A new study has learned that the metabolic activity of several Americans is poor. The research was published in the journal Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders. It examined 8,721 adults from the 2009 to 2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
The researchers found out that only 1 in 8 adults has an optimally functioning metabolism in the US. To get to this conclusion, the research team used high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglycerides, blood pressure, waist circumference, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels as markers that define metabolic health.
All of these factors directly correspond to a person’s risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Participants who fared the worst were obese, exhibiting only 0.5% of optimal metabolic health. What’s more, only half of those who were underweight showed optimal metabolic health.
The problem is that such a poor metabolic health is linked with an increased risk of several diseases including stroke, diabetes, and heart diseases.
Factors That Affected the Metabolism as Per the Study
In addition to weight being one of the leading factors that impact metabolic health, this study also found out that some lifestyle factors and demographics can also impact the metabolic health.
Participants who showed the highest rates of metabolic health included women who were non-smokers, aged under 40, were physically active, and those who had a minimum of some college education.
People who exhibited the least metabolic health were non-Hispanic black participants and people in the senior age bracket aged 60 or older.
How to Improve Your Metabolic Health?
There is no specific metabolic health definition. However, it is determined by five ideal measurements of factors such as glucose levels and blood pressure. Since poor metabolism equates with an increased risk of health consequences, it is essential to pay attention to its health.
Some ways to improve your metabolic health include:
-Lifestyle and dietary changes
Eat a healthy diet that is well-balanced and provides all the essential nutrients. If you are in doubt, then you always opt for a diet plan such as a Mediterranean diet, which is good for your heart health.
At the same time, make adjustments to your lifestyle such as by quitting smoking, having more vegetables, and so on.
–Regular exercise and weight maintenance
Exercising helps to keep you fit and well in shape. On top of that, it aids in helping maintain your weight. Regular physical activity also aids in maintaining your heart health and contributes to improved blood pressure and other factors. All these factors account for enhanced metabolic health.
The researchers behind this study also claim that sleep hygiene is essential for improving metabolic health. Our work lifestyle has taken a serious hit on our sleep schedules. Better sleep is essential for improved health on the whole including a declined risk of weight gain.
Summing up, it is essential that we take care of our metabolic health. In the words of one of the researchers, “All those campaigns focused on increasing someone’s physical activity, reducing sugar intake and reducing saturated fats in the diet shouldn’t just be targeted at people with a weight problem, but to all people.”