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.
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.
The Best Diet For Lowering Triglycerides: A Mediterranean
Throughout the research on lowering triglycerides, two trends emerge. The first is that limiting carbohydrates and increasing fat consumption leads to lower triglyceride levels. The second is that polyunsaturated fats decrease triglycerides more than any other fat.
If we combine these two trends together, we come out with a Mediterranean-style ketogenic diet that restricts carbohydrates more than any other diet and places emphasis on omega-3 rich fish like sardines and salmon and polyunsaturated fat rich nuts and olive oil.
The Mediterranean-style Ketogenic Diet will also provide a healthier amount of vegetables, fiber, and protein than a typical Americans diet, which further improves triglyceride levels.
Not sure what a Mediterranean-style Ketogenic meal would look like? Here are some delicious examples:
Or have a can of sardines on a delicious Oven Roasted Caprese Salad.
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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!
Fish Oil To Prevent Depression
Does fish oil prevent depression? Find out what a recent study found in the Depression section of our Fish Oil and Omega-3 Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks among fish oil supplements.
For information about other supplements promoted for depression, see our answer to the question: What are the best supplements for depression and anxiety?
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Eat The Right Foods For You
As weve seen, there are some broad dietary guidelines you can follow to help lower your triglyceride levels.
But our research shows that everyones blood fat responses to the foods they eat are personal, with more than 10 times the difference between some people.
ZOE runs the largest nutritional study of its kind, with over 15,000 participants so far. Based on our studies, weve developed a personalized nutrition program that takes your unique biology into account to help you improve your metabolic health.
Using the latest scientific techniques, the ZOE at-home test analyzes your triglyceride and blood sugar levels after eating, as well as the microbes in your gut.
Based on your results, the ZOE program then gives you advice on the best foods and food combinations for your body and your long-term health goals.
You can take a free quiz to find out more.
Natural Supplements Proven To Lower Cholesterol And Triglycerides
james meschino, DC, MS, ROHP
The Natural Cholesterol-Lowering Game PlanHigh cholesterol and/or triglyceride problems are very common in modern society and are known to increase risk for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Individuals should strive to achieve a fasting blood cholesterol level below 3.9 mmol/L and a fasting triglyceride level below 1.13 mmol/L to maximize their protection against heart attack and stroke. Eating less high fat animal products and consuming foods high in cholesterol-lowering fiber is most beneficial in this regard . In addition, there are two natural agents that have proven cholesterol and triglyceride lowering effects that can be used to complement a diet and lifestyle plan aimed at lowering these two cardiovascular risk factors. These two natural agents include Gugulipid and Artichoke Leaf. When taken at the right dosage and standardized grade these two supplements work synergistically to lower cholesterol and/or triglyceride to a significant degree, in persons with elevated blood levels
Gum Guggul or Gugulipid is derived from the mukul myrrh tree, which is native to India. Upon injury, the tree exudes a yellowish gum resin known as gum Guggul, Gugulipid or Guggulu. The extract isolates ketonic steroid compounds known as guggulsterones that have been shown to be the active constituent that accounts for its cholesterol-and triglyceride-lowering effects.
Artichoke Leaf References:
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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.
Natural Tips Of Treatment For High Triglycerides In Blood
Triglycerides are a kind of lipid found in the blood. Calories converted by the body have not used right away into triglycerides. They are found in the fat cells circulated in the blood to give energy for your muscles to act. Triglycerides are not similar to cholesterol that the body needs for cellular structure and hormone synthesis. The pertinent amount of triglycerides is important for correcting the functioning of cells. However, the excess triglycerides are unhealthy. The cause of high triglycerides can be a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, poorly controlled diabetes, kidney disease, genetic factors, etc. The level of high triglycerides usually does not have symptoms but it can cause a high risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes as well as cholesterol problems. Our VKool page, today, will show you top 14 tips of natural treatment for high triglycerides in blood. With these tips, you can easily lower your triglyceride level by lifestyle changes, an appropriate diet, and several simple remedies at home. They are natural and safe treatments that you can do them yourself at home. However, we recommend you to consult your doctor to have the proper diagnosis before applying any of them.
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What Is A Good Tg: Hdl Ratio
A lower TG/HDL is better. In the discussion of science, studies, and treatment, there has been a tendency to go with higher ratios to show the largest impact on CV disease risk and death.
Here are the typical cut points for risk :
- In US less than 2 is ideal above 4 is too high
- In Europe less than 0.87 is ideal above 1.74 is too high
Diet Advice: How To Lower Triglycerides Naturally
So how can you lower triglycerides naturally? First, try eating your way to better heart health.
A healthy triglyceride diet should include a combination of foods with specific nutrients, including those that are rich in antioxidants, like cranberries. And until you learn how to lower triglycerides below 150 mg/dL, you may also want to augment your diet with nutritional supplements that provide therapeutic levels of these same nutrients. Drinking tea is another beneficial habit for reducing triglycerides.
Most important, make sure the following trio of key nutrients are in your diet.
How to lower triglycerides naturally? Get your omega-3 fatty acids salmon is a top source.
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Get Down And Dirty With Running Jogging And Exercise
- Did you know that a high level of healthy cholesterol in the bloodstream is good for lowering the level of triglycerides? Well, yes. Healthy cholesterol or HDL bears an inverse relationship with the level of triglycerides in the blood.
- Aerobic exercise, walking, running, jogging, bicycling, swimming, and even freehand exercise can enhance the level of HDL cholesterol in the blood, which helps in lowering the level of triglycerides effectively.
- Exercising is not only good for making the triglyceride level dip to an average index but is also excellent for weight loss.
How To Use Psyllium 28 % Oral Powder
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. If you are self-treating, follow all directions on the product package. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. To prevent choking from this medication, take it with a full glass of water or other liquid . If you are taking the wafers, chew them thoroughly before swallowing.
For powder forms of this medication, measure each dose according to the directions on the product label. Mix in a full glass of water or other liquid , stir completely, and drink right away. You may add more liquid to the mixture if it becomes too thick. When preparing the medication, be careful not to breathe in the powder since it may rarely cause an allergic reaction.
Dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed.
This product may decrease the absorption of other medications you may be taking. Take this product at least 2 hours from your other medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information or if you have any questions.
It may take 1 to 3 days before this medication starts working. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Do not take this medication for more than 7 days unless directed by your doctor.
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Home Remedies To Reduce Triglycerides
Triglyceride is the most common type of fat found in the blood, with almost 95% of the total body fat falling under this category. The body converts calories that it doesnt need to use right away into triglycerides.
Triglycerides are stored in the fat cells and are circulated in the blood to provide energy for your muscles to work. Even though both triglyceride and cholesterol are lipids, the former is fat and the latter is not.
Moreover, triglycerides serve the function of providing energy, whereas cholesterol is needed by the body for hormone synthesis and cellular structure.
Despite the fact that triglycerides are essential sources of energy and necessary for the proper functioning of cells, elevated levels can pose many health risks.
The Best Evidence For Herbs
The National Institutes of Health recognizes that there is great interest in natural treatments for diseases, and it has information on natural products for cholesterol at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health . This is what the science says on herbal supplements for blood fats and cholesterol:
Flaxseed. Studies on flaxseed supplements, including flaxseed oil, are mixed, but theres some evidence that they may lower cholesterol, especially in people with high cholesterol levels. Flaxseed and flaxseed oil are generally safe but should be avoided during pregnancy.
Garlic. Taking a garlic supplement for two months may modestly lower cholesterol. Other than affecting your breath and body odor, garlic is safe. Johns Hopkins Medicine also supports garlic to lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
Green tea. There have been many studies on green tea. The research indicates that it may lower total cholesterol. Concentrated green tea may cause liver problems in some people, and most green tea does have caffeine, says NCCIH. Johns Hopkins Medicine also recommends this herb for lowering cholesterol.
Oats and oat bran. Several studies support the supplement of bran fiber to lower cholesterol at about three grams a day.
Soy. There have been many studies that show soy foods or soy supplements can lower blood fats. The most common side effect from soy is an upset stomach.
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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.
What Other Lifestyle Changes Help Lower Triglycerides
Lifestyle strategies are a way to lower triglycerides naturally.
Weight loss has a positive effect on triglycerides. For every 5% to 10% weight reduction, triglycerides may be lowered by 20%. Another way to look at this: For every kilogram lost, triglycerides may be reduced by 2%.
Increasing physical activity lowers triglycerides.
- Aerobic activity of any kind, especially when done after a meal, uses up triglycerides that are in the blood ready to be used as fuel. This not only lowers triglycerides but also helps with abdominal obesity.
- Exercise is most effective for lowering triglycerides when they are very elevated. If triglycerides are optimal , exercise will not further lower the level.
All together, intensive lifestyle strategies can reduce triglycerides by 50% or more over a year. Lifestyle strategies can enable people to effectively reduce triglycerides without medicine or drugs, plus there are many other positive effects on other aspects of health and well-being. This is the recommended approach of the American Heart Association for anyone with triglycerides greater than optimal .
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Add Flax To Your Diet
Flaxseed, a soluble fiber, is a source of high-quality protein and potassium. It also contains lignans, which help fight diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease.
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.
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Do High Triglyceride Levels Affect Hdl And Cholesterol Levels
Triglycerides are involved in the transport of fatty acids to muscles and tissues for energy.
- HDL particles are involved in the transport of excess fatty acids from the periphery back to the liver for elimination. Because of these competing roles, it is very difficult to increase HDL, the healthy good cholesterol, without first addressing triglycerides.
- HDL not only transports excess lipid to the liver for disposal, but it also transports cholesterol to organs such as the adrenals, ovaries, and testes for steroid hormone synthesis.
- Many of the strategies discussed here that lower triglycerides are also known to raise HDL.
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Work With Your Doctor On A Lower Cholesterol Plan
Lowering your cholesterol doesnt mean going it alone. Your primary care doctor is a helpful partner along your journey.
Your doctor can work with you to create an action plan just for you one that combines diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes to help you lower and manage your cholesterol.
For example, losing weight and quitting smoking can be big helpers for lowering cholesterol. Quitting smoking can raise your good HDL cholesterol levels, and losing weight can lower your bad LDL cholesterol levels significantly.
But these two tasks arent easy. Fortunately, your primary care doctor can be a great resource to help you get started and find practical ways to stick with it. Plus, help with quitting smoking and losing weight may already be covered if you have health insurance.
Whether you want to quit smoking, lose weight or just learn more about how your personal health would benefit from lower cholesterol levels, regular check-ins with your doctor are key. They can also perform cholesterol tests the only way to actually measure cholesterol to check your progress and help you make adjustments based on the results.
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