often has no symptoms. But it's a major risk factor for stroke and heart attack.

Hypertension Facts Women should strive to maintain an ideal blood pressure of less than 120/80 or lower. a woman has hypertension if the top number is 140 or higher, or if the bottom number is 90 or higher. It's important to check blood pressure regularly. Those at high risk for hypertension should be extra careful, including women who: are african-american are postmenopausal have diabetes are overweight have a family history of hypertension are categorized as "prehypertension"--that is, 120 to 139 over 80 to 89.

Women who have high blood pressure before they become pregnant are usually considered at high risk for complications. Hypertension is closely linked to preeclampsia. With proper care, most women with hypertension or preeclampsia can deliver healthy babies.

Preventing and controlling Hypertension The good news is that a healthy lifestyle can often control and prevent it. Try to: lose weight, if necessary. Exercise at least 30 minutes on most, but preferably all, days of the week. limit alcohol to one drink a day. Quit smoking for good. follow the DaSH (Dietary approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. Eat plenty of fruits, veggies, and low- or nonfat dairy products. Consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. This comes to about one teaspoon of table salt. Medications for Hypertension When blood pressure remains high despite a healthy lifestyle, medication may be prescribed. Women who take hypertension medication should still exercise, eat healthy, and avoid too much salt. These tactics can help medication work better.


Healthy Outlook fall 2009


Are Sweetened Drinks Bad for Your Health?

Drinks sweetened with fructose can increase the risk for metabolic syndrome in overweight or obese people and may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. So it's important to choose beverages just as thoughtfully as you choose your foods.

Pumpkin curry Soup

Serves 4

The Facts on Fructose Fructose is one of many naturally occurring sugars. It's found in fruits and vegetables and in table sugar, or sucrose. It's added to corn syrup, too, to make high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). All three-- fructose, sucrose, and HFCS-- may be used to sweeten beverages, like sodas, fruit drinks, and smoothies, or the flavored syrups used in drinks like specialty coffees. Researchers have linked a high-fructose diet to increased blood glucose, triglycerides, and abdominal obesity--all are risk factors for metabolic syndrome. These factors increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Thirst-Quenching Alternatives Here are some simple ways to quench your thirst while limiting your fructose intake: Keep cold water or seltzer on hand. Flavor it with a slice of lemon, lime, or orange, or a splash of 100 percent fruit juice. Drink unsweetened iced tea. Make your own with flavorful herbal teas, like refreshing peppermint. Have a glass of low-fat or fat-free milk. Skip flavored syrups, like vanilla, in your coffee drink. Add a little artificial sweetener instead. Ask for no added sugar when you order a smoothie. When splurging on a sweetened drink, get a children's size.

ingredients 1 Tbsp. butter 1 cup finely chopped onion 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 cup diced celery 1 tsp. curry powder 1/8 tsp. ground coriander 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper 3 cups water 1 cup low sodium chicken broth 1 32-oz. can pumpkin puree 1 cup fat-free half-and-half directions Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. add onion, celery, and garlic; cook for three to five minutes or until tender. Stir in curry powder, coriander and crushed red pepper; cook for one minute. add water and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes to develop flavors. Stir in pumpkin and half-and-half; cook for five minutes or until heated through. Transfer mixture to food processor or blender (in batches, if necessary); cover. Blend until creamy. Serve warm or reheat to desired temperature. Garnish with dollop of sour cream and chives. per serving

Calories 180, Total fat 5 g (Saturated fat 1 g), Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 105 mg, Total carbohydrates 30 g, Dietary fiber 11 g, Sugars 14 g, Protein 8 g

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Healthy Outlook


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