10 simple ways to lower your triglyceride levels
Triglyceride is a type of fat in your blood. When you eat, your body converts the calories you do not need into triglycerides and stores them in the fat cells to be used as energy later.
Triglycerides are important for the body as they provide us with energy but too much of triglyceride can increase one’s risk of heart disease. Conditions responsible for high triglyceride levels include uncontrolled diabetes, too much alcohol intake, sedentary lifestyle and too much consumption of processed and sugary food items.
Here are 10 ways to lower your triglyceride levels naturally.
1 – Lose some weight
When you eat more than what you need, your body stores it in the form of triglyceride in the fat cells. Losing weight is an effective way to lower triglyceride levels. Studies show that losing just 5- 10 per cent of your total bodyweight can help reduce the triglyceride level by 40 mg/dL.
Losing weight even for a short term can have a lasting effect on the triglyceride levels. Though your aim should be to sustain weight loss. Studies have found people who lost weight and then regained it also lowered their triglyceride levels by 24 – 26 per cent.
2 – Limit your sugar intake
Most people consume double the daily recommended amount of sugar every day. Not many know this, extra sugar in your diet can turn into triglycerides, increasing your risk of heart diseases.
Studies have found that people who consumed 25 per cent of their daily calories from sugar were twice more likely to die from heart disease as compared to people who consumed only 10 per cent of their calories from sugar. Replacing your sugary drinks with water can lower the triglyceride levels by 28 mg/dL.
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3 – Lower your carb intake
Just like the added sugar, extra carbs in your diet also get converted into triglycerides. Low carb diet has been linked to lower triglyceride levels. Studies have found that people getting a lower number of calories from carbs had lower triglyceride levels as compared to people who received more calories from carbs.
People who were kept on a low carb diet for one year lost more weight and had lower triglyceride levels as compared to people who had a high carb diet, finds a study.
4 – Include more fibre in your diet
We all know fibre helps us in losing weight by keeping us fuller for longer and stopping us from binge eating.
Some common sources of fibre include nuts, cereals and legumes. Having more fibre decreases the absorption of fat and sugar in the small intestine, which helps lower the triglycerides levels in the blood.
5 – Make a workout routine
Good cholesterol, HDL has an inverse relationship with triglyceride levels, which means adequate levels of HDL can lower the triglyceride levels. Regular aerobic activity has been linked with lower triglyceride levels. Some common aerobic activities include jogging, walking, bicycling and swimming.
Studies have also found that exercising at a higher intensity for less time is more effective than exercising at a lower intensity for a longer time.
6 – Say no to trans fats
Trans fats are the fats that are added to processed foods to increase their shelf life. Trans fats are commonly found in outside fried foods and baked goods made with hydrogenated oils. Trans fats have inflammatory properties, which puts you at risk of several health issues.
7 – Have omega 3 fatty acid
Omega-3 fatty acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that can decrease your risk of heart disease by 36 per cent. Some rich sources of omega- 3 fatty acid include salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel. If you are a vegetarian, you can consume omega 3 supplements every day.
8 – Have more unsaturated fats
Studies have shown that consumption of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can reduce the blood triglyceride levels. Monounsaturated fats are found in nuts, olive oil and avocado. Polyunsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils and fatty fish.
Studies have found that intake of saturated fats is associated with increased blood triglyceride levels while consumption of polyunsaturated fat is linked with lower blood triglyceride levels.
In another study, participants were given extra virgin olive oil for six weeks. There was a significant decline in the triglyceride levels, total cholesterol levels and LDL levels of these people. To lower the triglyceride levels, pick a healthy fat like olive oil and use it to replace other types of fats like trans and other highly processed fat.
9 – Limit your alcohol intake
Alcohol is high in sugar as well as calories. When not used, these calories get converted intotriglycerides and are stored in the fat cells. Even moderate consumption of alcohol can increase the blood triglyceride levels by 53 per cent, even if your triglyceride levels are normal, to begin with.
10 – Eat more tree nuts and soy protein
Tree nuts have concentrated fibre, omega 3 fatty acid and unsaturated fats, all of which are good for lowering the blood triglyceride levels.
Tree nuts include almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, brazil nuts, pecans and macadamia. Do not forget that nuts are high in calories and thus must be consumed in moderation.
Soy protein consumption has also been linked with lower triglyceride levels. It can lower the triglyceride levels 12.4 per cent more than the animal protein in six weeks duration. Soy protein is found in foods like soy milk, soybeans, edamame and soy milk.