Researchers in one study measured carotenoids in the diets of 374 men, aged 40 to 80, and found that 22 percent of them had metabolic syndrome. Compared to men who consumed the least, men who consumed the most lycopene were 45 percent less likely to have metabolic syndrome; and for all carotenoids, were 58 percent less likely. Men who got the most carotenoids also had smaller waist size, less stored fat, and lower triglyceride levels. Beta-carotene and lycopene appeared to be the most beneficial. Carotenoids are the bright red and orange pigments found in fruits and vegetables.