Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood. After eating, the body converts the calories it does not need into triglycerides and stores them in its fat cells for later use as energy. While you need triglycerides to supply the body with energy, having too many triglycerides in the blood can increase the risk of heart disease. About 25% of adults in the US UU. They have elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood, which are determined by levels greater than 200 mg / dL. Obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, regular alcohol consumption and a high-calorie diet can contribute to high levels of triglycerides in the blood.
This article explores 13 ways to naturally reduce blood triglycerides.
1. Lose Some Weight:
Every time you eat more calories than you need, the body converts those calories into triglycerides and stores them in fat cells. That is why weight loss is an effective way to reduce triglyceride levels in the blood. In fact, research has shown that losing even a modest 5 or 10% of body weight can lower blood triglycerides by 40 mg / dL. While the goal is to maintain long-term weight loss, studies have found that weight loss can have a lasting effect on blood triglyceride levels, even if some of the weight is recovered. One study focused on participants who had abandoned a weight control program. Although they had regained the weight they had lost nine months earlier, their blood triglyceride levels remained 24 to 26% lower.
Summary: It has been shown that losing at least 5% of your body weight has a lasting effect on reducing triglyceride levels in the blood.
2. Limit Sugar Consumption:
Added sugar is an important part of many people’s diets. Although the American Heart Association recommends not consuming more than 6 to 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day, in 2008 the average American was eating about 19 teaspoons per day. Sugar is commonly found hidden in candy, soda and fruit juices.
“Extra sugar in the diet is converted into triglycerides, which can lead to an increase in blood triglyceride levels, along with other risk factors for heart disease”.
A 15-year study showed that those who consumed at least 25% of calories from sugar were twice as likely to die of heart disease as those who consumed less than 10% of calories from sugar. Another study found that the consumption of added sugar is associated with higher levels of triglycerides in the blood in children. Luckily, several studies have shown that low carb diets and added sugar can lead to a decrease in blood triglycerides. Even replacing sugary drinks with water could lower triglycerides by almost 29 mg / dL.
Summary: Minimizing the added sugar in the diet that is obtained from soda, juice and candy can reduce blood triglyceride levels.
3. Follow a Low Carb Diet:
Like added sugar, additional carbohydrates in the diet are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells. Not surprisingly, low-carb diets have been linked to lower levels of triglycerides in the blood. A 2006 study analyzed how the various carbohydrate intakes affected triglyceride levels. Those who were given a low-carb diet that provided about 26% of calories from carbohydrates had higher decreases in blood triglyceride levels than those who received high-carb diets that provided up to 54% of calories from carbohydrates. Another study examined the effects of low and high carb diets over a period of one year. Not only did the group that consumed low levels of carbohydrates lose more weight, but they also had greater reductions in blood triglycerides. Finally, a 2003 study compared low-fat and low-carb diets. After six months, the researchers found that blood triglycerides had dropped 38 mg / dL in the low-carb group and only 7 mg / dL in the low-fat group.
Summary: Following a low carb diet can lead to a significant reduction in blood triglyceride levels, especially when compared to a low fat diet.
4. Eat More Fiber:
Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Other good sources of fiber include nuts, cereals and legumes. Including more fiber in the diet can decrease the absorption of fat and sugar in the small intestine, helping to decrease the amount of triglycerides in the blood. In one study, researchers showed that rice bran fiber supplementation lowered blood triglycerides by 7 to 8% among people with diabetes. Another study analyzed how high and low fiber diets affected triglyceride levels in the blood. The low fiber diet caused triglycerides to increase 45% in just six days, but during the high fiber phase, triglycerides decreased below baseline levels.
Summary: The addition of fiber to the diet with fruits, vegetables and whole grains can reduce triglycerides in the blood.
5. Regular Exercise:
“Good” HDL cholesterol has an inverse relationship with blood triglycerides, which means that high levels of HDL cholesterol can help lower triglycerides. Aerobic exercise can increase levels of HDL cholesterol in the blood, which can lower triglycerides in the blood. When combined with weight loss, studies show that aerobic exercise is especially effective in lowering triglycerides. Some examples of aerobic exercises are walking, jogging, biking and swimming.As for the amount, the American Heart Association recommends doing at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. The benefits of exercise on triglycerides are more evident in long-term exercise regimens. One study showed that running for two hours a week for four months led to a significant decrease in blood triglycerides. Other research has found that exercising at a higher intensity for a shorter period of time is more effective than exercising at a moderate intensity for a longer time.
Summary: A regular high-intensity aerobic workout regime can increase “good” HDL cholesterol and lower blood triglycerides.
6. Avoid Trans Fats:
Artificial trans fats are a type of fat added to processed foods to increase their shelf life. Trans fats are commonly found in commercially fried foods and baked goods made with partially hydrogenated oils. Due to its inflammatory properties, trans fats have been attributed to many health problems, including increased levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and heart disease. Eating trans fats can also increase blood triglyceride levels.One study showed that triglyceride levels were significantly higher when participants followed a diet with high or moderate amounts of trans fat, compared to a diet rich in unsaturated oleic acid. Another study found similar results. After a three week high trans fat diet resulted in higher triglyceride levels than a high unsaturated fat diet.
Summary: A diet high in trans fats can increase both blood triglycerides and the risk of heart disease. Limit your consumption of processed, baked and fried foods to minimize your intake of trans fats.
7. Eat Fatty Fish Twice a Week:
Fatty fish is well known for its heart health benefits and the ability to lower blood triglycerides. This is mainly due to its content of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that is considered essential, which means you need to consume it more in your diet. Both dietary guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association recommend eating two servings of fatty fish per week. In fact, doing so may decrease the risk of death from heart disease by 36%. A 2016 study showed that eating salmon twice a week significantly lowered blood triglyceride levels. Salmon, herring, sardine, tuna and mackerel are some types of fish that are especially high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Summary: Fatty fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Eating two servings per week may decrease the risk of heart disease and reduce triglyceride levels.
8. Increase the Intake of Unsaturated Fats:
Studies show that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can reduce blood triglyceride levels, especially when they are replacing other types of fat. Monounsaturated fats are found in foods such as olive oil, nuts and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats are present in vegetable oils and fatty fish. One study analyzed what 452 adults had eaten in the last 24 hours, focusing on various types of saturated and polyunsaturated fats. The researchers found that saturated fat intake was associated with increased blood triglycerides, while polyunsaturated fat intake was associated with lower blood triglycerides. Another study gave older participants four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily for six weeks. During the study, this was the only source of added fat in their diets. The results showed a significant decrease in triglyceride levels, as well as total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, compared to the control group.To maximize the benefits that reduce triglycerides from unsaturated fats, choose a healthy fat such as olive oil and use it to replace other types of fat in your diet, such as trans fats or highly processed vegetable oils.
Summary: Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can lower triglyceride levels in the blood, especially when consumed instead of other fats.
9. Establish a Regular Meal Pattern:
Insulin resistance is another factor that can cause high levels of triglycerides in the blood. After eating, the pancreas cells send a signal to release the insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin is then responsible for transporting glucose to cells for use as energy. If you have too much insulin in your blood, the body can become resistant to it, making it difficult for insulin to be used effectively. This can lead to an accumulation of glucose and triglycerides in the blood. Fortunately, establishing a regular eating pattern can help prevent insulin resistance and high triglycerides. A growing body of research shows that irregular food patterns can lead to a decrease in insulin sensitivity, as well as increases in risk factors for heart disease such as LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol. However, the evidence is mixed when it comes to the frequency of meals. A 2013 study showed that eating three meals per day significantly lowered triglycerides, compared to eating six meals a day. On the other hand, another study showed that eating six meals a day led to a greater increase in insulin sensitivity than eating three meals a day. Regardless of how many meals you eat daily, eating regularly can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood triglyceride levels.
Summary: Although research is not clear on how the frequency of meals affects triglyceride levels in the blood, studies show that establishing a regular pattern of food can decrease many risk factors for heart disease and prevent insulin resistance. .
10. Limit Alcohol Consumption:
Alcohol is high in sugar and calories. If these calories remain unused, they can be converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells. Although a variety of factors come into play, some studies show that moderate alcohol consumption can increase blood triglycerides by 53%, even if triglyceride levels are normal. That said, other research has linked mild to moderate alcohol consumption with a reduced risk of heart disease, while linking excessive alcohol consumption to an increased risk.
Summary: Some studies suggest that limiting alcohol intake may help lower blood triglyceride levels.
11. Add Soy Protein to the Diet:
Soy is rich in isoflavones, which are a type of plant compound with numerous health benefits. This is especially true when it comes to reducing LDL cholesterol. In particular, it has been shown that soy protein reduces triglyceride levels in the blood. A 2004 study compared how soy and animal proteins affected triglycerides. After six weeks, soy protein was found to decrease triglyceride levels by 12.4% more than animal protein. Similarly, an analysis of 23 studies found that soy protein was associated with a 7.3% decrease in triglycerides. Soy protein can be found in foods such as soy, tofu, edamame and soy milk.
Summary: Soy contains compounds associated with various health benefits. Eating soy protein instead of animal protein can reduce triglycerides in the blood.
12. Eat More Nuts:
Nuts provide a concentrated dose of fiber , omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats, all of which work together to lower triglycerides in the blood. An analysis of 61 studies showed that each serving of nuts lowered triglycerides by 2.2 mg / dL. Another analysis that included 2,226 participants had similar findings, showing that eating nuts is associated with a moderate decrease in blood triglycerides.
- Cashew nuts
- Brazil nuts
- Macadamia nuts
Keep in mind that nuts are high in calories. A single serving of almonds, or about 23 almonds, contains 163 calories, so moderation is key. Most studies have found the greatest health benefits in individuals who consumed between 3-7 servings of nuts per week.
Summary: Nuts contain many heart-healthy nutrients, including fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats. Studies suggest that the inclusion of 3 to 7 servings of nuts a week may lower triglycerides in the blood.
13. Try a Natural Supplement:
Several natural supplements may have the potential to lower triglycerides in the blood. Below are some of the main supplements that have been studied:
- Fish oil: Well known for its potent effects on heart health, one study found that taking fish oil supplements reduced triglycerides by 48%.
- Fenugreek : Although traditionally used to stimulate milk production, fenugreek seeds have also proven effective in reducing blood triglycerides.
- Garlic Extract: Several animal studies have shown that garlic extract can reduce triglyceride levels, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Guggul: This herbal supplement has shown promise in lowering triglyceride levels when used with nutrition therapy in patients with high cholesterol.
- Curcumin: A 2012 study found that supplementing with a low dose of curcumin can cause a significant drop in triglycerides in the blood.
Summary: Several supplements have been studied for their ability to lower triglyceride levels, including fish oil, fenugreek, garlic extract, guggul and curcumin.
Diet and lifestyle factors have an important influence on blood triglyceride levels. The choice of healthy and unsaturated fats instead of trans fats, decreased carbohydrate intake and regular exercise can help reduce blood triglycerides at any time. With some simple lifestyle modifications, you can lower your triglyceride levels.