Metabolic Syndrome Diet: Foods to Eat and Avoid to Lower Risk of Heart Disease

metabolicA metabolic syndrome diet can make a difference for those who have one or more of the characteristics of metabolic syndrome. In fact, research suggests that dynamic lifestyle adjustments can delay or prevent the development of life-altering health issues if you have metabolic syndrome or any of its components.

Metabolic syndrome is actually a cluster of conditions, including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess fat around the waist, as well as abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels that all occur together. This syndrome increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.


What makes metabolic syndrome tricky is that most of the conditions linked with it have no symptoms.

Foods to Eat for Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is associated with being overweight, obese, or inactive. The metabolic syndrome diet is generally low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and salt. If this sounds daunting to you, read on. You will find that the diet for metabolic syndrome does have some delicious attributes.

Here’s a list of some of the best foods to eat for metabolic syndrome:

Wheat germ oil

This comes from the germ of the wheat bran and is considered one of the best sources of vitamin D. Many people use it in salads or smoothies.

Sunflower seeds

This is on the list of foods for metabolic syndrome because just a handful of the delicious seeds amount to close to 40 percent of the recommended daily amount (RDA) for vitamin E. The neutral flavor means that the seeds make for a great non-diary base in sauces and dips.

They simply have to be soaked for a couple of hours before you blend them into a soft consistency.


A popular nut, the almond has almost as much vitamin E as sunflower seeds. They are often used to coat chicken and fish instead of breadcrumbs. You just have to chop them up.


If almonds don’t appeal to you, consider that hazelnuts are packed with vitamin E, and if they are toasted and mixed with roasted root vegetables, they can be really flavourful.


Just one cup of steamed greens like spinach equals 20 percent of the RDA for vitamin E. It can be enjoyed both cooked and raw.


Always seen as a side dish, with the metabolic syndrome diet, you should move broccoli to the middle of your plate for a meatless meal. Topping it with a bit of fresh pesto can really jazz up the flavor.


A 2017 study outlined in Science Daily indicated that avocados have beneficial impacts on lipid profiles, with significant changes to cholesterol, triglycerides, and phospholipids. The peel, seed, flesh, and even the leaves of the avocado have effects on metabolic syndrome.

Dietary fiber

This year Georgia State University researchers announced that they discovered dietary fiber, can prevent obesity and metabolic syndrome. They found that fermentable fiber inulin restored the gut health of mice and protected them against metabolic syndrome caused by a high-fat diet.

Foods to Avoid for Metabolic Syndrom

So now you know what foods can be helpful. The common question is, what foods should you stay away from if you have metabolic syndrome? There are a number of metabolic foods to avoid, and we classify them by category for easier reference.


This can often be disguised by other names. Table sugar is sometimes referred to as sucrose. Here are some other sugars to avoid: glucose, dextrose, fructose, laevulose, and maltose.

Processed carbohydrates

Corn syrup, candy, white bread, white rice, white flour, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, pastries, crackers, fruit juices, soda, and other sugary drinks are processed carbs. If you avoid them, you may be able to prevent diabetes and heart disease.

Artificial sweeteners

Studies have shown that large amounts of artificial sweeteners may increase blood sugar levels and the risk of diabetes. Aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin are artificial sweeteners.

Trans fats

These are usually added to processed foods. Trans fats can lead to higher cholesterol, which can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes. Deep-fried foods, crackers, packaged biscuits, popcorn with artificial butter, potato chips, frozen pizza, pies, cake mixes, frozen dinners, as well as non-dairy creamers are known to contain trans fats.


If you consume a lot of sodium, it can raise your blood pressure. You really only need less than ¼ of a teaspoon of salt per day. There are many foods that have salt in them, but it may not be obvious food items like chips. For example, canned vegetables, prepared sauces, Ketchup, mustard, cured meats, and even some cake mixes and pudding contain added salt.

Sample Meal Plan for Metabolic Syndrome

Coming up with a metabolic syndrome diet menu can be challenging for some people. Consulting with your doctor or a dietician can be really helpful, but the following are examples of a metabolic syndrome meal plan.

Example #1

Breakfast – Bowl of steel-cut oats cooked in water and almond milk, apple slices and stevia, chopped walnuts, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Lunch – Whole-grain pita wrap with grilled chicken, spinach, onions, tomatoes, and humus.
Dinner – Grilled or baked salmon over brown rice or barley. A side of steamed spinach flavored with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Example #2


Breakfast – Eggs scrambled in unsalted butter with green onions, mushrooms, and zucchini. A side of sweet potato hash browns.
Lunch – Salad with greens, red onion, beets, bell pepper, cucumber, and apples. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar mixed with orange juice and herbs. Add roasted walnuts or chickpeas.
Dinner – Grilled chicken breast with roasted vegetables, such as squash and peppers. Potatoes with the skin on and flavor with unsalted butter and herbs instead of salt.

So, it’s important to monitor your diet as you age in order to manage metabolic syndrome. It’s generally recommended to eat healthy fruits and vegetables as opposed to high carbs, sugary foods, and anything processed.

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