Metabolic age is a kind of measure of the condition and health of the body. Body composition analyzers are used to calculate it. 

Since the concept of the metabolic age is known to us, the record age has lost its importance. Metabolic age, is associated with biological age, and sometimes even identified. Both measures can be evaluated on the basis of lifestyle, diet, physical activity, genes and hormonal balance. In the opinion of physicians, the metabolic age should reflect the record age, or be younger in relation to it. A condition other than the one recommended is linked to premature aging of the organism, which is becoming an increasing problem of 21st century society. 

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How do we test the metabolic age? 

The metabolic age is tested using the body composition analyzer. For this purpose, the bioimpedance method of the content of adipose and muscle tissues as well as the amount of water in the body and measurements of other body building parameters are used. The analyzer also takes into account the basic metabolism (PPM). The day before the examination, one should not practice intensively, so that water does not accumulate in the muscles or drink products that drain (eg coffee). You should not eat or drink anything 3 hours before the test. If the result is very positive, your diet certainly does not need improvement and you have good eating habits. Too high a metabolic age is a signal that it is necessary to make changes in the diet. 

Diet reducing metabolic age 

A lifestyle whose important element is a diet largely determines the metabolic age. A healthy lifestyle can effectively minimize the adverse impact of genetic conditions. Lowering the metabolic age consists in introducing changes in the diet and physical activity leading to 

– maintaining proper hydration of the body 

– increase of basic metabolism 

– increase in muscle mass 

– lowering the level of body fat 

In addition to changing eating habits, it is necessary to practice regular, moderate physical activity. In this case interval training is especially recommended. In addition, it is necessary to drink about 1.5-2 l of liquid each day. The menu should include vegetables (about 5 portions a day) and fruits (up to 2 portions a day). Unhealthy industrial sources of fat are worth replacing with walnuts, fish and fats providing polyunsaturated fatty acids (in the right ratio of omega-3 and omega-6). The groups of food products discussed briefly contribute to maintaining the metabolic age at an optimal level. It is not difficult to guess that highly processed products have even opposite properties. 

Food that increases metabolic age 

Along with the growth of adipose tissue and dehydration of the body, the metabolic age is increased. A diet based on consuming highly processed products, including 

– sweets 

– instant dishes 

– fast food 

– fried dishes 

– heavy dishes 

– products containing large amounts of salt 

This type of food is better avoided. Occasional luring on a burger and fries is not a bad thing. Daily eating of these dishes, unfortunately, contributes to an increase in body fat and usually body weight. However, this is not always the case. In some people, despite the excess of body fat, the body mass is normal. 

TOFI syndrome, or hidden obesity 

Body weight is not the main indicator determining the metabolic age. The level of body fat is much more influential. Therefore, people suffering from TOFI syndrome (thin outside – fat inside), may be surprised that although they manage to maintain their normal body mass, their metabolic age is too high in relation to the record. In the case of TOFI syndrome, also referred to as hidden obesity, visceral fat accumulates instead of subcutaneous fat. The silhouette is relatively slim, but the results of the research say something else – an elevated level of glucose in the blood, increased LDL and triglycerides testify to the fact that the level of visceral tissue is too high. A bad diet with high physical activity will not lead to significant weight gain, but can lead to serious consequences, such as insulin resistance and hypertension, atherosclerosis and other diseases of the heart or circulatory system. 

Reduction diet as an element of strategy 

Due to the high importance of the level of body fat in lowering the metabolic age, people who want to protect themselves from premature aging usually use a reduction diet, which assumes a weight reduction of about 0.5-1 kg during the week. At the same time, they gradually and with determination increase the intensity of physical activity, striving to build muscle mass. 

The reduction diet is aimed at lowering fat mass and increasing lean body mass (water and muscle), while maintaining a correct BMI. The menu should not lack fresh and low-processed products that are rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins, and plant compounds actively lowering LDL and triglycerides (eg plant sterols, anthocyanins). The reduction of metabolic age will not be effective if after several weeks or months the patient returns to the old diet based on consumption of highly processed products. 

The impact of diet on the metabolic age is huge – perhaps even greater than physical activity. Nutrition influences the level of subcutaneous and visceral fat. Physical activity, on the other hand, affects mainly muscle mass and subcutaneous adipose tissue. TOFI syndrome is an example of the fact that regular physical activity alone is not enough. Healthy eating is not a 21st century invention. After a dozen or so decades of the presence of highly processed food on the market, we already know what effect it has on health. The faster we introduce changes in the diet, the longer we maintain our youth in metabolic understanding – protection against insulin resistance, heart and circulatory system diseases and premature aging. 

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You can read also: Berberine – a natural weapon in the metabolic syndrome!

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