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Metabolic Syndrome

Updated: Mar 24

Metabolic Syndrome is a constellation of metabolic abnormalities, which are often overlooked in primary care. One would be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome if they suffer from central #obesity, which is when one carries most of their weight around their abdomen, and has elevated cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and hyperglycemia. These people have increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Daily food choices and activity play a huge role in the development of metabolic syndrome (#MetS). I often recommend a continuous blood sugar monitor for these individuals.



Nutrition and exercise are complex however, as sometimes too much or too little can stress one's nervous and lymphatic system and add weight. Sometimes it is all in the timing. Working with a functional medicine clinician specializing in wellness, really is advantageous, and I do offer a program for weight management that prioritizes a functional approach. However, there are a few interesting points about #flaxseed and #walnuts that I thought you might find helpful if you are on the weight loss journey.


Flaxseeds & Walnuts


Flaxseeds are a complex food containing high amounts of PUFA, mainly a-linolenic acid (ACA), an (n-3) fatty acid, as well as soluble fiber, lignan precursors, and other substances that may have health benefits. Similarly, walnuts are also a rich source of PUFA and contain several nonfat constituents, such as plant protein (particularly arginine-rich proteins) and fiber. Evidence has demonstrated that integrating each of these into your diet can improve lipid profiles and reduce cardiovascular risk. The study below evaluated their effect on MetS; however, it also evaluated lifestyle counseling, which played a significant role in overall health and particularly at reducing central obesity.


Finding a group or a mentor to hold you accountable and to offer guidance is paramount for sticking to a wellness routine. Our lives are already demanding and can rob us of our ability to commit to ourselves. Connecting with others can be the life preserver we need, and this is why I've developed a comprehensive wellness program for my active primary care clients. Reduction in weight, cardiovascular risk, anxiety and depression have all been demonstrated in the literature with these approaches.


Flaxseeds and walnuts are considered high energy foods because of their high contents of PUFA; however, study participants did not gain weight, rather they lost weight. While they do have high fat content, not all fat is equal, right? What is especially intriguing about the study noted below is that when clients were offered lifestyle counseling or flaxseeds and walnuts, those with the latter demonstrated more weight loss. Combining the two were most advantageous.


Flaxseed incorporation into the diets of those with central obesity seems to decrease fasting glucose and prevent the increase of HgbA1c. Few studies have evaluated the effect of flaxseed on glucose, although I've shared a great deal about its benefits for those with estrogen dominance, particularly within my Detoxification & Wellness program. Studies have also demonstrated that flaxseed can improve glycemic control in those with type 2 diabetes.


Certainly, those with a predisposition to diabetes, central obesity, lipid elevation, and blood pressure concerns should be implementing both flaxseed and walnuts into their daily diets.


References

Wang, X., Zeng, Z., Wang, X., Zhao, P., Xiong, L., Liao, T., Yuan, S., Kang, L., & Liang, Z. (2024). Magnesium depletion score and metabolic syndrome in US adults: analysis of NHANES 2003 to 2018. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgae075

Wu, H., Pan, A., Yu, Z., Qi, Z., Lu, L., Zhang, G., Yu, D., Zong, G., Zhou, Y., Chen, X., Tang, L., Feng, Y., Zhou, H., Chen, X., Li, H., Demnark-Wahnefried, W., Hu, F. B., & Lin, X. (2010). Lifestyle counseling and supplementation with flaxseed or walnuts influence the management of metabolic syndrome. Nutrition and Disease. DOI 10.3945/jn.110.126300.

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