A person who has high triglyceride levels must adopt heart-healthy habits to reduce the risk of heart disease. High triglyceride levels are more common nowadays, and doctors acknowledge it as a major issue. In fact, roughly 25% of adults in the United States have elevated triglyceride levels. Obesity, unmanaged diabetes, excessive alcohol consumption, and a high-calorie diet are the primary contributing factors.
What Are Triglycerides?
Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in the body. Found in the blood, triglycerides come from the foods you eat, especially oils, butter, and other fatty foods. All of the fats you eat, from olive oil’s polyunsaturated fats to the saturated fats in red meat, contribute to overall triglyceride count. Elevated triglyceride levels are the direct result of overeating. The body cannot use excess calories right away, so it stores them in the form of triglycerides. The body only consumes these fats at a later stage if it needs more energy.
Problems arise when a person’s triglyceride levels are too high. If the body makes more triglycerides than it can use, it often results in fat storage. That’s why many overweight people, or people with type 2 diabetes, have higher levels. Eating a lot of simple carbohydrates can raise levels, and inactivity will only cause more accumulation of triglycerides. Managing these levels can make or break your health, and some of the most effective ways to lower them are detailed below. Continue reading to learn how you can lower triglyceride levels without medications.
Eat The Right Carbs
It’s ideal to limit your total carbohydrate intake to less than 60% of your daily calorie allowance. Eating a large amount of carbohydrates will cause the body to store them as fat. High triglyceride levels are commonplace in people who have a carbohydrate intake above 60%. The carbs to avoid include processed cereals, white breads, refined grains, processed foods, and more. Instead, choose complex carbs like steel cut oats, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Refined foods are the worst and will cause overeating and excess fat storage.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption
As a general health recommendation, it’s wise to avoid excessive alcohol consumption. You don’t have to completely cut alcohol out of your life, but moderation is key when trying to manage triglycerides. Additionally, alcohol can interfere with you ability to metabolize fat. And alcohol is ultimately a carbohydrate that the body converts to triglycerides. Beer or sugary mixed drinks are very rich in carbs, so avoid them to reduce triglyceride levels.
Choose The Right Fats
If the goal is to control both cholesterol and triglyceride levels, you have to choose the right fats. Avoid trans fats and saturated fats and focus on omega-3 fatty acids because they work to increase fat metabolism. In fact, several studies found that omega-3 fatty acids naturally lower triglyceride levels. You can get many omega-3 fatty acids via the diet, and you can click here to learn more about the sources.
Watch Out For Sugar
Sugars are a form of carbohydrate, and they are typically high in calories. Refined or simple sugars exist in lots of processed foods or canned juices and sodas. Fructose, which is a type of refined sugar, can raise triglyceride levels. When it comes to reading labels, keep your eyes peeled for white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, glucose, fructose, maltose, dextrose, sucrose, honey, fruit juice concentrate, syrups, sucrose, and cane juice. Limit your consumption of cookies, pastries, candies, and sweetened drinks to help naturally lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Regular aerobic exercise is a proven way to increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It also helps to lower triglycerides. One study found that engaging in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily helped to naturally decrease triglyceride levels. Most studies have focused on long-term exercise in relation to triglycerides, because it can take time. One study monitored people with heart disease, who exercise for 45 minutes, five times per week. The results indicated a significant reduction in blood triglycerides. Higher intensity workouts for shorter periods of time may also be more effective than longer periods of less intense exercise.
Lastly, being overweight or obese increases the risk of higher triglycerides in the blood. It decreases the body’s ability to metabolize sugar and other carbs as well. Maintain a healthy weight by regularly exercising and adhering to a healthier diet. Some of the tips in this article may aid with making the right food choices, but you also have to focus on foods with a diverse nutritional profile. Make sure you burn the calories that you eat, otherwise high triglycerides will follow.