How The Ketogenic Diet Lowers Triglycerides
When carbohydrates are restricted, insulin levels drop, which increases the activity of lipases like triacylglycerol lipase and hormone sensitive lipase . These lipases help break down triglycerides for energy usage.
After the lipases do their job, the components of the triglycerides move out of the cells in different directions. Glycerol, the backbone of triglycerides, is taken to the liver for further breakdown or glucose synthesis . Free fatty acids, the other components of triglycerides, are carried in the blood to cells that further break them down for energy by a process called beta-oxidation. In the liver, the free fatty acids are converted into ketones, an organic compound that the brain and muscle can use as an alternative fuel source.
Without a lot of carbohydrates in the diet, the cells will start burning more fat and ketones for fuel, and the liver will be focused on forming sugar and ketones for energy rather than triglycerides for storage. As a result, triglyceride levels drop and blood sugar levels to normalize.
This process is the main reason why many meta analyses found that a decrease in carbohydrates leads to a decrease in triglycerides, and no other diet elicits these processes better than the ketogenic diet. However, there is another important mechanism that reduces triglycerides, which the Mediterranean diet takes advantage of the most.
Busy Lifestyles Are The Most Common Reasons For High Cholesterol And Triglyceride Levels
If you are like me and like to pack your day full of activities or if you are simply trying to balance a work and home life, watching your diet is often the last thing on your mind.
Therefore, making a healthy meal for yourself and even the family is often impossible. Processed and other fast foods are often high in the fats associated with increasing cholesterol and triglycerides.
To try and tackle this problem, I have started doing a simple menu plan. That is deciding for the week what foods will best suit my cholesterol and triglyceride lowering diet and ensuring I have the ingredients ready to go.
The idea of creating a menu plan is, the days you know you are going to be pressed for time you and organise a simple meal that is still healthy. The meals that require more preparation or cooking time, I save for the days I know I can commit the time.
- Day one Poached salmon, new potatoes and carrots
- Day two Pasta with tomato and basil sauce
- Day three Vegetable curry with rice
- Day four Chicken salad
- Day five Mackerel, rice and poached eggs
The weekend I would leave to chance, although I do treat myself to a small Chinese takeaway and a half-a-glass of red wine on a Saturday evening.
Beware Of Sugary Drinks
If you have high triglycerides , sugar is especially bad for you. You may not know that many beverages contain added sugar. Fruit juice, regular soda, sweetened coffee drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened waters all contain sugar that may turn into triglycerides. The average adult in the U.S. consumes 145 calories from a sugar-sweetened beverage per day. Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages contributes to obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, high triglycerides, and other chronic health conditions. Lower triglycerides by steering clear of sugar-sweetened beverages. Have some water with a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of reduced-sugar or sugar-free juice instead.
List Of 105 Foods To Lower Triglycerides
Foods decrease cholesterol in different ways. Some of the foods listed below deliver soluble fiber, which traps cholesterol and its constituents in the digestive tract, preventing them from entering the bloodstream.
Polyunsaturated fats, found in some foods, can also decrease LDL cholesterol. Others contain plant sterols and stanols that inhibit the absorption of cholesterol by the body.
What Is Ldl Cholesterol
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is called bad cholesterol. Ldl cholesterol can be found built up in the walls of your blood vessels and makes them narrow. After a blockage, a clot can form and get stuck in the narrowed space, causing a heart attack or stroke. So try to keep low-density lipoprotein cholesterol under control by eating healthy foods or taking medicine.
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When Do Raised Triglycerides Occur
The level of triglycerides in the bloodstream rises following a meal. The amount of fat consumed will determine the rise in triglyceride levels. In order to avoid rises in circulating triglyceride levels, it is advisable to spread intake of dietary fat throughout the day. Triglycerides can be raised as a secondary effect of conditions such as poorly controlled diabetes or obesity. Controlling these can often result in lowering of triglyceride levels. Obesity exacerbates all forms of high triglycerides.
You Are Eating The Wrong Kind Of Fat
The low-fat diet trend of the ’90s has been replaced with just the opposite. Diets like keto and Whole30 encourage eating a lot of animal protein as well as full-fat versions of food, which might have many consumers eating more saturated fat. Overeating saturated fat is also associated with elevated triglyceride levels.
If you’re trying to lower your triglycerides, it’s best to ensure that saturated fats make up no more than 10% of your daily calories, replacing them with unsaturated fats, such as nuts and seeds, and omega-3 fats like those found in fatty fish and flax seeds.
You can also lower your saturated fat intake by choosing leaner cuts of meats and preparing your food with oils high in unsaturated fats, such as avocado oil and olive oil, instead of butter. Also try to have smaller servings of desserts and sweets, but really enjoy each bite so you feel more satisfied. Lastly, Nutrition Facts labels are a good place to check the saturated fat content of your packaged foods.
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Do Vegans Have High Cholesterol
Numerous studies have reported that people following vegan diets are more likely to have lower cholesterol levels, including total and LDL levels than someone on an omnivorous diet.
However, simply going vegan isnt enough to guarantee lower cholesterol as you still have to be mindful about how you eat and other lifestyle choices.
Foods To Lower Triglycerides
If you have high triglycerides levels, apart from avoiding foods high in triglycerides, there’re also some foods that can help to lower your levels, which include:
1. Include More Omega3 Foods in Your Diet
Some fats are healthy and therefore, omega-3 fats can be used when you need to cut down the quantity of saturated and trans-fats from your food. These omega-3 fats are highly recommended for a healthy heart and particularly effective at lowering the levels of triglycerides. You can eat about two omega-3 fish servings like wild salmon, mackerel , herring, rainbow trout, sardines or maybe oysters every week. Additionally, let your doctor advise you on the habit of including fish oil supplements as part of your diet.
2. Go For Soy Protein
Soy protein is highly recommended for you if you realize that you have high levels of triglycerides. Soy protein lowers the level of triglycerides in your blood more than protein obtained from animal foods. A study published in 2004 in the Atherosclerosis Journal by Canadian researchers amongst 50 year old persons with high blood triglycerides responded positively after taking 25 grams quantity of soy protein for each 1,000 calories consumed.
3. Enjoy the Benefits of Nuts
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What Are The Best Foods To Eat To Lower Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a kind of fat that travels in the blood. You may get some triglycerides from food, and some may be made by your body. Like cholesterol, triglycerides are necessary for life, but if theyre present at high levels, they can be bad for your health.
If you have high triglycerides, your cholesterol levels may be high too. This combination raises your risk of heart disease. Experts aren’t sure if high triglycerides alone are bad for your heart, but some studies suggest they are.
If your triglyceride levels are very high, you may also be at risk of harming your pancreas. Changes in lifestyle can lower triglycerides, and eating triglyceride-friendly meals and snacks could help too.
You Are Not Balancing Your Blood Sugars
Eating too much food with added sugars can also lead to elevated triglyceride levels. Surprisingly or not, added sugars make up more than 13% of an average American’s daily caloric intake, well above the Dietary Guidelines recommendation of less than 10% of total calories per day.
Added sugars can be present in prepackaged foods, in foods prepared away from home, as add-ins to your coffee and tea or as ingredients in your baked goods .
When you eat sugar, your liver breaks down its carbohydrates into glucose and transforms them into glycogen that is stored to use as energy later. The liver can only convert a limited amount of glucose into glycogen at one time any excess will be stored as fatty acids. These fatty acids are then used to make triglycerides, which are stored in the fat cells and contribute to body fat.
Under normal conditions, your pancreas also makes the hormone insulin to respond to the influx of glucose present in the bloodstream. Insulin, which acts as a key to the body’s cells, aids glucose to pass into the cells for energy. When the key and the lock do not fit well, glucose may not move into cells efficiently or at all, causing the pancreas to make more insulin. Eventually, the pancreas may become sluggish in producing insulin, which can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes over time.
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What Is A Healthy Ratio Between Triglycerides And Hdl Cholesterol
It is important to have a high level of HDL and low triglycerides because this will help you maintain your heart health. The ideal ratio should be below 2 anything greater than four indicates an unhealthy lifestyle while six or more tells us that there may be problems with other parts of the body that impacts our ability for wellness.Doctors are learning about the triglyceride/HDL ratio. Doctors are finding that people with the highest ratio of triglycerides to HDL good cholesterol have 16 times the imminent risk of heart attack as those with the lowest ratio of triglycerides to HDL.
How The Mediterranean
In the meta-analyses that we discussed earlier, we saw that replacing carbohydrates with a fatty acid lead to improved triglyceride levels. Here is the specific finding that I am referring to:
for every 1% isoenergetic replacement with saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, and polyunsaturated fat, there was a decrease in triglycerides by 1.9 mg/dL, 1.7 mg/dL, and 2.3 mg/dL, respectively.
If you look a bit more closely, you will see that the one type of fatty acid that lead to the most improvement in triglycerides was polyunsaturated fat. This must mean that a diet high in polyunsaturated fats will lower triglycerides, right?
Exactly! The findings on the Mediterranean diet one of the diets that has the highest polyunsaturated fat content confirm the powerful effects of polyunsaturated effects on triglycerides.
The Mediterranean diet focuses on polyunsaturated-fatty-acid-rich foods like nuts, seeds, fish, seafood, and extra virgin olive oil while limiting red meat, processed meat, added sugars, and processed foods. In other words, this diet restricts carbohydrates more than a low-fat diet and contains more polyunsaturated fats than are usually consumed during a low-carbohydrate diet like the ketogenic diet.
So, if one diet isnt better than the other for lowering triglycerides after one year, which one should you choose? Mediterranean or low-carb? Trick question.
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When To See A Doctor
If youre wondering how to lower your triglycerides levels, theres a good chance its because a doctor has already informed you that theyre high.
Heart health and the other impacts that high levels can have is nothing to shun, so having a follow-up blood test for your cholesterol and triglycerides is essential, and should be done as frequently as recommended by your doctor.
For those planning on switching to a vegan diet to assist with health issues, its still a good idea to speak with a health professional or registered dietitian first.
They can point you towards resources and tools that will make the transition easy, and help you to track your progress so you can see how your new plant-based lifestyle is helping.
Any time you make a change with diet, new medications, or supplements, it can take time for it to start working and you might have to experiment with ways to make it work.
Be patient as you learn the ways of the plant-based diet and give your body a few months to start reaping the benefits of this lifestyle.
How Are Triglycerides Different From Cholesterol
Triglycerides and cholesterol are both fatty substances known as lipids. But, triglycerides are fats cholesterol is not. Cholesterol is a waxy, odorless substance made by the liver that is an essential part of cell walls and nerves.
Cholesterol also plays an important role in body functions such as digestion and hormone production. In addition to being produced by the body, cholesterol comes from animal foods that we eat.
Pure cholesterol cannot mix with or dissolve in the blood. Therefore, the liver packages cholesterol with triglycerides and proteins in carriers called lipoproteins. The lipoproteins move this fatty mixture to areas throughout the body. An elevated triglyceride level increases the risk of heart disease.
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Taking Medications To Lower Triglycerides
However, most medications and even supplements can come with significant side effects. Always ask your doctor before starting any new supplements or medications.
In addition to supplements, several studies show certain medications may reduce triglycerides. Recommendations to take medications focus on reducing the risk of pancreatitis as well as heart disease.
The evidence to support the idea that lowering triglycerides with medications can provide cardiac protection is mixed. Many isolated studies show no benefits, but a meta-analysis of multiple studies suggests minor benefits.42
Ask your doctor if any of these medications may be right for you:
Statins The most commonly prescribed class of cholesterol-lowering drugs has a mild triglyceride-lowering effect ranging from 10% reduction at low doses to 30% at higher doses.43
Fibrates Drugs such as gemfibrozil can lower triglycerides by 30-50%.44 These drugs should be used with caution when taken along with statins or warfarin due to drug interactions. Those with a history of gallstone disease should not take fibrates.
Although fibrates do lower triglycerides, it is not clear that they reduce cardiac events or the risk of death.
Prescription niacin Niacin can reduce triglycerides by up to 30%.45 Niacin may cause liver disease, and may worsen insulin resistance or blood sugar control in those with type 2 diabetes. Those with peptic ulcer disease should not take niacin.
Baked Beans With Sugar Or Pork Added
Beans have fiber and other nutrients going for them. But if they’re made with sugar or pork, they may not be the best choice. The label on the can should say what’s in there, and how much sugar and fat you’re getting. Switch to black beans, which are a great source of fiber and protein, without saturated fats or added sugar.
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Treatment For High Cholesterol
Making lifestyle changes, especially changing some of the foods you eat, and regular physical activity, are very important to help reduce high LDL cholesterol.
- Move more. Regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your heart health. Increasing your physical activity from as little as 10 minutes a day to the Australian governments recommended 30 to 45 minutes a day, five or more days of the week, can help manage your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Quitting smoking reduces the risk of heart disease and can help reduce cholesterol levels. The most effective way to stop smoking is with a combination of stop-smoking medicines and support from a service like Quitline . Speaking to your GP is also a great first step.
- Drinking alcohol doesnt have any health benefits. Alcohol contributesunnecessary kilojoules and is of low nutritional value. Alcohol is not a necessary or recommended part of a heart-healthy eating pattern.If you do drink, to reduce your risk of alcohol-related harm, healthy women and men should drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than four standard drinks on any one day.
- You may also need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines to help manage your cholesterol and reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Talk to your doctor about finding the most appropriate treatment for you.
Choose Healthy Fats Over Saturated Fats
Another way to lower triglycerides and cholesterol naturally is by eating healthy fats. Omega-3 fatty acids lower triglycerides and bad cholesterol by increasing fat metabolism, according to the AHA. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish, such as salmon and herring, olive oil, and dietary supplements. For people with high triglycerides, the AHA recommends prescription-strength omega-3 fatty acid supplements at a dose of 4 grams per day, although its still best to get it from foods. Saturated fats, which come mainly from meat sources, should be limited to no more than 5 to 6 percent of your total daily calories, and your daily intake of cholesterol should be no more than 300 mg, according to the AHA.
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Steer Clear Of Starchy Vegetables
The type and amount of carbohydrates you eat have a direct effect on your triglyceride levels. Starchy vegetables like peas and corn supply ample amounts of carbohydrates per serving. Your body turns excess carbohydrates that are not used for energy into triglycerides. Fill your plate with lower starch veggies that will not increase your triglycerides including cauliflower, mushrooms, and kale. Avoid foods that contain simple sugars like fructose. These increase triglyceride levels.