Are You Part of It?

According to a recent study, 93% of American adults are metabolically unhealthy. That means only 7% of us have optimal levels of all five metabolic risk factors: Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure, blood glucose, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. This disturbing trend is what’s now called a metabolic health crisis in the U.S.

The Current State of Metabolic Health

Here are the current statistics showing that metabolic health is worsening.

  • 73% of U.S. adults (over age 20) are overweight or obese (41% are obese)
  • 48% of adults have high blood pressure
  • 38% have pre-diabetes (fasting blood glucose over 99 mg/dl)
  • 18% of adults have low HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein)
  • 25% have high triglycerides

93% of American Adults are Metabolically Unhealthy

Are you part of the 93% or the 7%? Take a close look at the five Metabolic Syndrome markers below. You are metabolically unhealthy if you have just one of the markers. However, the good news is you can change that!

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. For a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome, a person typically needs to have at least three of the five following conditions. However, you are metabolically unhealthy if you have just one of these criteria.

  • Abdominal Obesity: Excess belly fat, measured by waist circumference (men over 40 inches or 102 cm and women over 35 inches or 88 cm)
  • High Blood Pressure: Elevated blood pressure levels (systolic greater than or equal to 135 or diastolic greater than or equal to 85)
  • High Blood Sugar: Elevated fasting blood glucose levels (greater than or equal to 100 mg/dL)
  • High Triglycerides: Elevated triglyceride levels in the blood (greater than or equal to 150 mg/dL)
  • Low HDL Cholesterol: Low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, often referred to as “good” cholesterol (men less than 40 mg/dL and women less than 50 mg/dL)

Several factors increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, such as age, race, and family history. Although you can’t change these, many modifiable lifestyle factors can completely reverse metabolic syndrome.

Health Conditions Related to Poor Metabolic Health

Metabolic health refers to how well the body processes and uses energy. When the ability to convert nutrients (carbohydrates and fats) into energy for all the body’s cells is impaired, it increases the risk of severe health problems, such as

  • heart attack and stroke
  • type 2 diabetes
  • non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • chronic kidney disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease

When a person is metabolically unhealthy, everyday symptoms can also occur. In the brain, these include decreased mental acuity, anxiety, and brain fog. Other symptoms include eye problems, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, infertility, hormone imbalances, pain, and increased appetite leading to weight gain. Some cancers are also associated with poor metabolic health.

Improve Metabolic Health with Lifestyle

Since processed foods, inactivity, stress, lack of sleep, smoking, alcohol, and environmental toxins are critical drivers of poor metabolic health, lifestyle changes are possible ways to achieve optimal metabolic health.


Eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, minimally processed whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins. Reduce added sugars, sweets, processed convenience, and fast foods. Avoid alcohol, which can drive metabolic syndrome.

Intermittent Fast

Intermittent fasting (time-restricted eating) can improve metabolic health. Start with an overnight, 12-hour intermittent fast and gradually extend the fasting period to 14 hours a few days a week. During the fasting period, only water is allowed.


Engage in regular physical activity. Brisk walking is a good start, but choose other activities you enjoy so you’ll do them regularly. Consider walking for 10 minutes after each meal, which helps to reduce blood sugar.

Weight Loss

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is essential, but that’s not simple for many people. The best way to start is to eat three balanced meals daily, replacing metabolically unhealthy foods (including sugar, flour, and seed oils) with healthier food choices (vegetables, fruits, organic animal proteins, and healthy oils). Sustainable weight loss doesn’t require going hungry. A better option is to switch your dietary choices toward foods that support metabolic health.


Find ways to relax during your day. Consider a short meditation (quiet time) or relaxed breathing. Since stress management is crucial to optimal health, consider working with a health coach or qualified mental health professional.


Strive for 8 hours of restful sleep nightly. Remove all electronics from the bedroom, read or listen to music, and practice relaxed breathing. Avoid eating within 2-3 hours of bedtime.

Environment Affects Metabolic Health

Obesogens are chemicals that can promote obesity, interfere with metabolism, and disrupt hormonal balance. They are in household items like plastics, food containers, non-stick cookware, air fresheners, personal care items, and cleaning products. Reduce exposure to these chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals.

Follow the above recommendations to take charge of your metabolic health. If you need more help, consider a week at Sanoviv Medical Institute. Many people begin to improve their metabolic health quickly, and Sanoviv offers the ideal environment and support for a powerful start to improving health and vitality.