Causes And Effect Of High Triglycerides
Triglycerides are generally fats present in the blood. They serve as the energy reservoir for the body, when theyre within the normal range. High levels of triglycerides in the blood are associated with increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. This is why it is very important to keep an eye on the level of triglyceride to ensure theyre within the normal range.
The triglyceride level range in the body system is as follow:
Normal Triglyceride: Below 150mg/DL
High Triglyceride: 200-499mg/DL
Very High Triglyceride: Above 500mg/DL.
A simple lipid test would place you in one of the aforementioned categories. If you fall into the good category, such an individual is considered healthy.
Individuals in the borderline high category need to exercise the more and adopt a healthier lifestyle. At this stage, there is no need to take supplement or triglyceride reduction medication. Unless advised by your physician.
People in the high and very high category should consult their physician, as they adopt a healthy lifestyle and explore alternatives to lowering the blood triglyceride level.
Some of the major causes of high triglycerides are obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol, physical inactivity, and certain diseases such as diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, hypothyroidism, and the use of some medications.
Some foods that lower triglycerides include tuna fish, sardine, brown bread, and a host of wheat whole products.
How Long Does It Take To Lower Triglycerides
This is a tricky question as there is no accurate answer to it. Depending on your approach and how determined you are, it might take between 1-5weeks to notice any difference in the level of blood triglyceride. The most important thing is to live a healthy lifestyle and watch your triglyceride level adjust to normal.
These Herbal Supplements May Help Lower Cholesterol
Can taking herbs to lower triglycerides be a natural way to reduce your total cholesterol number? Herbal supplements are products made from plants. Some commonly used herbs may help reduce triglycerides or total cholesterol, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Also Check: Is Bologna High In Cholesterol
Alternative Remedies For High Triglyceride Levels
Here are 10 home remedies to reduce your triglycerides.
Garlic is one of the best remedies to reduce triglycerides.
A 2016 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that garlic supplements have the potential of lowering blood pressure in hypertensive individuals, stimulating the immune system and regulating slightly elevated cholesterol concentration.
Another 2006 study published in the Journal of Nutrition further highlighted the effectiveness of garlic compounds in suppressing low-density lipoprotein oxidation, which may be one of the mechanisms that make garlic contributive to better cardiovascular health. However, further studies are required to comprehensively validate this health-promoting attribute of garlic.
Do take note that raw garlic has a more profound effect than boiled garlic in controlling these parameters, given fresh garlic has lipid-lowering activity.
- Eat 2 to 3 raw garlic cloves on an empty stomach daily for a few months. You can also include fresh garlic in your salad dressings.
- Alternatively, take garlic supplements after consulting your doctor.
Enhance Your Daily Diet With Soy
- Soy products are rich in isoflavone compounds that are known for their incredible health benefits for the heart. The isoflavone compounds are especially useful for decreasing the level of bad cholesterol in the blood.
- In comparison with animal proteins, soy protein can decrease the level of triglycerides in the blood by about 12.4% more than regular animal proteins. The consumption of soy products like soy milk, edamame, tofu, soybeans can effectively decrease the triglycerides level by about 7.3%.
Also Check: Does Black Coffee Affect Cholesterol Levels
What Causes A Rise In Triglyceride Levels
A spike in your triglyceride level is most commonly associated with the following factors:
- High-calorie diet, such that you consume more calories than you burn on a regular basis
- Cigarette smoking
- Certain medicines, such as steroids and birth control pills, that may also raise triglycerides
- Metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of conditions, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high fat deposits around the waist, low high-density lipoprotein level, and high triglycerides.
Thus, any person suffering from metabolic syndrome is likely to exhibit an elevated level of triglycerides.
Adopt A Diet That Is Low Carbs
- Carbs are just as harmful as sugar when it comes to the level of triglycerides in the blood. The extra carbs get transformed into triglycerides, which sediments in the fat cells of the body.
- A study conducted in 2003 revealed that a diet that is low in carbohydrates is incredibly beneficial to lower triglycerides in the blood. The study compared the effects of a low-carb diet and low-fat diet on the level of triglycerides in the blood. After about six months, the research revealed that the triglyceride level had dipped by approximately 38mg/dL in the low-carb diet group and only about 7mg/dL in the low-fat diet group.
Also Check: How To Lower Ldl Cholesterol Range
What To Do If You Cant Lower Your Cholesterol The Natural Way
If youve spent about six months trying to adopt healthier lifestyle habits but still arent seeing a change in those cholesterol numbers, its time to talk to your doctor. They can provide specialized guidance specific to your health, and they may be able to prescribe you a medication to help, as well.
The great news is that heart disease is preventable and even if you cant do it with diet and exercise, there are some amazing medications out there, Dr. Cho says. Were so lucky to live in an era where we have something that can treat our diseases and help us live longer.
More About The Fatty Fish
The AHA recommends upping the two servings of fish to three if you have high triglycerides. But theres a glitch with relying on fish alone to lower triglycerides: Eating loads of it increases the risk of exposing yourself to possible environmental contaminants such as mercury and PCBs.
To minimize this exposure, pass on the large fish such as shark, fresh tuna, and tilefish. Opt instead for fish lower in the food chain, which tend to be less toxin-laden: Wild salmon, sardines, bluefish, Atlantic mackerel, and herring.
You May Like: Which Of The Following Is True About Cholesterol
Address Underlying Health Issues
Remember, although triglycerides can be high due to bad lifestyle and dietary choices, they can also be high due to an underlying health condition. The most important thing is to work with your doctor to find out whats causing your high triglyceride levels and to treat any underlying conditions!
For example, triglycerides can be high due to liver disease, infections, underactive thyroid , autoimmune disease, or some genetic disorders just to name a few .
In these cases, simply changing your diet or lifestyle wont help address the underlying issue and may actually be harmful!
In addition, high triglyceride levels can be dangerous for your body. If necessary, your doctor will prescribe triglyceride-lowering medication.
Thats why, if your triglycerides are elevated, you should discuss the lifestyle and dietary changes listed below with your doctor. None of these strategies should ever be done in place of what your doctor recommends or prescribes!
Consumption Of More Fiber
Fiber is of two types: soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber does not absorb water and only helps to bulk up the stool in the treatment of diarrhea and constipation.
Soluble fiber, on the other hand, can dissolve in water to form a viscous liquid that slows down the movement of food in the gut.
This slows down the digestive process and suppresses appetite thereby reducing the intake of calories from meals.
The slow release of simple sugars into the blood will also help to reduce the production of insulin and consequently, the transformation of glycogen into triglycerides.
You May Like: What To Eat To Improve Good Cholesterol
The Problem With High Triglycerides
High triglycerides are also called hypertriglyceridemia. According to the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention , about 25 percent of adults in the US have high triglycerides over 150 milligrams per deciliter .
High triglyceride levels are often linked to liver and pancreas issues. A 2012 study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrine Metabolism has found that high triglycerides may trigger acute pancreatitis . A 2014 research published in Biomedical Reports has found that high triglycerides may increase the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease .
High triglycerides along with poor cholesterol may also affect your kidneys. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine has found that elevated triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol may cause kidney issues .
High triglycerides may also increase the risk of heart disease. A 2018 study published in Nutrients has found that high triglycerides may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease . However, other research, including a 2011 review published in Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology has found that the relationship between triglycerides and cardiovascular issues is not clear . The link may be more complex and we may have to consider other factors as well.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
Fiber helps regulate the food absorbed and passed through your body, and high-fiber foods can significantly lower both your triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.
Both soluble and insoluble fibers help lower triglycerides. Soluble fiber binds the excess triglycerides like a gel, making it easier for the body to excrete it. It also reduces and slows down the absorption of fats and sugars.
Insoluble fiber helps control hunger pangs and increases the absorption of nutrients from your food, helping enormously if you are trying to lose weight.
- Eat foods high in soluble fiber such as oatmeal, bananas, peas, and strawberries.
- Eat foods high in insoluble fiber such as whole grains, whole-wheat products, beans, greens, and many vegetables.
Also Check: Does Peanut Butter Bad For Cholesterol
Consume Red Yeast Rice
In Chinese medicine, red yeast rice is a popular and oft-recommended treatment for lowering triglycerides.
It contains a group of naturally occurring statins and has a marked modulating effect on lipids and C-reactive protein concentrations. This, in turn, helps lower triglycerides and high cholesterol levels.
A 1997 study published in Current Therapeutic research found that red yeast rice preparations in conjunction with a proper diet produced a favorable lipid-lowering effect in hyperlipidemic patients. Use red yeast rice by following the instructive guidelines that come with the packaging or as directed by your doctor.
Can You Lower Cholesterol Without Medication
There are ways to manage high cholesterol, and the wonderful news is that heart disease is 90% preventable, Dr. Cho says. Even if you have a significant family history of high cholesterol, you can prevent heart disease.
If you have coronary artery disease or carotid artery disease, your doctor may recommend that you pair healthy lifestyle habits with cholesterol-lowering medications, which can work wonders.
But nearly everyone can benefit from learning about healthy lifestyle choices that can lower cholesterol the natural way, including diet, exercise and stress management. Dr. Cho outlines the best ways to lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.
You May Like: What Should Your Hdl Cholesterol Be
What Foods Should I Eat What Foods Should I Avoid
Maintaining a healthy diet can help lower your cholesterol. Recommended foods include fruits and vegetables whole grain foods fat-free, 1%, or low-fat milk products poultry without skin and lean meats fatty fish such as salmon, trout, albacore tuna, and sardines and unsalted nuts, seeds, and legumes.
A diet high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats should be avoided. This includes high-sodium foods sweetened or sugary beverages red, fatty, or processed meats full-fat dairy products baked goods with saturated and trans fats solid fats or fried foods and hydrogenated and saturated oils.
Chew On The Good Fiber
- The consumption of fibrous foods like green vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains are incredibly beneficial to lower triglycerides levels in the blood. But do you know that an average American eats only 10-12 grams of fiber daily when the recommended dosage is 25-30 grams? Thats the reason behind such a hike in patients with triglycerides.
- The other foods that are high in dietary fiber include legumes, cereals, and nuts.
- The inclusion of the right amount of fiber in the diet is good for the body. Fiber helps in decreasing the absorption of sugar and fats in the small intestines, thus contributing to the lowering of the level of triglycerides in the blood.
- The consumption of rice bran fiber helps in bringing down the level of triglycerides in the blood by about 7-8%.
Don’t Miss: Does Beer Have A Lot Of Cholesterol
Add Flax To Your Diet
Eat your flax instead of taking it in pill or oil form, Dr. Cho advises. Non-food versions lack fiber, lignans and protein. Instead, aim for two to three tablespoons of ground flaxseed a day, putting it in cereal, yogurt or salad.
Can Supplements Help
There are a few things you can take to help you lower your cholesterol, but you should speak with a healthcare provider before starting. Supplements that may have some benefit include immediate-release niacin, omega-3 fatty acids/fish oil, and soluble fibers . Supplements that should be avoided include red yeast rice, garlic, sustained-release niacin, no flush niacin, and niacinamide. These supplements have no data to support their use in lowering cholesterol levels or have been associated with liver damage.
Remember, if you have Questions, Consult Your Pharmacist.
Also Check: Is 224 Total Cholesterol Bad
When To See A Doctor
Keeping regular tabs on your triglyceride levels goes a long way in preventing other associated maladies. Thus, it is imperative to get regular screenings done.
For adults above the age of 20, it is recommended to get a lipid profile every 4-6 years. As for children, it is well advised to get a lipid profile done once between the ages of 9 and 11 and then once more between 11 and 20.
If you have high triglycerides, you can reduce your level with lifestyle changes, a proper diet, and some simple home remedies. At the same time, you must continue to take the medicines prescribed by your doctor.
Try Vitamins And Supplements That Can Lower Your Cholesterol
Remember that pills should be a supplement to, not a substitute for, a good diet. If youre trying to lower your cholesterol, ask your doctor about the following options.
- Psyllium: This bulk-forming fiber laxative, which is sold over the counter , finds cholesterol and eliminates it from your body. Two grams a day can lower your cholesterol.
- Red yeast rice: Taking 1,200 milligrams twice a day may lower your cholesterol, but its critical that you talk to your doctor before taking it. Youll need to have your liver function monitored, Dr. Cho notes.
- Phytosterols: Phytosterol is similar to your bodys natural cholesterol and can block cholesterol from being absorbed into your body. Dr. Cho says two grams of phytosterol a day can lower your cholesterol by 10% and your LDL by 14%.
You may hear about garlic and grapeseed and other ways to lower your cholesterol, Dr. Cho says. But these ingredients wont impact your cholesterol, so save your money for something good like sneakers so you can go exercise!
You May Like: What Vitamins To Take To Lower Triglycerides
Increase Your Intake Of Unsaturated Fats
Studies show that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can reduce blood triglyceride levels, especially when theyre replacing carbs in your diet .
Monounsaturated fats are found in foods like olive oil, nuts, and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats are present in vegetable oils and fatty fish, as well as nuts and seeds such as walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.
A 2019 review of 27 studies reported that while olive oil consumption does decrease triglycerides levels, it does so significantly less than other types of plant oil .
One older study analyzed the diets of 452 adults in a specific population of Indigenous people in Alaska over the previous 24 hours.
It found that saturated fat intake was associated with increased blood triglycerides, while polyunsaturated fat intake was associated with lower triglyceride levels .
To maximize the triglyceride-lowering benefits of unsaturated fats, pick a heart-healthy fat like olive oil and use it to replace other types of fat in your diet, such as trans fats or highly processed vegetable oils .
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can decrease blood triglyceride levels, especially when theyre consumed in place of other fats.
Reduction Of Sugar And Carb Intake
Excess sugar and carbohydrates amount to calories in our diets. The excess calories are stored by the body as triglycerides for future use.
After digestion, carbohydrate and sugar are changed into glycogen, their storage forms. The conversion of carbs into triglycerides are made possible with insulin.
Insulin is produced by the body when the level of glucose in the blood becomes high. Simple sugars are easily converted to triglycerides, unlike complex carbohydrates.
Read Also: Is High Cholesterol A Disease
What Are Normal Cholesterol Numbers
Everyone aged 20 years and older should have his or her cholesterol levels checked at least once every 5 years. The blood test should be taken after fasting for 9 to 12 hours.
You should aim for a total cholesterol level of < 200 mg/dL. Levels of 240 mg/dL or above are considered high. For LDL, lower levels are better, and the goal should be below 130 mg/dL, with < 100 mg/dL being optimal. For HDL, higher numbers are better. An HDL level < 40 mg/dL is a major risk factor for developing heart disease. You want to aim for levels of 60 mg/dL or better to help lower this risk.
Is It Possible To Lower Triglycerides Naturally
Similar to cholesterol, triglycerides come from the food we eat and our liver. When levels are normal, triglycerides are used for energy. The problems arise when levels are high, explains Dr. Nissen. When we make more triglycerides than we use, the rest are stored as fat. Thats why many people who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes have high levels.
Poor diabetes control is a major factor in causing high triglyceride levels, Dr. Nissen says. He stresses the importance of watching your carbohydrate consumption. Eating a low-carb diet and getting plenty of exercise are often effective in lowering triglyceride levels.
Don’t Miss: What Should My Total Cholesterol Be