Ways To Lower Triglycerides
Candy, cookies, pies, pastries, ice cream, frozen yogurt, puddings, fat free desserts , fruit juice, other sweet beverages, such as soda, sweetened iced tea, iced coffee beverages, lemonade, fruit punch, sports drinks, energy drinks. Also limit added sugar of any kind, syrup, and honey.
White bread, bagels, pita, etc, white rice, white pasta, white flour in any product, pretzels, rice cakes, ready-to-eat cereals made with white flour.
- INSTEAD: use whole grain breads, cereals, and pasta, and increase fiber intake.
- Old fashioned or steel cut oats are great choices, as are brown rice, quinoa, wheat berries, amaranth, and other whole grains.
- Choose legumes often chickpeas, lentils, pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, etc.
- Note: eating too much of any high-carbohydrate food will contribute to high triglycerides
Choose foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, and monounsaturated fats :
- Fatty fish: salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, trout, bluefish, herring, swordfish. Eat at least 2 servings per week limit albacore tuna and swordfish.
- Flaxseed oil and ground flaxseed , walnuts, soy products such as tofu and soy milk, dark leafy greens
- Other nuts and seeds are also good almonds, pecans, pistachios, cashews, sunflower seeds, etc.
Maintain a healthy weight, or lose weight if needed.
- You may be surprised that even a modest weight loss can greatly reduce your TGs, cholesterol, and heart disease risk.
Avoid trans-fatty acids in processed foods
Limit saturated fats
For The Love Of Lipids: 3 Ways To Lower High Triglyceride Levels
Lipid levels gotcha down â and need to literally come down? If your doctor has warned you that your triglycerides are too high, you’re likely wondering how to quickly lower them. Here are three healthy and safe ways to lower those triglyceride levels.
âRead more:â Triglycerides: What You Need to Know
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.
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.
Are Triglycerides The Same As Cholesterol
Both triglycerides and cholesterol are a type of fat. Both are made in the liver.
We get extra triglycerides and cholesterol from the food that we eat. Neither is able to circulate loosely in the blood, so our body transports them in lipoproteins.
The main function of triglycerides is to provide us with energy. This is why the body stores triglycerides in parcels of fat, ensuring we have enough energy when we need it later.
While both triglyceride and cholesterol fats have different responsibilities, having too much bad cholesterol and too many triglycerides increases risks to your heart health.
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What Foods Can Help Lower Triglycerides
Now that you know which foods to avoid, what foods can you add into your diet that can help support healthy triglyceride levels? “Foods to emphasize are high fiber vegetables with lower sugar content, such as cruciferous vegetables,” Archibald says. “Including legumes, canned or cooked from their dried versions, will add both fiber and satiety to the plate.”
Adding healthy omega-3 fats can be helpful as well. “Among fats, seek out foods rich in omega-3 fats, which not only act as natural anti-inflammatories in the body but can also prevent the production of triglycerides and cholesterol in the liver,” says Archibald.
Here are 20 foods that can lower triglycerides.
Consider Cutting Back On Carbs
You dont have to go full keto. But some research suggests that lower carb diets are tied to healthier triglyceride levels.
How low should you go? In a 2006 study, people who consumed about a quarter of their calories from carbs lowered their triglycerides more than those who got more than half their calories from carbs.
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You Are Cutting Out All Carbs
One common step that’s taken to bring down your triglycerides is to reduce your calorie intake by cutting back on carbohydrates, such as simple carbs found in sodas, juices and sweetened beverages, and refined carbs, which are found in white bread, white pasta and snack products.
This can be a helpful approach: eating too many carbs could contribute to higher triglyceride levels, and cutting back would be one strategy to lower them. However, it is not necessary to cut out all forms of carbs, including those found in whole grains. Whole grains are full of types of fiber and nutrients that work together to benefit your health. Soluble fiber is a type of dietary fiber present in whole grains, vegetables and fruits that slows digestion by attracting water and forming a gel. This process delays the absorption of sugars and fat, softens your stools and promotes regular bowel movements. Together with insoluble fiber, a type of dietary fiber that adds bulk to stools, it can promote fullness and keep you feeling full for longer. In other words, including whole grains as part of your meals and snacks can help regulate your food portion sizes by minimizing your chance of overeating.
You can incorporate more whole grains by having at least half of your grains as whole grains. Try whole-wheat versions of your favorite pastas and other grain products, and make room for whole grains like oats, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa and barley in your eating pattern.
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.
Read Also: Where Does Cholesterol Synthesis Occur
How Can I Lower Cholesterol And Triglycerides Together
If you have high triglyceride levels, it is also possible that you have too much low-density lipoprotein , or bad, cholesterol.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help with triglyceride levels. Fruits high in soluble fiber can also help reduce too much cholesterol absorption. These include:
- liver disease
- thyroid disease
If you have high triglycerides, you may also have low levels of HDL cholesterol. Contact your doctor if you feel you are at risk of high triglycerides and low HDL.
Substitute Healthy Oils In Place Of Butter And Margarine
Of course, its not always realistic to avoid fats when youre whipping up a tasty meal. When you do need to add fat for cooking, baking or pan frying, use healthy oils instead of solid fats, like butter, margarine, shortening and lard.
Solid fats are high in saturated fats, but oils are high in unsaturated fats, which remember are better for you. The American Heart Association recommends using oils that have less than 4 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon .
Many times, its easy to swap a solid fat to a healthier one. Try using olive oil, sunflower oil or grapeseed oil in place of a solid fat.
For example, if youd rather use olive oil than butter, substitute three quarters the amount of butter in a recipe with olive oil. You might also bring out some new, surprising, subtle flavors, too.
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Finding Out Your Triglycerides Levels
Triglycerides are measured with a simple blood test. Triglyceride levels should be measured when you have a cholesterol test as they can also contribute to your risk of developing heart disease, and other disease of the heart and blood vessels. The triglyceride test measures the triglycerides carried in chylomicrons and VLDL cholesterol. National guidelines in the UK no longer recommend a fasting blood test .
What should your triglyceride levels be?
HEART UK experts state that we should aim for a non-fasting triglyceride level below 2.3mmol/L.
If your doctor has asked you to fast for a test then your triglyceride level should be below 1.7mmol/L. This “fasting test” number is lower because only the triglycerides made by the liver and carried in the VLDL cholesterol will be measured not the triglycerides you get from food. As you have not eaten, there will be no chylomicrons present in your blood.
What Foods Make Your Triglycerides High
Foods that can help lower triglyceridesall vegetables, especially leafy greens, green beans, and butternut squash. all fruits, especially citrus fruits, and berries. low fat or fat-free dairy products, such as cheese, yogurt, and milk. high-fiber whole grains, such as quinoa, barley, and brown rice.
Recommended Reading: Is Cholesterol Checked In A Full Blood Count
Limit Sugar Refined Carbohydrates And Too Much Alcohol
Do you have to eat a keto diet to lower triglycerides? Not necessarily. Reducing sugars, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol may be enough to lower your levels.
As we mentioned, any caloric excess can increase triglycerides. However, the most likely sources of extra calories are excess sugar, refined carbs, and alcohol.19
One reason carbs and sugars commonly increase triglycerides may be that carbs and sugars are two of the most commonly overconsumed foods. However, another reason could be that fructose and alcohol are more likely to cause fatty liver, which can raise triglycerides.20
One study reports that simply replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water reduced triglycerides.21
And another reports that decreasing alcohol consumption lowered fasting triglycerides.22
Other factors, such as baseline obesity and insulin resistance, may make it more likely that eating carbs would cause an individuals triglycerides to rise.23
If youre overweight or have insulin resistance, the evidence shows its important to reduce carbs. However, the data suggests that most people with high triglycerides even people with normal weight would benefit from reducing sugar, refined carbs, and alcohol.
How To Quickly Lower Your Triglycerides
You might be wondering what are triglycerides and how do I know if mine are too high?Triglycerides are a type of fat found in our blood that our bodies use for energy. Having a healthy number of triglycerides can be very beneficial in maintaining good health however, when your triglyceride levels get too high, your health may be at risk.
What kind of risk are we talking about?Your triglycerides are measured through simple blood testing. A count of 150 and lower has been commonly referred to as a normal level amount. If you fall in between 200 and 500, your levels are commonly referred to as high or very high. Its at this level that your body becomes more vulnerable to increased risk of metabolic syndrome and heart disease. Regularly consuming more calories than you burn, consuming a lot of alcohol, and poorly-managed diabetes are a few of the causes of high triglyceride levels.
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Eat More Protein & Unsaturated Fats
Compared to a diet high in carbs, diets rich in protein and unsaturated fat reduced triglycerides by about 10 mg/dL in a study of 164 people with high blood pressure .
Diets high in monounsaturated fats, found in olive oil and avocados, decreased triglyceride levels better than a high-carb diet over 7-weeks in 85 people with an increased risk of heart disease. An olive-oil-rich diet also decreased the buildup of triglycerides in the liver .
A diet high in monounsaturated fats and omega-3s decreased triglyceride levels in 17 men with moderately increased triglycerides .
Some People May Respond Best To A Low
For those with severely elevated triglycerides , there is a case for low-fat diets being equally good if not better than low carb in some situations.
One study finds that those with triglycerides below 400 mg/dL respond best to low-carb diets, but those with triglycerides greater than 400 mg/dL respond best to low-fat diets.24
However, case reports document a decrease in severely elevated triglycerides with low-carb, high-fat diets.25
Its important to understand the cause of elevated triglycerides, as that may impact the proposed dietary treatment. If someone has a genetic cause, such as familial chylomicronemia or lipoprotein lipase deficiency, a low-fat diet may be more effective.26
Aside from these extreme examples, there is no evidence to support a low-fat diet as being better than a low-carb diet for reducing elevated triglycerides.
Also Check: How Much Cholesterol Per Day To Lower
Ask Your Doctor About Natural Supplements
Several natural supplements could have the potential to lower blood triglycerides. Always speak with your doctor before starting any supplements, as they can interact with other medications.
Note especially that the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements in the same way as it regulates pharmaceuticals, and supplement quality can vary widely.
Below are a few of the main supplements that have been studied:
- Fish oil. Well known for its potent effects on heart health, fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to decrease triglycerides and several other risk factors for heart disease (
Several supplements have been studied for their ability to lower triglyceride levels, including fish oil, fenugreek, garlic extract, guggul, and curcumin.
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!
Also Check: How To Bring Your Cholesterol Down
Eliminate Or Reduce Alcohol
Drinking can also raise your triglycerides.
Alcohol stops your liver from making lipoprotein lipase an enzyme that breaks down triglycerides. As a result, drinking increases your blood triglycerides.
Cutting down on alcohol consumption is a good way to get your blood markers back into a normal range.
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.
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