What Are Triglycerides And What Is Considered A Healthy Level
Triglycerides are sort of like cholesterol: Both are types of fat found in your blood. But while cholesterol is used to make cells and certain hormones, the job of triglycerides is to store unused calories to give your body energy between meals.
Triglycerides get stored after you eat. If you take in any calories that arent needed for energy right away, theyre converted into triglycerides and transferred to your fat cells for later use.
Eating more calories than you need on the reg can lead to high triglycerides over time, which can up your risk for heart disease. Triglycerides are usually measured along with cholesterol, and numbers over 150 mg/dL are usually considered high.
Swap Fatty Meats For Lean Cuts
Fatty meats are not good for you if you are trying to get lower triglycerides. Saturated fat in meat increases bad LDL cholesterol and contributes to high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. Switch to lean cuts of meat if you do indulge. Avoid processed meats including cold cuts, bacon, ham, and sausage as these contribute to an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer. Fatty fish is a better protein choice as it supplies healthy fats that boost heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, and tuna boost heart health and may help reduce your risk of a heart attack. However, avoid large game fish like swordfish, sailfish and king mackerel as they may contain mercury.
Lowering Triglycerides Dessert Options
5. Low Sugar Dessert: Considering the importance that sugars play in spiking triglyceride levels, dessert can seem like a thing of the past for those with elevated levels of the blood fats. In fact, many people with high triglycerides stick to a hypoglycemic diet, where carbohydrates are measured and very limited. However, there are some great dessert options that wont throw a low glycemic diet out of whack and still allow people with elevated three molecule lipid levels to enjoy a sweet treat following a good meal. Low triglycerides recipes for dessert options may be limited, but their taste potential certainly isnt.
Fruit Kabobs are one dessert option for people with high triglycerides. Not all fruit is ideal for people on this type of diet, so low fructose options are best. Choices like cantaloupe and strawberries are great options and work well on a stick to provide a treat as pleasing to look at as it is to eat. Consider low fat yogurt for dipping or a low fat whipped cream.
Parfaits can provide a more decadent treat with creative substitutions serving in place of triglycerides enemies like pound cake and whipped cream. Greek yogurt spiked with honey and cinnamon can be used in place of the creamy filling and handfuls of homemade oatmeal granola can be incorporated for delicious crunch. Layering the parfait with berries and topping with yogurt can finish off the sweet treat.
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Popular Snacks For Lowering Cholesterol Say Dietitians
Unless you’ve been living under a croissant all these years, you’re well aware that oatmeal is the poster child of cholesterol-lowering foods. Oats and oatmeal are loaded with soluble fiber, which binds with LDL cholesterol and ushers it out of our bodies. Countless breakfast cereal commercials have declared that the dietary fiber in their products “reduces your risk of heart disease.” They base their claims on many clinical studies, including a landmark Harvard study of more than 40,000 male doctors in the Journal of the American Medical Association which found that a high-fiber diet is linked to a 40% lower risk of coronary heart disease.
The National Lipid Association says eating at least 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber a day can help you lower your total and LDL cholesterol by 11 points or more. Now, there’s an incentive to eat breakfast! But at just under 3 grams of soluble fiber per serving of oatmeal, you’d better like oatmeal or find other ways to get your heart-boosting soluble fiber.
How about snacking on some?
We asked dietitians to feed our nibbling habit with some tasty LDL-scouring snacks. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don’t miss Best Supplements for High Cholesterol, According to Nutritionists.
Skip The Cakes And Pastries
Baked goods may taste good, but they are loaded with sugar and saturated fat that can make triglyceride levels climb. Bake goods and pastries may also contain dangerous trans fats. These types of fats should be avoided in all amounts. Read nutrition labels before you indulge in baked goods. If you strive for weight loss, to reduce high cholesterol, and to modify other factors for cardiovascular disease, limit your consumption of baked goods. Eat high-fiber, whole grain foods instead of baked goods. Just be mindful to stay within the carbohydrate intake limit your doctor has established for you to reach your triglyceride goals.
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Cholesterol By The Numbers
A cholesterol screening will likely return levels for the cholesterols above. But how do you interpret those levels? Well, your doctor will definitely help, but the list of favorable levels below will empower you to take an active interest in your reading.
The Cleveland Clinic lists these target levels:
Consider working these foods into your diet while avoiding as many high-cholesterol foods as you can.
What Causes High Cholesterol & How To Lower It:
High cholesterol can be caused by several factorsincluding family history. Lack of exercise, being overweight, an unhealthy diet , plus smoking can all play a role in raising your cholesterol. According to the CDC, a total cholesterol of over 200 mg/dL is considered high. However, there are no symptoms of high cholesterol, so be sure to have a discussion with your medical provider about getting your levels checked. Although high cholesterol doesn’t have symptoms, side effects of high cholesterol include heart attack and stroke, so it’s important to practice prevention and discuss your risk factors at your annual visit.
To reduce risk, there are several lifestyle changes we can make, like increasing exercise and focusing on a diet that is high in fiber and healthy unsaturated fats , while limiting excess sugar and saturated or trans fats. Plus, losing weight if you’re overweight can positively improve your cholesterol, so we set this plan at 1,500 calories, which is a level where most people will lose weight. We also included modifications for 1,200 or 2,000 calories a day, depending on your needs.
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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.
What Causes High Cholesterol
Some causes of high cholesterol include:
- High intake of foods containing unhealthy fats such as fatty meats and deli-style meats, butter, cream, ice cream, coconut oil, palm oil and most deep-fried takeaway foods and commercially baked products .
- Low intake of foods containing healthy fats healthy fats tend to increase the good cholesterol. Foods containing healthy fats include avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, cooking oils made from plants or seeds, and fish.
- Low intake of foods containing fibre foods that are high in dietary fibre, particularly soluble fibre, can reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood. Include fibre-containing foods in your diet by choosing vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, legumes, nuts and seeds every day.
- Low levels of physical activity and exercise.
- Being overweight or obese and having too much body fat around your middle.
- Smoking can lead to high cholesterol levels.
- Genetics your family history may affect your cholesterol level. In some families, several people might be diagnosed with high cholesterol or heart disease at a relatively young age . This type of pattern can be caused by genetics, including a genetic condition called familial hypercholesterolaemia. Its best to speak to your doctor as soon as possible if you think you might be affected.
Snacks To Help Battle High Cholesterol
When youre struggling with high cholesterol, you start to think more about everything you eat. Whether its a hamburger or a bowl of grapes, you wonder how the choice will impact your numbers. Its usually tempting to skip snacks altogether, but a healthy snack can help to maintain your blood sugar, metabolism, and even cholesterol levels throughout the day. Here are some healthy snack ideas to get you started.
Cholesterol And Healthy Eating
What we eat has an impact on our cholesterol levels and can help reduce our risk of disease. The Heart Foundation recommends following a heart-healthy eating pattern, which means eating a wide variety of fresh and unprocessed foods and limiting highly processed foods including take away, baked goods, chocolate, chips, lollies and sugary drinks. Not only does this help to maintain a healthy and interesting diet, but it provides essential nutrients to the body.
A heart-healthy eating pattern includes:
- plenty of vegetables, fruit and wholegrains
- a variety of healthy protein-rich foods , legumes , nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart-healthy eating pattern. If choosing red meat, make sure it is lean and limit to one to three times a week
- unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. People with high cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties
- healthy fats and oils. Choose nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking
- herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.
This way of eating is also naturally high in fibre, which is good news, because a high intake of dietary fibre can also reduce levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.
Also, be mindful of how much you are eating. Portion sizes have increased over time and many of us are eating more than we need which can increase our cholesterol and risk of heart disease.
Serving size can vary depending on age, gender and specific nutrition needs.
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Are Bananas Good If You Have High Triglycerides
The researchers also recommend that people with high triglycerides focus on eating more vegetables, fruits that are lower in fructose, such as cantaloupe, grapefruit, strawberries, bananas, and peaches high-fiber whole grains and, in particular, omega-3 fatty acids, which are found primarily in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, as well as walnuts and seeds.
How Can I Lower My Triglycerides In 7 Days
Vegetables, particularly leafy greens, green beans, and butternut squash, are among the foods that can help lower triglycerides levels. All fruits, particularly citrus fruits, and berries are included. Dairy products that are low in fat or fat-free, such as cheese, yogurt, and milk Whole grains that are high in fiber, such as quinoa, barley, and brown rice
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Add These Foods To Lower Ldl Cholesterol
Different foods lower cholesterol in various ways. Some deliver soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Some give you polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. And some contain plant sterols and stanols, which block the body from absorbing cholesterol.
1. Oats. An easy first step to lowering your cholesterol is having a bowl of oatmeal or cold oat-based cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half-gram. Current nutrition guidelines recommend getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day, with at least 5 to 10 grams coming from soluble fiber.
2. Barley and other whole grains. Like oats and oat bran, barley and other whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, mainly via the soluble fiber they deliver.
3. Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. That’s one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight. With so many choices from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, and beyond and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food.
4. Eggplant and okra. These two low-calorie vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber.
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.
Recommended Reading: Are Eggs Bad For Cholesterol Levels
What Are Normal Triglyceride Levels
Normal fasting blood triglyceride levels are:
- Lower than 150 mg/dL for adults
- Lower than 90 mg/dL for children ages 10 to 19
Your doctor may diagnose you with high blood triglycerides if your fasting blood triglyceride levels are consistently 150 milligrams per deciliter or higher.
Talk to your doctor about what your numbers mean for you.
Eat Less To Lose Weight
High triglycerides come from regularly eating more calories than your body burns, so eating less overall is one of the best ways to start reining them in.
How much less, exactly? You may want to cut back by 500 to 1,000 calories a day, depending on how many calories youre consuming. Thats enough to help you lose weight, which is key.
Dropping 5 to 10 percent of your body weight is enough to reduce your triglycerides significantly. But definitely get the OK from your doctor before making any major changes to your diet.
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Lean Beef And Poultry
Meat is critical to any diet because of their protein content but they also tend to be high in fat. If you select leaner cuts and parts, however, you can avoid the negative effects associated with triglycerides. For beef, you can choose the parts that contain the least amount of fat including eye round roast and steak, sirloin tip side steak, top round roast and steak, bottom round roast and steak, and top sirloin steak. For chicken, the breast is the healthiest part and should be eaten without the skin to reduce the fat content.
Consider The Bigger Picture
Certain health issues can affect your triglyceride level. Type 2 diabetes, for instance, is a risk factor for high triglycerides. So are thyroid issues and kidney diseases like uremia.
If youre concerned about your triglycerides, it makes sense to see your doctor for a head-to-toe checkup to see if any underlying causes could potentially be at play.
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Triglycerides Level Chart Foods That Raise And Lower It
We know that triglycerides have a direct link with heart health. Yet, the reports of elevated triglycerides levels worldwide are alarming. Recently, The US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reported that more than 25% of US adults suffer from high levels of triglycerides. The survey that lasted for 8 years provides alarming rates of triglyceride patients. It also states, around 37% of the patients to be on medications for triglycerides.
However, we are blessed with foods that can help lower triglyceride levels and help in leading a healthy life. Before reaching for the foods, lets first understand triglycerides better to treat it accordingly.
Fruit Smoothie With Almond Milk
Craving something sweet in the afternoon? Toss some frozen berries, sliced banana and almond milk in the blender for a creamy 4 p.m. treat. The healthy fats from the almond milk and antioxidants from the berries can lower LDL cholesterol. A cup of this simple smoothie contains about 162 calories. Here are more healthy smoothie recipes to try.
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Which Ingredients Should I Avoid When Selecting A Cholesterol
Skip snacks that contain main ingredients high in saturated fat, such as butter, meat, lard, or shortening.
Trans fats also raise cholesterol levels, but these are less of a concern nowadays, since the FDA banned them in 2018. However, some foods may still contain traces of trans fat, so its important to avoid snacks that are made with partially hydrogenated oils .