Do You Know Nutrition?: Syndrome X mysteries explored

Nov. 8, 2011 at 5:08 a.m.

Phylis Canion

Phylis Canion

By Phylis Canion

I have been told that I have Syndrome X, and I would like some dietary suggestions that can help regulate my sugar levels.

Syndrome X refers to a combination of health problems that may include insulin resistance, abnormalities of blood clotting, abnormal blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides), abdominal obesity and high blood pressure.

The letter "X" in syndrome X was so named because researchers in the past did not completely understand this syndrome, and "X" represented the unknown.

This association between certain metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease has been known since the 1940s and is now often referred to as metabolic syndrome.

Foods to avoid are simple sugars (i.e. candy, cookies, sodas), white/refined breads, alcohol, caffeine, saturated fats (i.e. meats, dairy), all artificial sweeteners, and all foods that contain trans fatty acids (i.e. margarine, fried foods and most packaged foods).

It is best to avoid high glycemic foods, but unfortunately, food labeling is not required to contain the glycemic index of food at this time, so it is important to look at the carbohydrate content on all foods.

To maintain weight, eating approximately 55 carbohydrates daily is recommended (average daily American consumption is more than 300). Recommended foods include high fiber foods (vegetables, nuts, seeds) vegetable protein (i.e. legumes, peas), lean animal protein (i.e. all natural turkey, chicken, fish) and quality fats like those found in coconut oil.

Eat three meals a day including breakfast, and as I always recommend, chew your food properly and drink plenty of good, clean water.

Would you please tell me again about the half moons that I should have on my fingernails?

The half-moons on our fingernails are also referred to as the lunula, the crescent-shaped, whitish area on the base of the fingernail by the cuticle.

It is best if you have these half-moons on all fingers, except your pinky.

The appearance and color of your nail not only reflects the status of our health, but also can give valuable information about underlying disease conditions.

Different disorders of the nails associated with health conditions are Beau's lines, Mee's lines, Terry's nail, vertical ridges, clubbing of the fingernails, pitting, spoon nails, oncholysis (lifting of the nail bed), nail hypertrophy, nail atrophy, nail patella syndrome and cyanosis to name some.

Absence of half-moons can indicate poor circulation and nutritional deficiencies. According to ancient Chinese doctors, the thumb nail represents the brain, index finger represents the liver, the middle fingernail represents the heart, the ring fingernail represents hormones and the pinky represents digestion.

The next free nutrition class is Nov. 14 at Organic Emporium. Seating is limited, so call today to make your reservation at 361-576-2100.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant; email her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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