Cut Down On Your Alcohol Intake
When you drink alcohol, your liver breaks it down into triglycerides and cholesterol in your body. Alcohol consumption can also raise your blood pressure and make it harder to keep your weight in a healthy range.
Cutting down on beer, wine, and liquor can be a simple first step to lowering your cholesterol.
Eat More Polyunsaturated Fats
Polyunsaturated fats include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Both omega-3 and omega-6 are known as essential fatty acids. Essential refers to the fact that the body cannot produce these oils, and a person can only get them directly from food sources.
Evidence notes that consuming these fats instead of saturated fat can have a beneficial effect on blood cholesterol levels by reducing LDL cholesterol without affecting HDL cholesterol.
Dietary sources of polyunsaturated fats
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration , most Americans do not consume the recommended amount of dietary fiber. The recommended amount is around 28 grams a day based on a 2,000-calorie daily diet.
Regular exercise benefits a persons health in many ways. This includes helping to lower bad cholesterol levels and raising good cholesterol levels.
People new to exercise may want to start with lower-intensity activities and gradually build the intensity of their workouts. Additionally, individuals with chronic conditions or disabilities
- bile acids, which help the body digest fats
Cut Back On Added Sugar
A sugary diet can cause your liver to make more LDL cholesterol while lowering your HDL levels. Excess sugar can also raise your triglycerides and inhibit an enzyme that breaks them down. To prevent this, replace sugary fare with naturally-sweet alternatives. Instead of a bowl of candy, for example, have unsweetened applesauce or a baked pear. When you do indulge in high-sugar treats, stick to modest portions.
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Establish A Regular Meal Pattern
Insulin resistance is another factor that can contribute to high blood triglycerides.
After you eat a meal, the cells in your pancreas send a signal to release insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin is then responsible for transporting sugar to your cells to be used for energy.
If you have too much insulin in your blood, your body can become resistant to it, making it difficult for your body to use insulin effectively. This can lead to a buildup of both sugar and triglycerides in the blood.
Fortunately, setting a regular eating pattern can help prevent insulin resistance and high triglycerides. For instance, research shows that not eating breakfast can lead to decreased insulin sensitivity .
An American Heart Association statement suggested that irregular eating patterns seemed less likely to achieve healthy cardiometabolic levels. They recommended intentional eating at regular times .
However, the evidence is mixed when it comes to meal frequency.
A 2013 study demonstrated that eating three meals per day significantly decreased triglycerides compared with eating six meals per day (
Regardless of how many meals youre eating daily, eating regular meals can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood triglyceride levels.
While studies are mixed on how meal frequency affects blood triglyceride levels, research suggests that sticking to a regular meal pattern can decrease many heart disease risk factors and prevent insulin resistance.
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.
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How To Lower Triglycerides Fast Without Medications
Unlike many illnesses, much of the treatment centered around how to lower triglycerides actually has a lot to do with lifestyle factors like diet and physical activity. In fact, moderate to slightly high levels of triglycerides may be managed in this way alone, without the use of prescription medications. Since what raises triglycerides in the first place is often the foods that we eat, it is not a wonder that a mere change in ingestibles can provide long term benefits in the form of lower triglycerides levels. And, the long term management of the amounts of these fats circulating in the blood can often be well managed with a diet to lower triglycerides combined with an increase in moderate exercise.
Fats are also best left alone as much as possible for anyone trying to stave off ever rising levels of the manufactured blood fats. As such, fried foods and those that contain trans fat or saturated fat should be eliminated from diets entirely. Not only does this decrease the likelihood that triglycerides will remain on the rise, a low fat diet also contributes to a reduced risk of obesity. Being overweight or obese is a major contributing factor to the increase of triglycerides in the blood, and adhering to a low fat diet can reduce this risk dramatically.
Will A Keto Diet Lower Triglycerides And Cholesterol
No, keto diets have been shown to increase cholesterol levels. The Mediterranean diet, however, has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiac events.
The Mediterranean diet promotes eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats daily eating fish, poultry, beans, and eggs weekly reducing portions of dairy and limiting red meat.
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Instead Eat Healthy Fats
Not all fats are created equal when it comes to triglycerides. Certain healthy fats actually make the body work better, according to the American Heart Association, so you do want to include them in your diet. Replacing saturated fat with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat has been shown to help reduce TG levels,Palinski-Wade says, adding that the connection is quite direct: Research has shown that every percent you decrease your intake of trans fatsreplacing them with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatlowers your triglyceride levels by the same amount. Eating avocados and cooking with olive oil instead of butter are great ways to add these healthy fats to your diet. Olive oil also contains another fatty acid that can reduce your heart attack risk by 48 percent.
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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Develop Healthy Sleep Habits
Sleeping too little is common but detrimental to your health. In fact, loss in sleep is associated with increased cholesterol levels and related problems, such as high triglycerides and blood pressure. To improve your sleep, aim for consistent bed and waking times, sleep in a cool, dark, comfortable room, and avoid stimulating activities, such as working on a computer, before bed.
What Are Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a type of fat that circulates in the bloodstream. After you eat a snack or meal, your body breaks down the fats in the food, packages them with protein and cholesterol, and dumps them into the bloodstream. After an especially fatty meal, triglycerides can be so abundant that they give the blood a milky tint. Within a few hours after a meal, triglycerides have mostly cleared out of the bloodstream.
The American Heart Association sets out four main categories of triglyceride levels:
- healthy: below 100 milligrams per deciliter of blood
- borderline high: 150 to 199 mg/dL
- high: 200 to 499 mg/dL
- very high: 500 mg/dL and above.
“High” or “very high” levels of triglycerides are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. When the triglyceride level nears 1,000 mg/dL, individuals can develop pancreatitis, a serious inflammation of the pancreas, in addition to heart disease.
High triglyceride levels also may be associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and a cluster of heart disease risk factors known as the metabolic syndrome. Together, these features put a person at especially high risk of heart disease.
A large clinical trial of fenofibrate , one of the fibrate drugs, showed that it also reduced triglyceride levels, but didnt lower the risk of heart disease. However, fenofibrate did seem to help a subgroup of people in the trial who had particularly high triglyceride levels and low HDL levels.
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Dont Forget Vitamin K2
When people think of Vitamin K, most people go to Vitamin K1, which helps with blood clotting. Its forgotten sibling, Vitamin K2, helps remove calcium buildup from the arteries . While this vitamin may not directly lower cholesterol, calcium buildup is a key component of the artery-clogging plaque. Good sources of Vitamin K2 include hard cheeses with whole milk, egg yolk, chicken breast, ground beef, butter, and liver. Grass-fed animals contain higher levels of Vitamin K2 compared to grain-fed.
You may notice that the best sources of Vitamin K2 also contain saturated fat, which has been accused of causing heart disease since the 1970s. This recommendation is quite controversial in the medical community. A large review of nearly 350,000 people followed for over 20 years showed a lack of evidence connecting saturated fat to the development of heart disease .
While saturated fat should not be the primary source of fat in your diet, do not be afraid to add these Vitamin K2 powerhouses because of the saturated fat content. Most importantly, ensure your K2 sources are high-quality, grass-fed, and pasture-raised animal sources. But, as always, plants should still be the predominant part of our meals.
Prepare Your Food A Little Differently
Its not only what you eat its how you eat it. Just as you can change what you buy in the grocery store, you can also choose healthier ways to make your food that help lower your cholesterol naturally. For example:
- Consider trimming fat and removing the skin when cooking meat or fish. This helps you get the protein while reducing fat intake.
- Focus on boiling, broiling, baking, poaching or grilling. These are better methods of preparation than deep frying or breading, which can add extra fat.
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Who Is At Risk Of Elevated Triglycerides
Certain factors can lead to high triglycerides, including genetics, a family history of high triglycerides, lifestyle habits, and medical history. Poor lifestyle habits raising triglyceride levels include lack of exercise, overweight or obesity, smoking, a high sugar intake, large meals, and saturated and trans fats.
People with poorly controlled diabetes, obesity, and kidney disease are more likely at an increased risk of high trigylcerides. Other risk factors may include certain medications, drinking a lot of alcohol, and age.
And Limit Unhealthy Ones
Namely, trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils, which sometimes show up in baked goods, snack foods, fried foods, refrigerated dough , nondairy creamers, and margarines.
Eating these harmful fats can send your triglycerides up in just a few short weeks, not to mention raise your LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL cholesterol.
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How To Lower Triglycerides Naturally
1. Diet and Lifestyle Changes
Cut Back on Calories
Because of the relationship between increased weight circumference and high triglycerides, cutting back on calories and losing weight can have a big impact on triglyceride levels. Stick to cholesterol-lowering foods, such as vegetables, nuts, seeds, garlic and sweet potatoes.
In a study conducted at the School of Medicine and Pharmacology in Australia, compared with weight maintenance, weight loss significantly decreased body weight, plasma insulin, triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. To lose weight fast, begin by avoiding the consumption of empty calories throughout the day. This means cutting back on sweetened beverages, refined carbohydrates and baked goods.
Avoid Sugary Foods
A study published in the American Journal of Physiology found that when fructose was given to rats, there was a 20 percent increase in triglyceride production. The results suggest that dietary fructose not only increases triglyceride production, but also impairs triglyceride removal. Fructose is a natural simple sugar found in fruits, vegetables and honey. Instead of consuming too many of these high-fructose foods, focus on bringing complex carbs and healthy fats into your diet. Also, always avoid high fructose corn syrup, one of the worst ingredients out there.
Stick to Complex Carbohydrates
Choose Healthy Fats
3. Essential Oils
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.
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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.
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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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.
Why Lowering High Triglyceride Levels Matters
The national guidelines for fasting triglyceride levels in healthy adults are:
- Normal: Under 150 milligrams per deciliter .
- Borderline High: 151200 mg/dl.
- High: 201499 mg/dl.
- Very High: 500 mg/dl or higher.
When your triglyceride levels are high and you have a high amount of LDL cholesterol or a low amount of HDL cholesterol, all of this could contribute to the development of fatty buildups within the artery walls of the heart. The buildup can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
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Limit Your Sugar Intake
Added sugar is a big part of many peoples diets.
While the American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 100150 calories of added sugar per day, one study found that the average American eats about 308 calories of added sugar daily .
Added sugar is commonly found in sweets, soft drinks, and fruit juice.
Extra sugar in your diet may be turned into triglycerides, which can lead to an increase in blood triglyceride levels, along with other heart disease risk factors.
A 2020 review that included data on 6,730 people found that those who consumed sugar-sweetened beverages regularly were over 50% more likely to have high triglycerides, compared with those who did not drink them regularly .
Another study found that consuming high amounts of added sugar is also associated with higher blood triglyceride levels in children .
Fortunately, several studies have shown that low carb diets can lead to a decrease in blood triglyceride levels .
Even a simple change such as replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water could decrease triglycerides in some people .
Minimizing added sugar in your diet from sugary beverages and sweets can reduce your blood triglyceride levels.