Metabolic Health: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Improve It
In case you need a reminder: the # on the scale is not the be-all end-all measurement of good health.
When considering the many determinants of health, one is metabolic health, which clinically speaking, is defined by optimal levels of 5 markers:
Triglycerides (a type of fat that circulates in your blood)
HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein)
If a cluster of these markers are out of the healthy range, it is referred to as metabolic syndrome, and your risk of disease including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimers, stroke, and type 2 diabetes increases.
More directly, when metabolic health is less than optimal, inflammation may wreak havoc on your body, impacting your energy levels, mood, cognition, skin, hormonal health, and more.
What causes poor metabolic health?
Diet and lifestyle factors — the foods you eat, your activity level, stress level, and sleep, and underlying conditions can also factor in.
Good news: improving any of those 5 markers can support metabolic health and may help prevent future disease.
4 ways to improve your metabolic health
Nutrition: As a general rule, reduce sugar intake and prioritize wholesome, unprocessed real foods
Sleep: If your sleep is off, your metabolic processes are off so prioritize good consistent sleep
Exercise: When you’re active your body increases its responsiveness to insulin and it this can help balance blood sugar
Managing stress: When stressed, your body goes into “fight or flight” mode releasing hormones like cortisone which elevates your blood sugar and is almost guaranteed to worsen your metabolic health
Takeaway? We're a work in progress. Even if you don’t have optimal levels of all 5 metabolic markers now, it’s never too late to get on a path to better health.
Taking small steps towards upgrading your lifestyle choices, nutrition, activity level, sleep quality, and stress as well as addressing underlying conditions like hormone imbalances will do you a world of good.
Overwhelmed? Looking for support? I can help you with this.
Email me, let’s jump on a call and I will show you how.
Love, Your Wellness Coach,
P.S. For a deeper dive, tune into podcast episode 118, “ Metabolic Health: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Improve It .”
March 29, 2023