Metabolic Syndrome (aka Syndrome X, or MetSyn), with its four hallmark symptoms of obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and hyperglycemia, is an increasing health risk for the U.S. population.
In March, 2005, the national Institutes of Health and the New England Journal of Medicine published a paper stating that because of this epidemic, the current generation is projected to have a shorter life expectancy then the previous one—for the first time in recorded history. Since then things have gotten worse.
The crisis continues despite changes in the USDA food pyramid, the emergence of new pharmaceutical agents, the removal of soda vending machines from schools, and even first lady Michelle Obama’s crusade against obesity. MetSyn, with it comorbidities (cardiovascular disease, stroke, blindness, amputations, etc.), accounts for the majority of healthcare dollars being spent.
So what is the key to this horrible syndrome. The use of a muscle-sparing protein diet not a hyper-protein diet like Atkins. The diet will be low in fat—particularly saturated fat—and restrict carbohydrates to about 40 grams daily, mainly from fibrous vegetables.
The overproduction of insulin can contribute to many of the observed symptoms that people with metabolic syndrome experience. Correcting hyper—insulinemia is straight forward: all carbohydrates (with the exception of fiber) will eventually be turned into glucose, either quickly or slowly. As glucose is absorbed, the pancreas begins to secrete (in this case, too much) insulin. By restricting carbohydrates, the production of insulin can be reduced quickly.
People who are hypoglycemic need not be afraid of such a restrictive protocol. They need to understand that hypoglycemia is usually the consequence of an overproduction of insulin, not a lack of carbohydrates. At first a person might feel a little tired or weak, but once the glycogen is gone and their body switches over to muscle and fat, they will have plenty of energy and their hypoglycemic episodes will be a thing of the past.