Metabolic syndrome includes several factors such as waist size over 35 inches in women and over 40 inches in men, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and elevated fasting blood sugar.
Earlier research showed that low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diets don’t necessarily reduce blood fats, and some actually increase them. To address this, doctors in one study added omega-3s to a typical low-fat diet. In the study, 117 people with metabolic syndrome ate a low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diet, plus took 1,240 mg of EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids) per day, or a sunflower oil placebo. Two other groups ate a high-saturated-fat diet or a high-monounsaturated-fat diet.
After 12 weeks, those on the high-saturated fat diet had not improved. Those on the low-fat diet with placebo had higher triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels, while those on the low-fat EPA/DHA diet had lower levels. Those on the high-monounsaturated fat diet also had lower blood fat levels.