What are Triglycerides? What to do for Triglyceride Levels?
Updated: 6 days ago
Triglycerides are a type of fat which circulates in our bloodstream. They are the main form of energy stored in our body and when we eat, they provide short-term energy. Triglycerides can also be created by the liver when we break down other fats.
But What is this C compound and Why to Care?
A high level of triglycerides could indicate an increased risk for coronary heart disease.
This is because triglycerides increase your LDL cholesterol, which has been linked to an increased risk for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.
The Dangers Of High Triglyceride Levels!!
It is estimated that 30% of adults in the United States have metabolic syndrome. Elevated triglycerides are one of the common symptoms of this syndrome.
The good news is that there are many different ways to lower your triglyceride levels. These include changes in diet and lifestyle as well as medications. Here, we'll discuss what you can do at home to naturally lower your triglycerides.
Low Carb Diet
Triglyceride levels can be elevated if you eat too many carbohydrates, especially refined carbs like sweets and white breads and sugar. If you are looking at lowering your triglyceride levels, you should reduce these or better still, eliminate these completely from your diet. Replace these with unrefined high-fiber carbs such as beans, vegetables and whole grains. Replace high-sugar products with fruits such as berries which can go a long way in reducing your sugar cravings.
TIP - Manage sugar cravings by replacing high-sugar products with fruits.
Exercise For 45 Minutes A Day
The benefits of exercise on triglycerides are evident. According to The American Heart Association, at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week can significantly lower triglycerides. Try jogging, swimming, yoga or any other high-intensity workout for best results.
TIP - The 45 minute high-intensity workout provides better results than a 75 minute low-intensity workout.
Include Unsaturated Fats in Your Diet
Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats can reduce blood triglyceride levels. While the former are found in foods like olive oil, nuts and avocados, the latter are present in vegetable oils and fatty fish, as well as nuts and seeds such as walnuts and chia seeds. Replacing processed vegetable oils with heart healthy Olive Oil can also go a long way in improving heart health.
TIP - Replace processed Vegetable Oil with Olive Oil to improve heart health.
Limit Or Quit Smoking and Alcohol
Alcohol is a source of high sugar, carbs and calories. These calories get converted to triglycerides and are stored as fat. Alcohol can increase the synthesis of low density lipoproteins in the liver, which carry triglycerides into your system. Even moderate alcohol consumption can spike your triglyceride levels and therefore it is advisable to reduce intake or even better, eliminate it completely.
Smoking, on the other hand, adds substantially to the risk. It adds plaque to the arteries, raises HDL (bad cholesterol), while lowering LDL (good cholesterol) which aids in reducing plaque.
TIP - The best thing you can do for your heart is to quit smoking and alcohol.
Consume Soy Protein
Soy contains Isoflavones, known for reducing HDL and significantly lowering triglycerides. Soy protein is found in tofu, tempeh, soy milk and edamame (soybeans). This makes it a better source of protein as compared to animal sources.
TIP - Include tofu, soy milk and edamame to your daily diet.
Add An Omega-3 Supplement
In addition to the dietary and lifestyle changes above, Fish Oil can significantly reduce triglycerides owing to the fact that it is a rich source of Omega 3 acids. A good fish oil is one which contains EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) in a 2:1 ratio. Look for Fish Oils sourced from Salmon which are particularly rich in EPA and DHA content. Additionally, if your Fish Oil supplement contains Vitamin D, it produces a synergetic effect including lowered risk of kidney, bone and cardiovascular diseases.
TIP - Not all Fish Oils are the same. Look for the ones with EPA and DHA in a 2:1 ratio with added Vitamin D for best results.