Society’s treasure has been focused on complete freedom to eat, behave and live in any way without regard for others and without consequences. Our guilty pleasures, instant gratifications and flippant attitudes towards responsibility and humanity do have consequences though. The consequences have shown up in poor human relationships and our declining health. During the last 20 years, we have seen more degenerative diseases than ever before. At the same time, our eating habits declined. Today, we are more stressed, eat poorly while we are stressed and are increasingly more tired from our schedules and food choices. This often leads to choosing caffeine or other stimulates to keep us awake and alert. Then, we reach for alcohol to help us relax. We add medications on top of all that and exercise very little. We are making ourselves so sick.
Metabolic Syndrome is a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
The risk factors include:
- Large waistline
- High Blood Pressure
- High triglyceride level
- Low HDL cholesterol level
- High fasting blood sugar
High insulin levels result from low-fat/high carbohydrate diets, stress, dieting, caffeine, alcohol, aspartame, tobacco, steroids, stimulants, lack of exercise, excessive or unnecessary thyroid replacement therapy and all over the counter and prescription drugs. This is a broad listing that can lead to high insulin levels. Ultimately the high insulin levels disrupt hormones and biochemical reactions at the cellular level. This means one thing. We must find ways to reduce stress, eliminate or reduce particular things from our diet and live a balanced life focused on our health.
Even after healthy habits are formed, we face challenges. A fast–paced life causes daily obstacles for people. Take jobs for example that are demanding with long hours or families of school-age children with extra curricular activities. Managing a healthy meal for yourself or your family with limited amount of time at work or between activities is challenging. Not only does our schedule make healthy eating difficult, but also the food industry has provided many unhealthy options in our grocery stores. When these foods are eaten out of convenience or habit, they contribute to accelerated aging and disease.
Great strides have been made in bringing awareness to linking diet to overall health. A healthy lifestyle can extend longevity while regenerating and healing the body. We must value our health and teach our children how choices today have consequences tomorrow. Perhaps, with a little extra planning, those busy families can provide nutritious meals on-the-go and design a schedule that doesn’t put such stress on the family. We can learn to stay away from particular “foods” in the grocery store by focusing on real food around the edges of the store – the fresh, refrigerated and frozen foods areas. Nutritional planning can lead to treasures of good whole health and keep the risk of metabolic syndrome at bay. Treasuring health means we have to focus on it. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34. At work and at home, put your heart and mind to intentional healthy living!
Feel your best to be your best!