How to lower triglycerides?

What are triglycerides?

Triglycerides are fat particles in the blood that come from the food we eat and your diet. Most of the fat intake, such as butter, oils, and portions of margarine, are in triglyceride shape. Excess calories, alcohol, sugar, or refined carbs in the body turn into triglycerides and are stored in fat cells, liver, and adipose tissues. The liver can use fats to produce energy. Triglycerides are produced in the liver.

What is the difference between cholesterol and triglyceride?

Lipids have a variety of forms and shapes, but both triglycerides and cholesterol are fat substances. The package lipoprotein is a combination of cholesterols (HDL and LDL), triglycerides, and proteins. They move through the body to be used in each essential part. The high and elevated level of triglycerides will increase the risk of heart problems.

Level of triglycerides and complications

Triglycerides are measured by a blood test in the Lipid Profile.
The lipid profile can determine the level of triglycerides, total cholesterols, HDL, and LDL cholesterol.
People have to be fasting 8-12 hours before blood tests because eating fatty and oily meals before the profile lipid test can show the wrong content.
Drinking alcohol, the diet and the meals, menstrual cycle, and exercise can affect the triglycerides level.

Triglyceride ranges

Although the normal triglyceride level is 150 mg/dl, having a 100 mg/dl level of triglyceride means a healthier lifestyle and a protective effect on the body.
A triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL or higher is one of the metabolic syndrome risk factors.
Borderline high and high triglycerides can lead to an increased risk for heart diseases, heart attacks, strokes. Studies have shown that people with borderline triglyceride levels, around 150-199 mg/dl, have to participate in physical activities like fast walk about three times a week (each time about 150 minutes). This activity can 20-30%reduce the triglyceride level.
More than 500 mg/dl triglycerides need to be under treatment because it can lead to pancreas inflammation and damage.

What causes high triglycerides?

♦ Being overweight
♦ Obesity
♦ Low physical activity
♦ Smoking
♦ Alcohol intake
♦ High carbohydrate intake and rich in refined ones

How to lower the triglycerides?

Patients may wonder how they can reduce triglycerides. The first approach is to check up the causes of high triglycerides levels. For example, some medications and drugs, thyroid problems, diabetes, liver and kidney diseases can cause upper triglyceride levels in the body.
There are some ways such as lifestyle changes, consuming foods that lower the number of triglycerides, preparing triglyceride-friendly meals, and avoiding foods that will increase the number of triglycerides and overall, following a healthy diet and can maintain the proper weight for people.


Lifestyle changes

High triglycerides are quite reactive to lifestyle changes. Weight loss is affected by these changes due to regular and frequent exercises and diet modifications.
People who are in the abnormal ranges of triglycerides are recommended to restrict the added sugar to their foods and meals, avoid fructose, especially in processed foods and
Also, natural foods restrict and limit saturated fats in meals, avoid trans fats to less than 1 % of total calories. If the triglycerides levels are higher than 500 mg/dl, patients should avoid consuming alcohol.


Losing weight

Reducing the calorie intake and following a proper weight loss diet to finding out the exact portion sizes of meals can help the patients. They have to eat small and frequent meals and avoid starving for a long time. Taking part in gym and exercises especially the aerobic ones besides losing weight is beneficial.


Diet

The diet should be low in fats, low in sugars, low in refined and simple carbs, and low in alcohol.
The abnormalities in profile lipid, including the LDL, HDL, total cholesterol, and triglyceride, can be under treatment or medications, lifestyle changes, and diet.
A high range of triglycerides are a risk factor for developing heart and other health problems, so they have to be under doctors' prescription and dietitians' suggestions.
Eating foods rich in simple sugars can lead to high triglycerides because they can extract to triglycerides and be stored in the body.
Products with refined carbs and bleached and enriched flours do not contain an adequate amount of fibre. So, they should be limited because they will be a reason for high triglycerides.
If you suffer from elevated triglycerides, you have to avoid alcoholic beverages and use them in moderation. We will mention the recommended portions for each gender.
Saturated and trans fats should be omitted from the diet because they can increase the level of triglycerides in the body.


Here are 21 healthful ways to lower triglyceride with diet

♦ Use sugar-free or diet beverages instead of beverages like fruit drinks, iced tea, lemonades, colas, and sweetened and added sugar beverages.
♦ Avoid and Restrict candy, sweets, chocolate, and confectionery products.
♦ Avoid adding sugar to the meals and drinks and substituting them with allowed herbal or artificial sugar-free sweeteners.
♦ Using sugar-free slices of bread and crackers
♦ Using whole fruit instead of their products
♦ Choosing the cereals with no more than 8 grams of sugar per serving
♦ Use sugar-free dairy products such as yogurts, ice-creams, and popsicles.
♦ Use fat-free products that contain less sugar than the full-fat varieties.
♦ Pay attention to the ingredients list on food labels, especially the fat and sugar content such as Sucrose, Glucose, Fructose, corn syrup, Maltose, Molasses, and other types of sugars.
♦ Honey and molasses are high in sugar, so they have to be used less.
♦ Dried fruits contain concentrated sugars, so they should be restricted to ¼ cup daily.
♦ Avoid using canned fruits with high concentrated syrups.
♦ Starchy veggies such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, corn, and peas should be limited to ½ cup.
♦ Whole grains pieces of bread, crackers, cereals, oats, corn, rice, and wheat are better.
♦ Whole wheat pasta and brown rice can be a good choice for a low triglyceride diet. They have to include two or more grams of dietary fibre per serving.
♦ Grain-based foods should be controlled because they have a crucial role in the level of triglycerides.
♦ Beer, wine, spirits, drinks, etc. Can raise triglyceride levels. Men should drink up to 2 glasses and women one drink per day.
♦ Cut fats. Total fat intake should be 30% of total calories. Saturated fats should be limited to 7% of total calories for each day.
♦ Total cholesterol intake should be up to 200 mg every day.
♦ Use canola oil and olive oils for preparing meals.
♦ Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are potent sources for decreasing triglycerides levels. More omega-3 fatty acids mean fewer triglycerides.

Foods to eat and avoid with high triglycerides

Beans are good sources of plant-based proteins, and they also include a high level of fibre. Still, when they are besides sugar and pork, it cannot be a healthy intake for a high triglyceride patient. You have to pay attention to the canned beans' label to consider the number of fats and sugars in them. Black beans are higher in fibre and protein rather than other types of beans.
Canned fish labels can help the high triglycerides patients to choose wisely. Packed fish usually is oily, and it is better to consume fresh.
Fruits are good sources and a big piece of your daily plate. But excess food may be harmful. High triglyceride patients have to limit fruits to 2-3 portions. This approach reduces sugar intake. You have to consider that dried fruits include a more elevated level of sugars due to the concentration, and their portions should be less. Fruits low in fructose are grapefruit, strawberries, bananas, peaches, cantaloupe, and melon.
Coconut and coconut products such as coconut milk are high in saturated fats, and it is not a good source for a high triglyceride patient.
Too much alcohol can raise the high triglycerides level. Sugars are the central part of alcohol and alcoholic beverages and drinks. As we said, too much sugar is restricted in a low triglyceride diet. Some patients may not need to drink at all.
Honey, molasses, and maple syrup may seem like a healthy and natural source of sugars, but they are like sugar, and they can make the triglyceride level higher. Sweeteners are recommended due to avoiding these dressings and natural syrups.
Butter, margarine, and saturated fats, which are in confectionary foods and pastries, have to be limited. Olive oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil, walnut, and other vegetable oils are better than animal fats and their alternatives.
Choosing lean meats and avoiding high-fat meats, processed meats such as sausages, bacon, ham, and other types of cuts are related to high triglycerides and heart problems.
Nutrition facts panel on packaged foods can help us to choose the right meals with the right components.

Medical treatment of very high triglyceride levels

Due to the levels and borderline of high triglycerides, sometimes the following diet and doing exercises cannot be helpful, and the patients should use drugs to lower their triglyceride levels.
Statins can reduce triglycerides' level; subsequently, it can reduce the risk of heart attack, coronary problems, strokes, and other cardiac problems.
Doctors may recommend Omega-3 fatty acid supplements. People can reach them through the diet by consuming more fatty fish like mackerel, herring, salmon, and tuna.
2 and 4 grams of DHA and EPA per day (essential types of fatty acids) may be prescribed for high triglyceride patients. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation will reduce cardiac risks.
Niacin or vitamin B3 helps the high triglyceride patients. It can reduce the level of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and will increase the HDL cholesterol level. Therefore, the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and death can be decreased.

Let us know if you have any questions or comments.