What You Need To Know About Metabolic Health

Are you metabolically healthy? Many people would answer based solely on their body weight, but metabolic health is a bit more complicated than that. Metabolic health is defined in a variety of different ways, but according to the National Cholesterol Education Program's Adult Treatment Panel III, a person is metabolically healthy if they do not have metabolic syndrome (per Health).

To have perfect metabolic health, a person must have healthy levels or measurements for each of the following factors: blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and waist circumference. If this is not the case for you, then you are not alone. In fact, you are in the company of nearly 88% of Americans. More than two-thirds of Americans who are a healthy weight are unhealthy when it comes to one or more of these five factors, as are 92% and 99.5% of overweight and obese individuals, respectively (per Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders). One-third of Americans have metabolic syndrome, which means they do not meet three or more of the criteria (per CDC).

Few Americans have optimal metabolic health, but what does that mean for our overall well-being?

This is why and how you should get metabolically healthy

According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death around the world. A person is at a greater risk of heart disease if they do not meet any one or more of the five criteria of metabolic health, and the risk is even greater for people with metabolic syndrome. People with metabolic syndrome are also at greater risk of stroke, diabetes, and atherosclerosis (per American Heart Association).

Fortunately, there are ways to improve your metabolic health, which include exercising, losing weight, quitting smoking, getting a good amount of sleep, and reducing intake of sugar and saturated fats (per Healthline). According to the American Heart Association, the ideal diet for optimal metabolic health includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish. Taking steps to promote your metabolic health will improve your well-being and reduce your risk of diseases for years to come.