Changing Your Diet To Lower Triglycerides
Limiting sugars, refined carbs, and alcohol is crucial to get the best results.
Diets higher in fiber and fish may also help to lower triglycerides. Those with severely elevated levels may respond better to low-fat diets, but this is not a universal finding.
When attempting to lower triglyceride levels, many find success through altering their eating habits. Here are the dietary approaches worth trying, according to science.
Fight It Out With Tree Nuts
- How to lower triglycerides with nuts is a prevalent question over the internet? Tree nuts such as macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, pecans, and almonds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, and healthy unsaturated fatty acids. These work in unison to lower the level of triglycerides in the blood.
- The consumption of 3-7servings of fresh tree nuts in a week is excellent for driving down the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood as each serving of tree nuts can decrease the level of triglycerides by about 2.20mg/dL.
There are a few essential supplements that can be taken to decrease the level of triglycerides in the blood. The extract of the following compounds is available in the form of supplementary capsules that can be taken on the recommendation of the physician to lower the levels of triglycerides in the blood.
Other simple ways to lower triglycerides in the blood.
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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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.
Risks And Side Effects
Supplements can interact with a persons medication or cause side effects. In addition, some products may not have undergone regulation by the FDA.
Therefore, people should speak with a doctor or another healthcare professional before taking supplements, especially if they have a health condition or are taking medication. Additionally, many supplements are unsuitable for use during pregnancy or while chestfeeding.
Furthermore, if someone has concerns about their cholesterol levels, they can consult a doctor about diet and lifestyle strategies that could manage cholesterol, improve overall health, and lower their risk of heart disease.
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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:
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Ask The Doctor: What Should I Do About High Triglycerides
Q. On my last blood test, my triglycerides were 280. Should I be worried about that? My doctor wants me to start taking something called Lopid. Is there another solution?
A. Under the current national cholesterol guidelines, fasting triglycerides should be under 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood . Your level is almost twice that, and well into the high triglycerides category, which begins at 200 mg/dL.
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- Research health conditions
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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.
Chew On The Good Fiber
- The consumption of fibrous foods like green vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains are incredibly beneficial to lower triglycerides levels in the blood. But do you know that an average American eats only 10-12 grams of fiber daily when the recommended dosage is 25-30 grams? Thats the reason behind such a hike in patients with triglycerides.
- The other foods that are high in dietary fiber include legumes, cereals, and nuts.
- The inclusion of the right amount of fiber in the diet is good for the body. Fiber helps in decreasing the absorption of sugar and fats in the small intestines, thus contributing to the lowering of the level of triglycerides in the blood.
- The consumption of rice bran fiber helps in bringing down the level of triglycerides in the blood by about 7-8%.
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What Are Triglycerides And Why Are They Important
Triglycerides are a type of blood lipid and theyre made up of free fatty acids. Theyre stored in your body fat, but youll 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, theyre 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.
Its 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 theyre 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 youre at a greater risk for developing heart disease.
Eating Fatty Fish Weekly
Fatty fishes are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acid which is an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are better than saturated fatty acids because the liver converts them into ketones while saturated fatty acids are converted into LDL and VLDL.
Also, they can be taken around the body without leaving their traces in blood vessels.
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Preventing High Triglyceride Levels
- Shedding the extra pounds can go a long way in reducing your triglyceride levels. If you are overweight, losing 5% to 10% of your body weight will do wonders for your health in general and triglyceride levels in particular.
- Cut down on added sugar by avoiding sweets, sodas, and other sugary beverages.
- Substitute saturated fats with healthy polyunsaturated fats such as safflower, corn, and soybean oils or healthy monounsaturated fats such as canola and olive oils.
- Because the excess carbohydrate in your diet is what gets later converted into triglycerides, it is essential to follow a low-carbohydrate diet.
- Minimize alcohol consumption, because even a small amount can cause significant damage as far as triglyceride levels are concerned.
- Follow a disciplined and regular eating pattern, broken down into six small meals over the course of the day rather than 3 large meals.
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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Supplements That Can Help Lower Cholesterol
Following a healthy diet, exercising, and not smoking are the most commonly recommended natural ways to manage cholesterol. There are also some supplements that may assist in lowering cholesterol.
The Food and Drug Administration describes a supplement as a product taken by mouth that has ingredients meant to add to your diet. Supplements are not medications, so they are not regulated to the same level as drugs and are not approved by the FDA for safety and effectiveness. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider about adding any supplements to your routine.
Increase Your Intake Of Unsaturated Fats
Studies show that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can reduce blood triglyceride levels, especially when theyre replacing carbs in your diet .
Monounsaturated fats are found in foods like olive oil, nuts, and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats are present in vegetable oils and fatty fish, as well as nuts and seeds such as walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.
A 2019 review of 27 studies reported that while olive oil consumption does decrease triglycerides levels, it does so significantly less than other types of plant oil .
One older study analyzed the diets of 452 adults in a specific population of Indigenous people in Alaska over the previous 24 hours.
It found that saturated fat intake was associated with increased blood triglycerides, while polyunsaturated fat intake was associated with lower triglyceride levels .
To maximize the triglyceride-lowering benefits of unsaturated fats, pick a heart-healthy fat like olive oil and use it to replace other types of fat in your diet, such as trans fats or highly processed vegetable oils .
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can decrease blood triglyceride levels, especially when theyre consumed in place of other fats.
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How Your Healthcare Provider Can Help
Your healthcare provider can help you get your triglyceride levels under control by ruling out possible causes like medications, thyroid issues, unmanaged diabetes and liver or kidney disease. They can then formulate an effective management plan with you. This might include medication and lifestyle changes like losing weight and eating smaller portions.
As mentioned before, a healthy, fiber-rich diet can help in the matter. Exercising regularly can also play a huge part in managing triglyceride levels. By cleaning up your existing routine, you could see changes in your triglyceride levels within a few months.
This article was adapted from Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor.
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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A Few Words Of Caution
- Boil, bake, steam, and roast the foods to get the comprehensive benefits of their nutritional composition.
- Do not exceed the servings of tree nuts as they tend to be high in calories.
- Avoid foods that have a high glycemic index.
- In the case of fruits, eat them raw, ripe, and fresh for the fibrous content and nutrients.
Supplements That Are Not As Promising
In 2017, the International Lipid Expert Panel reviewed supplements that research had suggested might help in lowering cholesterol. The panel determined that several were not effective at lowering cholesterol and might even be harmful. The committee recommended against using the following supplements as a way to reduce cholesterol²¹:
- Policosanols: These are alcohols from sugarcane wax. They are generally well tolerated, but more research is needed to nail down their true lipid-lowering benefits before they are recommended.
- Silymarin: This is extracted from the seeds of milk thistle. It doesn’t absorb well in the body, and more information about its safety is still needed.
- Conjugated linoleic acid: This is made from the fat and milk of certain animals. It has been shown to negatively affect vascular function.
Remember that the FDA does not study the claims made by supplement manufacturers. It is important to make sure your healthcare team knows about any dietary supplements and medications you are taking.
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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 Americans 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 bodys 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.
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.
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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!
Foods That Could Help Lower Triglycerides
Chances are, youve heard that having healthy triglyceride levels in your blood is important. But what exactly are triglycerides, and how do they work in your body? And when you have high levels, is it possible to manage them with lifestyle, and can food make a difference? The good news is, according to food and health pros, what you eat can help. Weve rounded up some of the foods that can lower triglycerides, and there are plenty of whole foods on the list.
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