Berries Particularly Blueberries Boost Your Good Cholesterol
Quite a few studies have been made on berries and their effect on cholesterol. The results of the studies are different but they are all POSITIVE.
Some studies say that berries lower your LDL cholesterol . Berries contain a compound called pterostilbene which has some of the same cholesterol lowering properties as one of the most effective antioxidants when it comes to lowering cholesterol, preventing heart disease and keeping your artery walls clean and flexible.
Other studies say berries raise your HDL cholesterol .
So I guess we can conclude that no matter what berries are fabulous for your cholesterol levels.
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.
Foods That Can Help Lower Triglycerides
The way you prepare food can also have an impact on triglycerides. One approach to lower triglycerides naturally is choosing healthy fats, like extra virgin olive oil, instead of saturated fats, like butter and lard, when its time to fry or saute something to eat.
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Possible New Treatment For High Triglycerides
In the report in The New England Journal of Medicine, an international team of researchers describe a new therapy for high triglycerides. It involves a weekly injection of “antisense oligonucleotides” , pieces of DNA that short-circuit the livers production of triglycerides. The new report shows that ASOs can reduce triglyceride levels by as much as 70%.
Keep in mind that this was a phase 2 trial, which is designed to test whether a drug does what it is supposed to do . Larger, longer-term studies will be needed to see whether ASOs actually reduce the risk of heart disease, and what sorts of side effects they cause.
Many experimental medications that sparkle in early testing never become FDA-approved drugs. We wont know for several years whether ASOs will become available for individuals with high triglycerides.
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.
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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.
Cholesterol And Healthy Eating
What we eat has an impact on our cholesterol levels and can help reduce our risk of disease. Try to eat a wide variety of foods from each of the five food groups. Not only does this help to maintain a healthy and interesting diet, but it provides essential nutrients to the body.
The Heart Foundation recommends:
- Plenty of vegetables, fruits and wholegrains.
- A variety of healthy protein sources , legumes , nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart healthy diet. If choosing red meat, make sure it is lean and limit to 1-3 times a week.
- Unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. Those with high blood cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties.
- Healthy fat choices nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking
- Herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.
Also, be mindful on how much you are eating and whether you are filling up on unhealthy foods. Portion sizes have increased over time and many of us are eating more than we need which can lead to obesity and increase our risk of cardiovascular disease.
Ideally, a healthy plate would include servings of Â¼ protein, Â¼ carbohydrates and Â½ vegetables.
Serving size can vary depending on age, gender and specific nutrition needs.
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Eat More Protein & Unsaturated Fats
Compared to a diet high in carbs, diets rich in protein and unsaturated fat reduced triglycerides by about 10 mg/dL in a study of 164 people with high blood pressure .
Diets high in monounsaturated fats, found in olive oil and avocados, decreased triglyceride levels better than a high-carb diet over 7-weeks in 85 people with an increased risk of heart disease. An olive-oil-rich diet also decreased the buildup of triglycerides in the liver .
A diet high in monounsaturated fats and omega-3s decreased triglyceride levels in 17 men with moderately increased triglycerides .
Outcome Trials With Epa
JELIS was a prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded endpoint trial of 18,645 patients with elevated serum total cholesterol , but notably relatively normal triglyceride levels, treated with EPA 1.8 g or placebo daily in addition to statin therapy. Treatment with EPA was associated with a greater lowering of triglycerides and a 19% reduction in the composite primary endpoint of any major coronary event, including sudden cardiac death, fatal or nonfatal myocardial infarction and nonfatal events, unstable angina pectoris, or need for coronary revascularization. Subsequent analyses revealed that EPA reduced cardiovascular events by 53% in patients with evidence of atherogenic dyslipidemia at baseline .71,72 Of particular interest, these findings were observed in a study performed exclusively in Japan, where the doses of background statin therapy were low, the dose of EPA was relatively modest, and general consumption of fish is higher. Accordingly, it is of interest to know whether similar findings could be observed in Western populations.
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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.
Luis Alvarez / Getty Images
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
While you may want to sip on a glass of wine after a long day, go easy: Drinking too much alcohol is one of the unhealthy habits that are worse for you than you thought. Alcohol can raise your triglyceride levels while also contributing to high blood pressure, obesity, and increased type 2 diabetes risk, according to the AHA. Alcohol is a source of empty calories and sugarwhen this excess energy goes unused, it can begin to collect and build up as triglycerides in the blood, explains Palinski-Wade. Some suggests moderate alcohol intake can raise TG levels by 50 percent or more. The AHA recommends that men have no more than two drinks per day while women keep it to one drink daily. But if you are looking to lower TG levels, refraining from alcohol may be your best option, Palinski-Wade says.
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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
How To Lower Triglycerides Naturally
If your triglycerides are high, there are natural ways to lower them without resorting to medications, which may have undesirable side effects. Research shows that the currently available drugs haven’t shown the ability to significantly lower heart attack risk or some of the other concerns associated with high triglycerides. Consider these natural remedies.
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Risk Factors For High Triglycerides
Research shows that triglyceride levels predict cardiovascular disease, a principal cause of morbidity and mortality in Western society. People with high triglycerides may be at significant risk for cardiovascular disease even if their LDL cholesterol levels are at goal.
A 2010 study conducted at Harvard Medical School evaluated the relative contributions of triglyceride and HDL cholesterol in the risk of coronary heart disease after LDL cholesterol levels were reduced. The study, involving 170 cases and 175 controls, suggests that high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol levels were associated with coronary heart disease even in patients with lower LDL cholesterol levels. The odds of coronary heart disease increased by approximately 20 percent per 23 milligrams per deciliter increase in triglycerides.
Having high triglycerides also makes you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Its not that high triglycerides actually causes diabetes, but it shows that the body isnt turning food into energy properly. Normally, the body makes insulin, which escorts glucose into the cells where its used for energy. The insulin allows the body to use triglycerides for energy, but when someone is insulin-resistant, the cells wont let insulin or glucose in, thereby causing both glucose and triglycerides to build up in the blood.
Conventional Treatment for High Triglycerides
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.
Avoid Saturated Fat & Trans Fat
To keep your triglycerides low, avoid animal fat and trans fat. Animal-based food like red meat, butter, and cheese contain mostly saturated fat, which is linked to higher triglyceride levels. Plant fat, including vegetable and nut oils, doesn’t raise blood triglyceride levels as much as animal fat. An exception to this rule? When vegetable oils are solidified through hydrogenation , they become “trans fat” and act similarly to animal fat in the body.
Most fried and packaged foods, such as potato chips and cookies, contain trans fat. The U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends making trans fat less than one percent and saturated fat less than 10 percent of your total fat intake. For the best results, avoid animal fat and trans fat altogether. Consume healthy fats, like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or other plant-based options instead.
Eliminate Or Reduce Alcohol
Drinking can also raise your triglycerides.
Alcohol stops your liver from making lipoprotein lipase an enzyme that breaks down triglycerides. As a result, drinking increases your blood triglycerides.
Cutting down on alcohol consumption is a good way to get your blood markers back into a normal range.
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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.
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.
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Other Causes Of High Triglycerides
High triglyceride levels may have other causes besides diet. For some people, high triglycerides are genetic. While dietary changes may help lower them a bit, you may also want to speak with your doctor about whether you also need to take medication.
Pregnancy can also cause a temporary increase in triglycerides. In women who are genetically predisposed, the increase can sometimes be severe and life-threatening.
Some medications can also raise your triglyceride levels. These include:
- Birth control pills containing estrogen
- Hormone replacement therapy
Do Bananas Lower Triglycerides
The researchers also say that people with high triglycerides should focus on eating more vegetables fruits that are lower in fructose such as cantaloupe, grapefruit, strawberries, bananas, peaches high-fiber whole grains and especially omega-3 fatty acids, which are found primarily in fatty fish such as salmon, …
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Conditions That Raise Triglycerides
Certain health conditions can cause high triglycerides, so let your doctor know your medical history or any unusual symptoms you may have. This could shed some light on your levels, says Joel Kahn, MD, clinical professor of medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit and associate professor of medicine at Oakland University Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, Michigan. For example, he says conditions such as prediabetes, diabetes, liver disease, and thyroid disease could be responsible for high triglycerides. But lifestyle factors have a huge impact on your triglycerides as well, so before your doctor prescribes medication, you may want to try to lower them naturally. Heres how to do it.
What Can You Do To Lower High Triglyceride Levels
Because your body can get triglycerides from the food you eat, it makes sense that changing your diet can help if you’re concerned with your triglyceride levels. In general, according to Ash, it’s important to reduce your intake of refined flour, processed and packaged foods that contain trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and excess carbs and sugars that are bad news for your health.
One key nutrient to keep in mind is fat. According to Ash, switching out the types of fat you eat can make a huge difference. “Trans fats and polyunsaturated fats, like the fat in canola oil, are going to be the biggest offenders because they burden the liver, which is going to manufacture more triglycerides in order to make more LDL. So what we’re eating and how we’re supporting the liver is really what’s going to matter when it comes to triglycerides,” she says.
That said, fat is only one factor to consider when it comes to food. “Specific to food, fat itself is often not the culprit,” says registered dietitian Amanda Archibald, founder of The Genomic Kitchen. “Excess calories from alcohol or starchy/sugary foods are often more complicit in producing high triglycerides.”
If your doctor has told you your triglyceride levels are on the high side, it’s worth asking them what foods to avoid and what lifestyle changes could help. Chances are, you’ll want to exercise more and go easy on trans fats and simple carbs.
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