It’s hard to be healthy in America. With so many unhealthy options available, it can be difficult to find the willpower to stick with your health goals. However, there are some things that you can do right now to improve your metabolic health and help yourself achieve weight loss goals.

metabolic health

Research shows that only 12% of adults in the United States meet all four criteria. Why did 88% of us fail the metabolic health test?

According to Dr. Philip Ovadia, a Cardiothoracic Surgeon, heart disease and obesity are just a few results of having poor metabolic health, in which our healthcare system has done a very poor job of recognizing.

“I used to be obese, weighing 100 pounds more than my current weight. I’ve done what most commercial programs say – to count my calories and try exercising my way out of obesity. With that, I would have this short-term kind of success like many people do, happy with minimum weight loss, but then eventually, I would gain weight again. Until I realized to focus mainly on my health condition, making it easy for me to lose weight; I lost 100 pounds and have maintained it that way for five-plus years. I can approve that it is the best approach I have ever taken to lose weight.

Dr. Philip Ovadia – Stay Off My Operating Table

What is Metabolic Health?

It simply means that your body is processing food. When you eat, three things can happen:

  • Your body uses it for energy, like when you’re playing sports or running around on some errands;
  • Your body uses it to build muscle so that you get stronger faster; or
  • Your body stores food in fat cells to prepare for hunger.

Are processed foods good for our Metabolic Health?

The term ‘processed food’ is used to describe foods that have been modified from their original forms, such as canned vegetables and frozen dinners. These are often high in sodium, sugar, and saturated fats that may increase the risk of developing heart diseases and poor metabolic health.

There is some debate about whether other foods and vegetables are bad for you, but there is no debate about processed food being unhealthy.

How To Assess Our Metabolic Health?

We believe that we are healthy if we aren’t obese and we haven’t been diagnosed yet with a major disease such as hypertension or diabetes. But the reality is that most people can be metabolically healthy for a long time before those diseases manifest themselves.

We can consider poor health as a pandemic, not only in America but in all developed countries around the globe.

We don’t assess our metabolic health properly assuming that if we’re not diagnosed with major diseases means that we’re healthy – we should track and assess our metabolic health.

The most common scenario to our health systems right now is that they keep on treating diseases without the ability to reverse the situation.

To resolve this, we’ll have to take care of our metabolic health so that we can be able to prevent heart diseases.  Metabolic health means that your body is properly processing the food that you’re eating, which is also influenced by exercise, stress, sunlight, etc.

There are 5 hacks to measure your metabolic health.

  1. Check your waist circumference. Take a tape measure and measure it just above your belly button if you are a man or below the belly button if you are woman. If your measurement is 40 inches or more, then it’s too big.
  2. Know your blood pressure. You can check it at the clinic or even at home. You’ll have to monitor it every now and then, if it’s too high or too low, you need to take medication for it to become normal.
  3. Look at your blood work. This should be done every week or two. You’ll want to know the fasting glucose level in your blood, which lets you know when you haven’t eaten for 8-12 hours, making the reading less than 100 mg/dL without taking any medications to lower the glucose or your sugar levels.
  4. Look at your cholesterol numbers and notice the HDL’s (High-density lipoproteins) and LDL’s (Low-density lipoproteins).
  • Your HDL is your “good cholesterol”. The higher the better. It should be over 50 mmol/dL for women, and over 40 mmol/dL for men.
  • If it’s over 50 for women or 40 mmol/dL, we want that number to be higher than our “bad cholesterols” (LDL), which will eventually accumulate in plaque on artery walls if left unchecked!
  • LDL cholesterol is the number that most people focus on but is not a factor considered in metabolic health. LDL cholesterol is not all that predictive of anything.

The reality on why we focus so much on LDL cholesterol is that we have medications that can lower LDL cholesterol. Your triglyceride level should be less than 150. LDL cholesterol is not as important as other things like your triglyceride level.


People should understand that the cost of food isn’t only what you pay for at that moment. It costs the future that we gain as it results from poor health.

The best way is to not only to maintain healthy levels but decrease risk factors such as smoking and drinking. We must change our lifestyle, starting with eating more fruits & vegetables while reducing intake from red meats & sugar-sweetened items which are all proven ways of preventing chronic diseases.