Le syndrome métabolique (ou Syndrome X)

Definition of metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a group of five risk factors that increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. It is therefore not a disease in itself. These five risk factors include a large waistline, high blood pressure, fasting hyperglycemia, high fasting triglycerides, and low HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol.l.

The warning signs of health problems are not always visible or felt. However, they can be detected by your family doctor during a routine examination.

Diagnosis of metabolic syndrome

To diagnose metabolic syndrome, it is necessary to determine the presence of different risk factors.

This involves measuring waist circumference and blood pressure, and performing blood tests to assess fasting blood sugar and lipid levels (triglycerides and HDL cholesterol). In Canada, we use the criteria of the International Diabetes Federation to make the diagnosis. The diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is made when at least three of the risk factors are present. The following table presents the thresholds for the five risk factors.


Risk factors


Large waist size

Waist size* :

& gt; or = 102 cm in white men

& gt; or = at 88 cm in white women

* values vary slightly depending on ethnic group.


Blood pressure & gt; or = at 130/85 mm Hg


Fasting blood sugar & gt; or = at 100 mg / dL or & gt; or = at 5.6 mmol / L

High triglyceride levels

Fasting triglycerides & gt; or = at 150 mg / dL or & gt; or = at 1.7 mmol / L

Low HDL cholesterol

HDL cholesterol:

& lt; 40 mg / dL or & lt; 1.04 mmol / L in men

& lt; 50 mg / dL or & lt; 1.29 mmol / L in women


Prevention and treatment of Metabolic Syndrome

Prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome include changing eating habits and regular physical activity. In general, this results in weight loss and improvement in various risk factors. Indeed, even a slight weight loss improves the lipid profile (HDL cholesterol and triglycerides), reduces blood pressure and reduces fasting blood sugar. As part of the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome, it is also important to treat other cardiovascular risk factors present, such as smoking. Finally, if these interventions are insufficient, drugs can sometimes be used.

Nutritional recommendations for metabolic syndrome

The prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome primarily involves modifying lifestyle habits, of which diet is an integral part. Here are some nutritional recommendations that can help prevent and treat metabolic syndrome:

  • Eat enough fiber. The recommendations are 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. Fiber is found especially in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Thedried fruit, which have lost their water, contain a lot of it. They are also very supportive. Their carbohydrate content is higher than fresh fruit, so it should be consumed in moderation. Fiber helps lower cholesterol and better control blood sugar.
  • Consume plant proteins more often, such as legumes (beans, lentils, peas, etc.), soy (edamame, tofu, tempeh, etc.), nuts and seeds. Plant-based protein contains more fiber and less saturated fat than animal protein, which may benefit cardiovascular health.
  • Limit saturated and trans fats, which are harmful to cardiovascular health. They are particularly present in fried foods and processed products.
  • Favor unsaturated fats, beneficial for heart health and present in vegetable oils (e.g .: canola,extra virgin olive, etc.), fish, nuts and seeds.
  • Limit sodium (1500 mg of sodium per day or about ½ teaspoon of salt). Overconsumption of sodium increases the risk of developing high blood pressure. It is mainly found in processed foods (eg: canned vegetables and fish, cheese, salted nuts, etc.) and ultra-processed (eg: ready-to-reheat meals, chicken nuggets, instant soups, etc. ).
  • Limit alcohol. In the long term, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to various health problems, such as vitamin deficiency, heart problems and liver disease.



Maladies digestives

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