Metabolic Syndrome: Are You at Risk?

Are you metabolically healthy to take your business to the next level? Let Dr. Philip Ovadia explain all about metabolic syndrome.

Fact: Only 12% of adults in the United States meet the criteria of having optimal metabolic health.

Dr. Philip Ovadia, Cardiothoracic Surgeon

What is metabolic health? 

Metabolic health means that your body is processing the input as it should, mostly in the form of the food you eat. However, there are certainly influences from other things like exercise, stress, and sunlight.

When we eat, one of three things is supposed to happen:

  1. Use that food for immediate energy to fuel all of our activities.
  2. Build and rebuild our tissues.
  3. Store some of it in case food and energy aren’t available.

Unfortunately, our modern food system has hijacked that system so that now, most people end up storing too much energy. We never have periods we’re without food, so we never get to tap into that stored energy.

What are some of the biggest mistakes people make with their metabolic health?

  • You should eat well by taking in plenty of calories and have a healthy life. Well, that happens to be one of the biggest mistakes. Quite frankly, there’s been a lot of science behind promoting this belief that all that matters is the number of calories. But, it turns out that the types of food we eat and how often we take them have a bigger influence on our metabolic health.

  • You don’t assess your metabolic health properly. You assume that if you are not obese and haven’t been diagnosed with a disease like high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease, you are healthy. The reality is that we can be metabolically healthy for a long time before those diseases manifest themselves.

How do we know? 

Here are five basic measurements that you can try to assess your metabolic health:

  • Check your waist circumference. Measure just above the level of your belly button, and if you’re a male, you want that to be less than 40 inches. For a woman, you want that to be less than 35 inches.

  • Check your blood pressure. You can check it at home or any drug store these days, and without being on medications to lower your blood pressure, you want that to be less than 130/85.

  • Check your fasting blood glucose level. That’s the amount of sugar in your blood after fasting for eight to twelve hours. You want that to be less than 100 without taking medications to lower your blood glucose.

  • Check your cholesterol HDL or Good Cholesterol. You want that to be higher- the higher, the better. If you’re a woman, you want that to be over 50. For men, you want that to be over forty milligrams per deciliter.

  • Look at your triglyceride level. You want that to be less than 150. 

Your LDL cholesterol, the number that most people focus on, is not a factor in metabolic health. It turns out that LDL cholesterol is not really all that predictive of anything. It has some association with heart disease but not as much of an association as we’ve come to believe. We focus so much on LDL cholesterol because we have medications that can lower LDL cholesterol.

It’s easy to measure a number since it’s an easy intervention for any physician to look at. If it’s above the cut-off, prescribe medication to lower LDL cholesterol. We don’t have medicine that raises HDL cholesterol or lower triglyceride levels, even though both factors are more important predictors of heart disease and other chronic diseases than LDL cholesterol.

Assess your health at https://ifixhearts.co/. It will take you through those questions and give you a score to help you determine if you’re metabolically healthy. If three of those factors are abnormal, you have metabolic syndrome.

That puts you at very high risk for developing diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer. If you have one or two abnormalities, it’s a warning sign that you are on your way to becoming metabolically unhealthy and developing metabolic syndrome.

How do you get healthier?

Recognize that what you eat is the biggest influencer of your health. We tend to ignore that too much. That is why I invited Doctor Philip to discuss and introduce his new book, “Stay Off My Operating Table,” where he tackles the need for us to get a better food environment.

Dr. Philip has stressed that we have an abundance of food around us, but most of it is not supporting our health. Dr. Philip mentioned that when you walk into the supermarket, 90% of items sold may be called food but not the type of food you should eat. 

metabolic syndrome

What tips do you have for busy entrepreneurs who don’t exercise and don’t have time to cook fresh vegetables and eat out a lot?

  1. Find something simple to eat. You can order a steak without sauces or toppings and with baked potato or sautéed vegetables and butter. Skip the bread and dessert and all of those things.
  2. Get enough sleep.
  3. Deal with the stress in your life.
  4. You have to move. Remember, I didn’t say exercise, but you want to keep moving throughout your day.

A common myth entrepreneurs believe about metabolic health is that you should spend at least two or three hours a day at the gym. Instead, get yourself a stand-up desk so that instead of sitting all day while taking calls, do it standing up or take walks around your office.

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Learn more about your Metabolic Health on Stay Off My Operating Table. The book is available at all the major online booksellers in print, Kindle, and Audiobook formats.

Remember, the food we eat is the main component of metabolic health. Your ultimate goal should be to feel and function your best so you can run your business best!

For more health-related articles, visit the links below.

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Dennis Yu

About the Author

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.