Triglycerides are a kind of fat that is present in the blood. It’s an important measure of a person’s heart health and having too much of it can increase the risk of heart disease. When a person eats, calories that aren’t used up are converted into triglycerides which are then stored inside the fat cells. So people who consume more calories than what their body can burn will have lots of this type of fat. If your blood test shows that your triglyceride level is above normal (that means higher than 150mg/dL) then you need to learn how to lower your triglycerides to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Simple Lifestyle Changes
You can lower triglycerides naturally by choosing to make healthy lifestyle changes.
1. Lose weight – If you are overweight, shedding a few pounds (even just 5 lbs) can really help reduce your triglyceride level.
2. Avoid sugar rich foods – Sugar and other simple carbohydrates have been known to increase triglycerides in the blood.
3. Cut back on calories – The key is to consume only the calories you need for the day. This varies from person to person, but if for example, you only need 1500 calories per day, then consume food that do not exceed that number.
4. Limit alcohol consumption – Alcohol is not only high in calories but it is also known to raise a person’s triglyceride level.
5. Consume foods high in fiber – Fiber-rich fruits, veggies and whole grains will help you feel full faster and keep you from eating more than you need.
6. Use healthy fats – Avoid trans fat and limit your saturated fat. Instead, go for foods that contain poly- and mono-unsaturated fats like nuts, avocado, olive oil and canola oil.
7. Eat fish instead of red meat – Fish like salmon and tuna are rich in omega 3 fats which lower triglycerides.
8. Eat lots of greens – Go for dark greens like spinach, kale, arugula, etc. They are also rich in nutrients and omega-3’s.
9. Exercise – You don’t need to train for a triathlon to get your cholesterol and triglyceride levels in check. Thirty minutes of brisk walking a day can do wonders for your health. Also, use the stairs instead of the elevator and try to move around your desk every 30 minutes so that you burn more calories.
10. Eat in moderation – Binge-eating is never a good thing even if you’re only consuming healthy foods. Fruits for example, still contain sugar and calories so if you consume 6 apples a day then that’s already around 400 calories and about 60g of sugar.
Managing Stress is Also Key to Lowering Triglyceride Levels
One study has found that stress can cause triglycerides to stay longer in the bloodstream which could be one of the reasons why people who are always under a lot of psychological stress are susceptible to heart diseases.
The co-author of the study, Catherine Stoney, said that during a stressful situation, people are not metabolizing fat properly. They tested 70 individuals and found that their triglyceride levels went down faster during restful sessions than during stress-induced sessions.
What this finding means is that if you have high triglyceride levels you need to manage your stress to avoid aggravating the problem. Take a break, go on a short vacation, go to bed early or start a new hobby – anything that will get your mind off your worries.