The most current set of dietary guidelines for Americans encourages a diet that is plant-focused. Julie Upton, RD, of San Francisco, the cofounder of Appetite for Health, encourages a Mediterranean style of eating. The Mediterranean diet showcases fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, and seafood but has less meat, cheese, sugars, and sweets. Says Upton: “Not only is this plan helpful for your heart, but it also lowers risks for metabolic syndrome.”

This explains why my attempts at a low fat, high protein, high carb diet left me gaining weight all while eating 1000 calories per day! Those 1000 calories were simply fueling my brain and then getting shuttled into my fat cells. If you are not insulin resistant, then this diet may be just the thing you need to shed some short term pounds (although I never recommend a 1000 calorie diet!- more on that later), but to me it caused metabolic chaos.
Lifestyle changes can help lower the risk of developing hypertension. For many people with mild high blood pressure, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol and salt, and stopping smoking can decrease blood pressure levels to normal and may be the only "treatment" required. Risks associated with sex (gender), race, and increasing age, however, do not disappear with lifestyle changes and, in many cases, a treatment plan that includes medications is necessary to control high blood pressure.

Not so anymore. Thanks to the rising obesity epidemic in young people, kids and teens are getting these conditions — and they're getting them earlier than ever before. Some estimates say that nearly 1 in 10 teens — and over a third of obese teens — have metabolic syndrome. And a study of 375 second- and third-graders found that 5% had metabolic syndrome and 45% had one or two risk factors for it.
As of 2014, approximately one billion adults or ~22% of the population of the world have hypertension.[137] It is slightly more frequent in men,[137] in those of low socioeconomic status,[6] and it becomes more common with age.[6] It is common in high, medium, and low income countries.[137][138] In 2004 rates of high blood pressure were highest in Africa, (30% for both sexes) and lowest in the Americas (18% for both sexes). Rates also vary markedly within regions with rates as low as 3.4% (men) and 6.8% (women) in rural India and as high as 68.9% (men) and 72.5% (women) in Poland.[139] Rates in Africa were about 45% in 2016.[140]
High blood pressure is classified as either primary (essential) high blood pressure or secondary high blood pressure.[5] About 90–95% of cases are primary, defined as high blood pressure due to nonspecific lifestyle and genetic factors.[5][6] Lifestyle factors that increase the risk include excess salt in the diet, excess body weight, smoking, and alcohol use.[1][5] The remaining 5–10% of cases are categorized as secondary high blood pressure, defined as high blood pressure due to an identifiable cause, such as chronic kidney disease, narrowing of the kidney arteries, an endocrine disorder, or the use of birth control pills.[5]
Broyles, S., Katzmarzyk, P. T., Srinivasan, S. R., Chen, W., Bouchard, C., Freedman, D. S., & Berenson, G. S. (2010, May). The pediatric obesity epidemic continues unabated in Bogalusa, Louisiana. Pediatrics, 125(5). Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/125/5/900?sso=1&sso_redirect_count=1&nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token

This is an incredibly important, but commonly overlooked factor that heavily influences a metabolic resistance training program's success. While you can usually get by with minimal equipment with a MRT program, body weight only can get old very quickly.  Fortunately, just adding a kettlebell, band, suspension trainer, barbell, or other implement can quickly expand your exercise selection pool.  It's important to realize that a little bit can go a long way, especially if you're training in a busy gym and can't monopolize pieces of equipment for too long without someone walking off with them!


Metabolic syndrome is quite common. Approximately 32% of the population in the U.S. has metabolic syndrome, and about 85% of those with type 2 diabetes have metabolic syndrome. Around 25% of adults in Europe and Latin America are estimated to have the condition, and rates are rising in developing East Asian countries. Within the US, Mexican Americans have the highest prevalence of metabolic syndrome. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome increases with age, and about 40% of people over 60 are affected.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome. Thought to be related to insulin resistance, this disorder involves the release of extra male hormones by the ovaries, which can lead to abnormal menstrual bleeding, excessive hair growth, acne, and fertility problems. It is also associated with an increased risk for obesity, hypertension, and — in the long-term — diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome increases with age, with about 40% of people older than 60 years meeting the criteria. [26] However, metabolic syndrome can no longer be considered a disease of only adult populations. Alarmingly, metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus are increasingly prevalent in the pediatric population, again in parallel with a rise in obesity. [50]
In countries using a general practitioner system, such as the United Kingdom, care may take place mainly outside hospitals, with hospital-based specialist care used only in case of complications, difficult blood sugar control, or research projects. In other circumstances, general practitioners and specialists share care in a team approach. Home telehealth support can be an effective management technique.[100]
Approximately half of individuals with hypertension have OSA, and approximately half with OSA have hypertension. Ambulatory BP monitoring normally reveals a "dip" in BP of at least 10% during sleep. However, if a patient is a "nondipper," the chances that the patient has OSA is increased. Nondipping is thought to be caused by frequent apneic/hypopneic episodes that end with arousals associated with marked spikes in BP that last for several seconds. Apneic episodes are associated with striking increases in sympathetic nerve activity and enormous elevations of BP. Individuals with sleep apnea have increased cardiovascular mortality, in part likely related to the high incidence of hypertension.
(As a side note, one tricky thing we are coming to find with leptin is that many obese people have very high circulating levels of leptin but some how their body still doesn’t listen to the signal. They are leptin resistant. This means that your metabolism slows and your hunger gets jacked up… even though you have plenty of fat stores on your body! Talk about frustrating… but solvable!)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50% of people age 50 and older have high blood pressure. Women are about as likely as men to develop high blood pressure, though this varies somewhat by age. For people younger than age 45, more men than women are affected, while for those age 65 and older, more women than men are affected. Americans of African descent develop high blood pressure more often and at an earlier age than those of European and Hispanic descent.
Naturally, since the metabolic syndrome is a disorder of energy distribution and storage, fat accumulation explains for a significant proportion of cardiovascular risk. However, obesity without metabolic syndrome does not confer a significant cardiovascular risk, whereas metabolic syndrome without obesity is associated with a significant risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This association of metabolic syndrome with diabetes can be illustrated by generalized lipodystrophy (near complete absence of adipose tissue). The animals and humans with generalized lipodystrophy develop signs of metabolic syndrome in the absence of adipose tissue; and the metabolic syndrome progresses to type 2 diabetes. Adipose tissue transplantation in transgenic mice with lipodystrophy can cure the type 2 diabetes.

Dietary changes: The health care provider might recommend a diet that includes more vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables), fruits, low-fat dairy products, and fiber-rich foods, and fewer carbohydrates, fats, processed foods, and sugary drinks. He or she also might recommend preparing low-sodium dishes and not adding salt to foods. Watch out for foods with lots of hidden salt (like bread, sandwiches, pizza, and many restaurant and fast-food options).
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