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How To Manage High Cholesterol And Triglycerides

Cut Back On Sugar And Refined Carbs

Doctors On Call: How To Manage High Levels Of Cholesterol And Triglyceride

Different carbohydrate-loaded foods also contain very different nutritional levels.

Dr. Nissen recommends scaling back or eliminating:

  • Whole grains.
  • Brown rice.

Dr. Nissen advises that increasing your fiber intake may lower triglyceride levels. If you have high triglyceride levels, theres a good chance you dont ingest close to the recommended 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day, he says.

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 .

Summary

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.

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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Nutrition And Dietary Supplements

In addition to eating a healthy diet, low in saturated fat, with plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, some specific foods and supplements may help lower cholesterol.

Fiber: Several studies show that soluble fiber lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Fiber can also help you lose weight because it makes you feel full. Your doctor will encourage you to get more fiber in your diet. You may also take a fiber supplement. Men should get 30 to 38 g of fiber per day. Women should get 21 to 25 g per day.

Beta-glucan is a type of soluble fiber found in oat bran and other plants. It slightly reduces LDL cholesterol, which is why oat bran is touted as a cholesterol-lowering food.

Soy: Many studies have shown that eating soy protein , rather than animal meat, helps lower blood cholesterol levels, especially when you eat a diet low in saturated fat. One study found that as little as 20 g of soy protein per day is effective in reducing total cholesterol, and that 40 to 50 g shows faster effects . Another study found that soy can help reduce triglyceride levels. The AHA recommends that people with elevated total and LDL cholesterol add soy to their daily diet, and that soy is safe when consumed as part of your regular diet. But talk to your doctor before you take soy supplements. Soy isoflavones may have estrogen-like effects in the body, which might lead to an increased risk of breast and other cancers.

What Are High Triglycerides

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Triglycerides are a type of fat-like substance in the blood that the body uses for energy. Some triglycerides are needed but too much of them can put people at higher risk for heart attack, stroke, inflammation of the pancreas, and other health problems.

What Are Symptoms of High Triglycerides?

High triglycerides also can run in families.

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Stop Smoking To Lower Cholesterol

The ADA recommends if you smoke to quit to improve diabetes management. Quitting smoking can also improve your overall health and reduce your risk of cancer.

There are numerous programs, support systems, and medications available to help you quit smoking. Studies show it might take a few tries to quit your smoking habit for good. Not smoking when you have diabetes can help you reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease and other diabetes complications.

Managing High Cholesterol And High Triglycerides Everyday Health

High cholesterol is an extremely common problem, affecting as many as 93 million people over age 20 in the United States , according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . But because high cholesterol has no symptoms and can only be detected with a blood test, many people may not realize they have it.

High cholesterol and its close cousin high triglycerides another type of fat, or lipid, in your blood can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke, which is a problem because theyre leading causes of death in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association .

Everyone really needs to pay attention, because if they dont have high cholesterol, they probably know someone who does, says Partha Nandi, MD, host of the Dr. Nandi Show and chief health editor of WXYZ-TV ABC Detroit. Whats key is that you have to get your cholesterol checked.

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How Do Triglycerides Circulate In The Blood

Pure cholesterol cannot mix with or dissolve in the blood. Instead, the liver packages cholesterol with triglycerides and proteins called lipoproteins. The lipoproteins move this fatty mixture to areas throughout the body.

Types of these lipoproteins include very low-density lipoproteins , high-density lipoproteins and low-density lipoproteins .

Is It Possible To Lower Triglycerides Naturally

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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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Thoughtful Talks With My Health Care Professional: My Cholesterol Treatment Plan

Your health care professional can help you reach your health goals, including keeping your cholesterol at healthy levels.

Making decisions with your health care team is the best way to create a treatment plan youll be more likely to stick to. If you dont understand something, ask for further clarification.

Heres a helpful checklist that you and your health care professional can go through to determine your risk and the best treatment options for you.

How To Lower Triglycerides And Cholesterol Naturally

Your genes, diet, and lifestyle all affect your triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Some people naturally produce more triglycerides and cholesterol than others. This is based on their genetics and family history. Still, these levels are just part of your overall lipid levels, and lifestyle changes are one of the best ways to keep your numbers within a healthy range.

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How Quickly Can I Lower My Cholesterol

Your cholesterol levels may lower as quickly as a few weeks to a few months, depending on your treatment plan.

If your levels are very high, your healthcare provider may recommend taking medications at the start of your treatment plan. This may help lower your cholesterol levels more quickly. The sooner you can lower your bad cholesterol levels, the sooner you can lower your risk for plaques to form.

You can also lower your cholesterol through lifestyle and diet changes alone, but it may take three to six months to see results. Talk with your healthcare provider to figure out the best treatment plan for you.

The Role Of Diet In Managing Your Cholesterol

HIGH CHOLESTEROL AND TRIGLYCERIDES

The doctors on the panel agree that a healthy eating plan, rather than a particular fad diet, can help reduce cardiovascular disease risk. Whether its the Mediterranean diet a whole-food, plant-based diet or the DASH diet we know that diet makes an enormous difference, says Collings. And, she notes, decreasing processed food is also key. She points to a study published in March 2021 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which found that study participants the offspring of the people in the Framingham Heart Study who consumed as many as 7.5 servings a day of ultra-processed foods had an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Many people seem to be getting the message about heart-healthy eating. A recent Everyday Health Twitter quick poll asked people what they do to keep their heart healthy and lower their cholesterol. They found that:

  • 35.5 percent said that their top tactic was to decrease processed foods
  • 29 percent said their number-one move was to increase their intake of whole, plant-based food

How powerful are dietary changes? At Silicon Valley Medical Development, Collings found that diet changes alone can reduce total cholesterol by as much as 20 percent and LDL cholesterol and harmful triglycerides by nearly 35 to 40 percent in as little as 30 days in the highest risk group .

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How Is A Lipid Disorder Diagnosed

To check your cholesterol levels, your doctor will order a blood test called a lipid profile, or lipid panel. This test measures your total cholesterol and triglycerides. Before this test, your doctor will likely ask you to avoid eating and drinking liquids other than water for at least 8 to 12 hours.

The lipid profile measures cholesterol in milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter . Your total cholesterol level should be no higher than 200 mg/dL. Learn how to understand your cholesterol results.

A combination of medications and lifestyle changes is a common treatment plan to correct high cholesterol and triglycerides. Your doctor may also suggest certain supplements.

How Are Triglycerides Different From Cholesterol

Triglycerides and cholesterol are both fatty substances called lipids. But triglycerides are fats cholesterol is not. Cholesterol is a waxy, odorless substance made by the liver. It is used to build cell walls, helps the nervous system and plays an important role in digestion and hormone production.

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When Are Triglyceride Levels Measured

Triglyceride levels are usually measured whenever you have a blood test called a Lipid Profile. Everyone over age 20 should have their cholesterol checked at least every 5 years. Your healthcare provider can check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels by taking a sample of blood, which is sent to a lab for testing. The Lipid Profile shows your triglyceride level, total cholesterol level, HDL cholesterol and LDL levels.

Blood triglyceride levels are normally high after you eat. Therefore, you should wait 12 hours after eating or drinking before you have your triglyceride levels tested. Many other factors affect blood triglyceride levels, including alcohol, diet, menstrual cycle, time of day and recent exercise.

Putting Together A Low Cholesterol Diet

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When it comes to investing money, experts recommend creating a portfolio of diverse investments instead of putting all your eggs in one basket. The same holds true for eating your way to lower cholesterol. Adding several foods to lower cholesterol in different ways should work better than focusing on one or two.

A largely vegetarian “dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods” substantially lowers LDL, triglycerides, and blood pressure. The key dietary components are plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains instead of highly refined ones, and protein mostly from plants. Add margarine enriched with plant sterols oats, barley, psyllium, okra, and eggplant, all rich in soluble fiber soy protein and whole almonds.

Of course, shifting to a cholesterol-lowering diet takes more attention than popping a daily statin. It means expanding the variety of foods you usually put in your shopping cart and getting used to new textures and flavors. But it’s a “natural” way to lower cholesterol, and it avoids the risk of muscle problems and other side effects that plague some people who take statins.

Just as important, a diet that is heavy on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts is good for the body in ways beyond lowering cholesterol. It keeps blood pressure in check. It helps arteries stay flexible and responsive. It’s good for bones and digestive health, for vision and mental health.

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Choose Foods That Help Improve Your Ldl And Hdl Levels

Following a healthy eating plan can play a big role in your overall health, including your blood sugar and blood lipid control. What you eat and your cholesterol levels go hand in hand.

Foods that can help lower cholesterol:

Fiber , healthy fats , and plant stanols or sterols have all been shown to help lower cholesterol.

Other ways to improve cholesterol:

— Reduce sugar intake: Cut the amount of added sugars you eat. This is especially important for people with high triglycerides. The grams of sugars on the Nutrition Facts label of a food package, however, doesn’t tell you if sugars have been added . Instead, look at the ingredients list for items such as sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, maple syrup, or agave to see if there are added sugars in the product. Natural sugars, such as those found in fruit and dairy products, are also counted as sugars on the Nutrition Facts label. Limit how much sugar you use to sweeten drinks or in recipes.

— Limit high-cholesterol foods: People with diabetes should consume no more than 200 milligrams of cholesterol per day, according to the ADA.

Choose Good Fats Over Bad Fats

Fat is an important nutrient, necessary for energy and hormone production, vitamin absorption, maintaining the membrane integrity of every cell in our body, and growth and development. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA, 20% to 35% of calories should come from fat. But when it comes to dietary fat, not all types are created equal.

As noted above, saturated fats contribute to high levels of LDL cholesterol, as do the trans fats in fried foods and baked goods. At the same time, however, monounsaturated fats, which are found in olives, olive oil, and certain nuts and seeds, actually help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Another type of good fat, the polyunsaturated fat in fatty fish like salmon and cod, as well as flaxseeds and walnuts, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that play a significant role in reducing overall blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

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Psck9 Inhibitors Can Lower Your Ldl Cholesterol: A Lot

PSCK9 inhibitors may be a good choice for people with an inherited form of high cholesterol. These new drugs can lower dangerous LDL levels by half or more. The drugs costs are high, but the health care industry is working with manufacturers and pharmacists to bring the price down and make PSCK9 inhibitors available to more people.

How Can I Lower Cholesterol With Diet

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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:

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Symptoms Of High Blood Cholesterol And Triglycerides

High cholesterol typically doesnt cause any symptoms. Symptoms may only appear after the increased cholesterol has caused significant damage.

For instance, symptoms may come in the form of heart disease symptoms, such as chest pain or nausea and fatigue. A heart attack or stroke may result from uncontrolled cholesterol, among other things.

Treatment For High Cholesterol

Making lifestyle changes, especially changing some of the foods you eat, and regular physical activity, are very important to help reduce high LDL cholesterol.

  • Move more. Regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your heart health. Increasing your physical activity from as little as 10 minutes a day to the Australian governments recommended 30 to 45 minutes a day, five or more days of the week, can help manage your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • Quitting smoking reduces the risk of heart disease and can help reduce cholesterol levels. The most effective way to stop smoking is with a combination of stop-smoking medicines and support from a service like Quitline . Speaking to your GP is also a great first step.
  • Drinking alcohol doesnt have any health benefits. Alcohol contributesunnecessary kilojoules and is of low nutritional value. Alcohol is not a necessary or recommended part of a heart-healthy eating pattern.If you do drink, to reduce your risk of alcohol-related harm, healthy women and men should drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than four standard drinks on any one day.
  • You may also need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines to help manage your cholesterol and reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Talk to your doctor about finding the most appropriate treatment for you.

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