How To Lower Cholesterol And Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a type of lipid, or fat, your body produces to store extra calories and provide energy. Cholesterol is another lipid that circulates in your blood. Your body uses cholesterol to build cells and produce hormones.
Both triglycerides and cholesterol are essential for your health but having levels that are too high puts your health at risk. Living a healthy lifestyle helps to keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels within a normal range.
This article covers how triglycerides and cholesterol affect your health and how you can lower them naturally.
Diet For High Triglycerides: What To Eat And What Not To Eat
A key role in the management of high triglycerides can play it there diet. With the exception of those conditions deriving from underlying pathologies, for which the attending physician will be the most suitable reference, nutrition will be fundamental.
Anyone suffering from high triglycerides will need to pay special attention to both foods to avoid that to the recommended foods.
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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Top 10 Foods High In Triglycerides To Avoid
The foods we eat every day can be a major cause of high triglycerides. So much so in fact, that the blood can almost turn milky after a large meal, especially if it is filled with foods high in triglycerides. This is why people who are having blood work done in order to test triglycerides levels are told to fast the night before so that testing can be done accurately. Some foods are more likely to cause this than other foods, and unfortunately some triglycerides spiking culprits are common and delicious everyday fare.
Not all foods that can raise the levels of these blood fats actually contain triglycerides. Some of them simply can cause their levels to become elevated in a hurry. Trans fats containing foods may be no-brainers, but there are several surprises that most people may not link to elevated triglycerides. That is why we have put together this list of the top ten foods high in triglycerides to avoid in order to better understanding what can raise the levels of these fats in the blood. The foundation of a triglyceride lowering diet is cutting out foods that can raise their abundance in the bloodstream and it is one of the most important parts to managing and potentially reversing the condition.
So please check out this list of the top ten blood fat boosting foods worth avoiding if managing triglycerides is on your to do list:
Feeding Your Heart: Foods To Help Lower Cholesterol
Fruits like avocados and apples, and citrus fruits like oranges and bananas can help lower cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a material produced in the liver that your body needs to make hormones, vitamin D and other substances. Two types are in the body: Good and bad.
Bad cholesterol is called LDL cholesterol and too much of it in the body can increase risk of heart disease, says Paula McIntyre, a Marshfield Clinic registered dietitian.
Higher levels of LDL cholesterol can be deposited in the arteries, which narrows them and increases heart disease risk, she said.
Cholesterol also can come from foods we eat, so feeding your heart the right foods is an important way to lower bad cholesterol levels.
You can break down LDL cholesterol eating healthy fats and soluble fiber.
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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.
What Treatments Are Available For High Cholesterol
Treatment may include:
Addressing risk factors. Some risk factors that can be changed include lack of exercise and poor eating habits.
Cholesterol-lowering medicines. Medicines are used to lower fats in the blood, particularly LDL cholesterol. Statins are a group of medicines that can do this. The two most effective types are atorvastatin and rosuvastatin. Other medicines that lower cholesterol levels are ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors.
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Healthy Eating Tips To Lower Cholesterol
As well as sticking to a varied and healthy diet, try these tips to help you manage your cholesterol:
- Limit takeaway foods to once a week .
- Limit salty, fatty and sugary snack foods to once a week .
- Eat plenty of vegetables aim for 5 serves of vegetables every day. .
- Choose wholegrain breads, cereal, pasta, rice and noodles.
- Snack on plain, unsalted nuts and fresh fruit .
- Include legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, split peas), beans into at least two meals a week. Check food labels and choose the lowest sodium products.
- Use spreads and margarines made from healthy unsaturated fats instead of those made with saturated fat .
- Use healthy oils for cooking some include canola, sunflower, soybean, olive , sesame and peanut oils.
- Use salad dressings and mayonnaise made from oils such as canola, sunflower, soybean, olive , sesame and peanut oils.
- Include 2 or 3 serves of plant-sterol-enriched foods every day .
- Have 2 to 3 portions of oily fish every week. Fish may be fresh, frozen or canned.
- Include up to 7 eggs every week.
- Select lean meat and limit unprocessed red meat to less than 350g per week.
- Choose reduced fat, no added sugar milk, yoghurt, or calcium-added non-dairy food and drinks.
- Limit or avoid processed meats including sausages and deli meats .
If you are having trouble with your cholesterol levels, a dietitian can help you to eat healthily for your specific needs.
How Do Foods Affect Triglyceride Levels
Eating foods high in simple sugars significantly contributes to high triglyceride levels. Follow these guidelines to limit simple sugars in your diet:
- Substitute beverages like colas, fruit drinks, iced tea, lemonade, Hi-C and Kool-Aid with artificially sweetened beverages labeled sugar-free or diet.
- Limit hard candies, chocolates, candy bars, and gummy bears.
- Avoid adding table sugar and brown sugar to cereal, drinks or foods. Instead, use an artificial or herbal sweetener or nothing at all!
- Choose sugar-free gum or mints instead of the regular versions.
- Try light or low-sugar syrups on pancakes and waffles.
- Spread breads and crackers with no-sugar-added jelly or preserves.
- Snack on whole fruit instead of fruit roll-ups and other fruit-flavored treats.
- When selecting cereals, choose those with no more than 8 grams of sugar per serving.
- Try sugar-free gelatin, popsicles, yogurts, and puddings instead of the regular versions.
- Be aware that desserts labeled fat-free usually contain more sugar than the full-fat varieties and the same number of calories.
- Cut back on or avoid eating sweets and dessert foods, including cookies, cakes, pastries, pies, ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, gelato, and flavored ices. All of these foods contain high levels of sugar.
- Read the ingredients list on food labels, and limit foods that list any of the following words in the first few ingredients:
Natural sugars, when eaten in excess, can also raise your triglyceride level.
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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 .
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.
What Not To Eat The Foods To Avoid
How to behave on the opposite side, that is: what not to eat in case of high triglycerides? First, we need to reduce the intake of as much as possible simple sugars. It is also necessary to strongly limit or better still eliminate those foods which promote the increase of LDL cholesterol .
In case of particularly high levels of triglycerides it is recommended to further reduce, in any case by relying on your doctor, thecarbohydrate intake. You may need to limit your intake to whole grains or rice only, avoiding bread and pasta altogether.
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The Dietary Guidelines For Americans Summarized
Heres a summary of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:
Avoid industrial trans fats.
Replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats, and aim to get less than 10% of your calories from saturated fats.
Reduce calories from solid animal fats with plant oils when possible.
Prioritize seafood , lean meats, poultry, eggs, legumes , nuts, seeds, and soy products over red and processed meats as sources of protein.
Choose Fish In Water Not Oil
Fish is a heart healthy food, but read the label carefully when you buy canned fish. Doctors recommend that you watch your intake of fat when you have high triglycerides, especially saturated and trans fats. It is a better idea to buy canned fish that is packed in water. You will get all the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in fish without the downside of additional fats that may contribute to high triglyceride levels. The American Heart Association recommends that people eat at least 2 servings of fatty fish per week. Fatty fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, herring, trout, mackerel, sardines, and albacore tuna.
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What Not To Eat: Foods That Raise Cholesterol
Whether you have high cholesterol that needs to be lowered or you simply want to maintain an already-healthy cholesterol level, avoiding certain foods can help.
Any food that contains saturated fat is a no-no for a cholesterol-lowering diet. Trans fats are equally as bad, if not worse. Trans fats are a double whammy they raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol, Featherstun says.
Here are some specific types of food to avoid:
Anything fried Youd be hard-pressed to walk into a restaurant in the United States and not find a deep fryer. But if youre on a cholesterol-lowering diet, take a pass on the greasy stuff. Not only does deep frying cause foods to lose water and suck up fat, making them more calorie dense, but the oils that foods are fried in are often high in trans fats, the worst offenders.
If you cant bear the thought of never eating another crunchy onion ring, consider using olive or sunflower oil when frying. In a study published in January 2012 in The BMJ, researchers in Spain, where olive and sunflower oils are used for frying, found that eating fried foods was not associated with increased rates of heart disease like it is in countries where saturated fats, like lard and butter, are used. Just be sure not to heat these oils past their smoke point the temperature at which an oil starts to burn.
Are High Triglycerides A Common Problem
Experts recommend you keep your triglycerides below 150 milligrams per deciliter. About one-quarter of the people in the United States have high triglycerides. These numbers have declined since 2001, probably because more people take statin drugs and fewer people smoke cigarettes.
The U.S. FDA’s ban on trans fats in food could be another reason triglyceride levels have dropped among Americans. Trans fats increase the levels of not only LDL cholesterol also called the “bad” cholesterol but also triglycerides.
Even though trans fats may be banned by the FDA, you should choose unsaturated fats over saturated ones.
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Egg White Scramble With Spinach
Eggs are notoriously high in cholesterol, but all of it is contained in the yolk. The whites are cholesterol-free and packed with protein.
Scramble up a couple of egg whites and toss in a handful of spinach for fiber. Cook your eggs in olive or canola oil. These healthy oils could help improve your cholesterol numbers even more.
Diet To Lower High Triglycerides Useful Tips
Follow the diet to lower high triglycerides can be particularly challenging, especially for those used to eating in an unregulated or excessive way. Help can come from the couple, sharing the challenge with the partner.
Finally, it is good not to forget the ability ofphysical exercise to consume the triglycerides present in the body, so as to be a possible cause of hypotrigsiceridemia. On the other hand, it can be an excellent ally for lowering high triglycerides. However, it must be considered that this is not a way to escape a healthy diet, a supportive therapy that can make the recovery process faster.
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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.
Pathologies Linked To High Triglycerides
When it comes to the consequences of high triglycerides, special attention should be paid. This condition can be followed by various cardiovascular diseases, even potentially fatal: the reference is in particular toheart attack and tostroke, which can be favored by the deterioration of the health of the arteries and other blood vessels.
The effects on blood pressure should also not be underestimated , to the development of the condition known as fat liver, to the manifestation of high levels of glycemia even on an empty stomach and also with the increase in the values of bad LDL cholesterol.
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High Triglycerides What To Eat
What to eat to lower triglycerides? There are several recommended foods, keeping in mind not to overdo the quantities taken.
Cereals and whole grains and rice
Even in the form of pasta or bread, these products help the body to maintain a sense of satiety for longer, to perform digestive functions optimally and to contain blood sugar levels. Excellent contribution of fibre, useful for lowering high triglycerides.
Fruits and vegetables
Lots of vegetables as a source of dietary fiber, which will help reduce excess triglycerides. Yes also to fresh fruit, although it is recommended to avoid consuming bananas, figs, persimmons, grapes and mandarins.
Green light also to fish, especially when it comes to sardines, herring, salmon and mackerel. The fish mentioned have meats rich in omega-3 fatty acids, believed to be effective in reducing triglycerides.
How to forget i legumes, excellent source of vegetable proteins and among the main alternatives to red meat and aged cheeses.
What To Eat: Foods That Lower Cholesterol
There is great evidence to support functional foods that help lower cholesterol, Featherstun says. Add these choices to your diet:
Plant stanols and sterols These are naturally occurring compounds found in plant cell walls, Featherstun says. They interfere with cholesterol absorption in the small intestine and can help lower LDL cholesterol. A study published in October 2012 in Lipids in Health and Disease found that eating 9 to 10 grams of stanols per day can help lower LDL cholesterol by more than 17 and as much as 22 percent. You can get plant stanols and sterols in margarine-like spreads such as Benecol and Smart Balance, available in the dairy section of most grocery stores.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats These fats can help decrease LDL cholesterol, Featherstun says. To get them, eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, trout, herring, or king mackerel, at least twice a week. Other good sources of unsaturated fats include chia seeds, avocados, almonds, walnuts, and olive oil.
Soy foods Soy proteins contain isoflavones and phytoestrogens, which block both cholesterol absorption and new cholesterol production, Featherstun says. Good sources of soy protein include tofu, soy milk, and edamame. Try to replace one daily animal protein item with a soy protein alternative, Featherstun suggests.
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