Many people have heard the expression high triglycerides; however, many do not know what triglycerides are or how to lower them. Let’s take a look at the illnesses associated with high triglyceride levels and what you can do to naturally lower these dangerous substances in the blood.
Triglycerides are a kind of fat that is found in the blood. When you consume more calories than your body can burn, these excess calories are turned into triglycerides, which are stored inside fat cells. When your body needs more calories, it releases hormones to break down triglycerides for energy. Over time the number of triglycerides increase and travel through your bloodstream.
When you have high levels of triglycerides in your blood you are at an increased risk of developing a number of health issues, including stroke, high blood pressure, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Luckily, there are several things that you can do to lower your triglyceride levels naturally.
Physical activity – Everyone knows that exercise is good for the body. It helps to burn excess calories which will lower the number of triglycerides in the blood. Studies have shown that getting 30 minutes of exercise on most days can naturally lower your triglyceride levels. The National Institutes of Health reports that one hour of exercise can lower triglyceride levels by as much as 22 percent.
Weight loss – When you consume more calories than you burn, triglycerides form and are stored in your fat cells. Research has shown that losing ten percent of your total body weight can decrease your triglyceride levels by 40 mg/dl. When it comes to weight loss, it is important to maintain a healthy weight. If you regain the weight, you are at risk of increasing your triglyceride levels to dangerous levels.
Reduce your sugar intake – Excess sugar in the diet will turn to triglycerides and increase your risk of death and cardiovascular disease. By decreasing your sugar intake, you can naturally lower your triglyceride numbers and protect against stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Instead of reaching for a sugary snack, reach for a heart-healthy snack like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
Increase fiber – Fiber found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes can decrease your triglyceride levels. Fiber works by removing toxins from the body, improving digestion and lowering inflammation in the body. Fiber scrubs cholesterol and triglycerides out of the body, which lowers your triglyceride levels.
Healthy fats – Trans fats, those added to processed foods, and omega 6 fatty acids increase triglyceride, LDL cholesterol levels, and inflammation. Exchanging these types of fats for healthier alternatives like foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as walnuts, flaxseeds, and fatty fish help to decrease inflammation and lower cholesterol levels.
Eat on a schedule – Did you know that eating haphazardly can cause increased triglyceride levels? When you eat, insulin is released into your bloodstream. Insulin is used to transport glucose throughout the body for energy. When you do not eat regularly, the insulin can build up in your body and prevent the body from using insulin properly. Setting a schedule for eating can help to decrease insulin resistance and help the body properly breakdown and use energy which is calories from your food.
Decrease alcohol consumption – Alcohol is high in calories and sugar. If you do not burn these excess calories, they will be converted into triglycerides. To help reduce your high triglyceride levels, either abstain from drinking alcohol or limit your alcohol beverages to one to two drinks.
Add soy – Soy contains isoflavones, which can help to lower triglyceride levels. Soy products like edamame, soy milk, tofu, and soybeans offer numerous heart-healthy benefits including lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Low carb is best – The body converts carbohydrates to triglycerides. Eating a low carb diet helps to decrease the amount of free circulating triglycerides in the bloodstream. One additional benefit to eating a low carb diet is decreased calories and weight loss. Carbohydrates are quickly digested which means you will get hungrier sooner. By replacing excess carbohydrates with healthy fats and lean proteins will help you to feel fuller, longer.
Making healthy lifestyle changes that includes dietary changes, weight loss, and regular exercise can help protect your heart by lowering triglyceride levels.