Making small changes can help you lower your risk of metabolic syndrome. Make changes slowly over time so you can stick with them and not be overwhelmed.

If You Need to Lose Weight

  • Find a weight loss program that's right for you.
  • Lose weight slowly and steadily. Plan ways to maintain the weight loss.
  • Keep track of your weight.
  • Learn how to make better eating choices.

Eat Healthful Foods

  • Use nutrition labels as a guide.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Choose lean cuts of meat.
  • Bake, broil, or grill your poultry, and fish.
  • Cut back on the amount of salt in your diet. Don't add salt to foods.
  • Cut down on saturated and trans fats.
  • Make half the grains you eat whole grains.
  • Eat more fiber-rich foods such as beans, fruits, vegetables.
  • Eat less sugar.
  • Limit or eliminate soda and other sugary drinks, even juice.

The Mediterranean diet is one diet that may help to lower your risk of metabolic syndrome. This diet emphasizes plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, and olive oil. It also highlights low-to-moderate amounts of fish, poultry, and dairy products.

Get More Exercise

  • Exercise a little each day. Aim for a total of 30 minutes or more.
  • Commit yourself to more physical activity. Join a health club or plan walks with friends.
  • Include increased activity into your daily habits.

See Your Doctor

  • Get regular physicals from your doctor.
  • To track your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels.
  • Get help finding a diet and exercise program that's right for you.

Other Ways to Reduce Your Risk

Work with your doctor to:

  • Control your blood pressure
  • Control your cholesterol levels
  • Prevent diabetes by eating healthy food and by exercising
  • Quit smoking

Metabolic syndrome. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated December 2016. August 27, 2018.

Metabolic syndrome. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: Accessed August 27, 2018.

Metabolic syndrome in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated March 29, 2018. Accessed August 27, 2018.

Prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome. American Heart Association website. Available at: Accessed August 27, 2018.

Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD  Last Updated: 8/27/2018