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.
Follow A Lower Carb Diet
Much like added sugar, extra calories from carbs in your diet are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells.
Not surprisingly, low carb diets have been linked to lower blood triglyceride levels .
A review of 12 randomized controlled trials found that people following reduced carb diets typically saw a reduction in triglyceride levels at 6, 12, and 24 months. Across these studies, triglyceride levels decreased the most 6 months after starting a reduced calorie diet .
A 2020 review compared low fat and low carb diets. Researchers found that 612 months after starting their relative diets, those on the low carb diet had greater decreases in triglyceride levels than those on a low fat diet .
Following a low carb diet can lead to a significant reduction in blood triglyceride levels, at least in the short term, when compared with a low fat diet.
Top 10 Foods High In Triglycerides To Avoid
The foods we eat every day can be a major cause of high triglycerides. So much so in fact, that the blood can almost turn milky after a large meal, especially if it is filled with foods high in triglycerides. This is why people who are having blood work done in order to test triglycerides levels are told to fast the night before so that testing can be done accurately. Some foods are more likely to cause this than other foods, and unfortunately some triglycerides spiking culprits are common and delicious everyday fare.
Not all foods that can raise the levels of these blood fats actually contain triglycerides. Some of them simply can cause their levels to become elevated in a hurry. Trans fats containing foods may be no-brainers, but there are several surprises that most people may not link to elevated triglycerides. That is why we have put together this list of the top ten foods high in triglycerides to avoid in order to better understanding what can raise the levels of these fats in the blood. The foundation of a triglyceride lowering diet is cutting out foods that can raise their abundance in the bloodstream and it is one of the most important parts to managing and potentially reversing the condition.
So please check out this list of the top ten blood fat boosting foods worth avoiding if managing triglycerides is on your to do list:
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Too Much Of A Good Thing
No doubt: Fruit is good for you, especially if you’re having a piece of fruit instead of a rich dessert. But when you have high triglycerides, you may need to limit yourself to 2-3 pieces of fruit a day. That way, you won’t get too much of the natural sugars that are in fruit. If you’re having dried fruit, remember that the serving size is much smaller: 4 tablespoons of raisins , for example.
How To Lower Triglyceride Levels
There are some steps that you can take to try to lower your triglyceride levels. Here are a few ideas recommended by the American Heart Association.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat a diet thatâs low in carbohydrates, sugar, saturated fat, and trans fat.
- Include heart-healthy fats in your diet .
- Quit smoking or using tobacco products.
- Limit your alcohol intake.
- Get and keep your blood sugars within your target range.
If lifestyle changes donât help get your triglyceride levels down, talk to your healthcare provider. You might need to take medications or supplements to help lower your triglyceride levelsespecially if theyâre high because of genetics.
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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.
The Best Meals To Lower Your Triglyceride Levels
Triglycerides are fatty substances in your blood similar to cholesterol that, in high levels, can put you at greater risk for high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. Luckily, your diet can help: Creating a meal plan to lower your numbers can support overall health and prevent disease.
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Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in your body and come from fatty foods like butter and oils, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine . Eating too many calories or too much sugar, smoking, drinking and certain conditions like thyroid disease can all elevate your levels.
Here’s a meal plan to help you lower your triglycerides.
- âHealthy triglycerides:â Less than 150 mg/dL
- ââHigh triglycerides:â 200 mg/dL and above
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How Can I Lower Cholesterol With Diet
Heart-healthy lifestyle changes include a diet to lower your cholesterol. The DASH eating plan is one example. Another is the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet, which recommends that you
Choose healthier fats.You should limit both total fat and saturated fat. No more than 25 to 35% of your daily calories should come from dietary fats, and less than 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fat. Depending upon how many calories you eat per day, here are the maximum amounts of fats that you should eat:
|Calories per Day|
|69-97 grams||17 grams|
Saturated fat is a bad fat because it raises your LDL level more than anything else in your diet. It is found in some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, and deep-fried and processed foods.
Trans fat is another bad fat it can raise your LDL and lower you HDL . Trans fat is mostly in foods made with hydrogenated oils and fats, such as stick margarine, crackers, and french fries.
Instead of these bad fats, try healthier fats, such as lean meat, nuts, and unsaturated oils like canola, olive, and safflower oils.
Limit foods with cholesterol. If you are trying to lower your cholesterol, you should have less than 200 mg a day of cholesterol. Cholesterol is in foods of animal origin, such as liver and other organ meats, egg yolks, shrimp, and whole milk dairy products.
Eat plenty of soluble fiber. Foods high in soluble fiber help prevent your digestive tract from absorbing cholesterol. These foods include:
How To Lower Cholesterol And Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a type of lipid, or fat, your body produces to store extra calories and provide energy. Cholesterol is another lipid that circulates in your blood. Your body uses cholesterol to build cells and produce hormones.
Both triglycerides and cholesterol are essential for your health but having levels that are too high puts your health at risk. Living a healthy lifestyle helps to keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels within a normal range.
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What Are Triglycerides And Why Are They Important
“Triglycerides are a type of blood lipid and they’re made up of free fatty acids. They’re stored in your body fat, but you’ll also find them in your blood,” says nutritionist Jessica Ash, CNC, HHC, FDN-P and founder of Jessica Ash Wellness. “And because your liver makes them, they’re also found in your liver and then your tissues. Our body gets triglycerides either from the food that you eat or from the body it manufactures triglycerides in the liver.”
“It’s important to know that triglycerides, like cholesterol, are normally protective . But triglycerides are used for energy, whereas cholesterol is used for steroid hormone production,” Ash explains. “And our muscles are specifically what like to uptake fatty acids or triglycerides. So they’re fatty acids that the body usually uses for energy.”
Your body needs energy from food to function. But excess energy, especially from sources like simple carbohydrates, can be stored as triglycerides, which can create issues if your triglyceride levels are elevated above the normal range. According to the Mayo Clinic, if your triglycerides are over 150 mg/dL, then you’re at a greater risk for developing heart disease.
Healthy Eating Tips To Lower Cholesterol
As well as sticking to a varied and healthy diet, try these tips to help you manage your cholesterol:
- Limit takeaway foods to once a week .
- Limit salty, fatty and sugary snack foods to once a week .
- Eat plenty of vegetables aim for 5 serves of vegetables every day. .
- Choose wholegrain breads, cereal, pasta, rice and noodles.
- Snack on plain, unsalted nuts and fresh fruit .
- Include legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, split peas), beans into at least two meals a week. Check food labels and choose the lowest sodium products.
- Use spreads and margarines made from healthy unsaturated fats instead of those made with saturated fat .
- Use healthy oils for cooking some include canola, sunflower, soybean, olive , sesame and peanut oils.
- Use salad dressings and mayonnaise made from oils such as canola, sunflower, soybean, olive , sesame and peanut oils.
- Include 2 or 3 serves of plant-sterol-enriched foods every day .
- Have 2 to 3 portions of oily fish every week. Fish may be fresh, frozen or canned.
- Include up to 7 eggs every week.
- Select lean meat and limit unprocessed red meat to less than 350g per week.
- Choose reduced fat, no added sugar milk, yoghurt, or calcium-added non-dairy food and drinks.
- Limit or avoid processed meats including sausages and deli meats .
If you are having trouble with your cholesterol levels, a dietitian can help you to eat healthily for your specific needs.
Know The Dangers Of Trans Fats
Trans fats are dangerous for your heart, because they raise low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The chief culprit youll see on product labels is partially hydrogenated oil. Trans fats are the result of adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to increase shelf life. This may make some baked and fried foods taste better, but trans fats are very unhealthy, particularly for people with high triglycerides. In fact, trans fats should make up less than 1 percent of your total calories, according to the World Health Organization. Check your food labels: If a food contains trans fats or hydrogenated oils, leave it on the shelf.
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 arenât 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.
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Breakfasts That Protect Your Heart
Start the day off with healthy decisions. Choose one of these delicious breakfasts.
Cereal & Berry Bowl
1 cup 1% or skim milk
1/2 cup oatmeal with 1-2 Tbsp of chopped walnuts
Or 1 serving of cold cereal, with 5 or more grams of fiber and 8 or less grams of sugar
1 cup raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries on top
1 whole egg, 2 egg whites, or 1/4 cup egg substitutes
1 cup or more of diced tomatoes, spinach leaves, minced onion, and mushrooms
1 tsp trans-fat-free margarine or a small amount of olive oil
2 slices whole wheat toast
1 orange in sections or 1/4 cantaloupe on the side
1 cup low-fat or nonfat yogurt
1 cup high-fiber cereal
1 sliced banana, 1 cup mango, or 1 peach
A small handful of almonds on top
1 oz sliced smoked salmon
1 Tbsp low-fat or nonfat cream cheese
Capers or fresh dill
1 cup melon cubes with any type of berry on the side
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.
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Eating For Lower Cholesterol
Healthy eating can make a huge difference to your cholesterol levels and your heart health, whether your cholesterol has crept up over the years or you have a genetic condition. It will improve your health in other ways too, helping to lower your blood pressure, prevent diabetes and maintain a healthy weight.
What Treatments Are Available For High Cholesterol
Treatment may include:
Addressing risk factors. Some risk factors that can be changed include lack of exercise and poor eating habits.
Cholesterol-lowering medicines. Medicines are used to lower fats in the blood, particularly LDL cholesterol. Statins are a group of medicines that can do this. The two most effective types are atorvastatin and rosuvastatin. Other medicines that lower cholesterol levels are ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors.
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List Of Diet Plans Needed For High Triglycerides And Diabetes
On the other hand, diabetes occurs when your body can no longer absorb any more sugar and the excess sugar gets stored in the blood. High triglycerides and diabetes are juxtaposed by their symptoms and effects on the human body, but the preventive measures for these two diseases are somewhat the same.
One of the foremost steps to prevent them is by taking a proper diet. There are several kinds of diet that work well on these two conditions, such as ketogenic, low fat, low sugar, etc. However, all these diets follow some common rules. In other words, they have some similarities which reflect in mitigating these diseases.
Furthermore, there is no best diet for a certain bodily condition. A certain kind of diet works for some other patients with diabetes or high triglycerides, it does not mean that the same diet will result in the same way for you.
When your nutritionist or dietitian comes up with a diet plan for you, make sure that it contains the following properties.
- Try lean protein: When you are on a diet, make sure that it comes with a low amount of fat. Avoid animal meat that contains a high amount of fat, such as pork or beef. Try lean protein instead. Chicken breast or natural cheese that are low in fat, can work wonders on your body.
- Use whole grains: Instead of processed carbs that increase the amount of sugar and calories in your body, try whole grains. Brown rice and whole oats are good for your body. Replace floured foods with whole-grain bread and whole pasta.
How Food Impacts Cholesterol
The main culprits that cause high cholesterol are saturated fats and partially hydrogenated oil known as trans fat. These are commonly found in highly processed foods like:
- Commercial baked goods like doughnuts.
- Commercial snack foods like potato chips.
- Deep-fried foods.
Keep in mind that trans fat can sneak into peanut butter, coffee creamers, frozen pizza and microwave popcorn. So read those labels. Even items that claim zero grams of trans fat may include partially hydrogenated oils. The fat in these items increases your bad cholesterol, lowers your good cholesterol and causes inflammation, the underlying cause of heart disease, explains Zumpano. Inflammation can contribute to plaque buildup in your arteries and cause blood clots to form around them, blocking blood flow.
Additionally, eating too many unhealthy foods can produce excess triglycerides, another form of fat found in your blood. High triglyceride levels result from having too many calories most often from too much fat or sugar in the diet. Triglycerides also stick to the walls of your arteries, worsening plaque buildup.
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