Eating Habits Can Increase Your Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and excess body fat around the waist.

When combined, these significantly increase your risk of serious health threats like heart disease and stroke. 

That's why reducing unhealthy behaviors that boost metabolic syndrome is crucial, and a new study published in the journal Preventative Medicine provides insights on which of these bad habits to avoid

Looking at about 47,000 people age 40 to 64 in Japan, researchers compared 11 lifestyle habits to the development of metabolic syndrome. 

They found that whether individuals had obesity or not, they still had higher risk with a fast eating speed, as well as greater amounts of alcohol consumption.

Two other habits also made participants more susceptible to metabolic syndrome: smoking and slow walking speed. Risk factors unrelated to lifestyle included being male and older in age.

Weight gain also played a role, as those who put on more than 22 pounds since their 20s were more likely to have metabolic issues. Though what you eat certainly matters

Cunningham suggests this may be the result of what's called reduced oro-sensory exposure (OSE), which means you're less likely to feel food in your mouth as you're eating.

You tend to take smaller bites and eat less. Not only can that help with weight maintenance, but it may also aid digestion, Cunningham says.

Mild to moderate consumption—defined as one drink for women and two for men daily—actually lowered risk of metabolic syndrome, with a favorable influence on cholesterol

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