How to Lower Triglycerides
Because high triglycerides can be a precursor to coronary heart disease, it is important to learn how to lower triglycerides in the bloodstream to avoid heart problems. Excess triglycerides in the blood acts as a sludgy, thick substance which increases the possibility of clotting and blockage. Think of it as injecting some Crisco into your blood stream. Not a pretty picture.
What are triglycerides? They are fatty deposits that are stored within your body. They are the most common fat in your blood and a major source of energy. It is normal for your blood to contain triglycerides, but too much can cause circulatory problems. High triglycerides are usually associated with eating too much, therefore it is more common with overweight or obese individuals. This is due to triglycerides direct relationship with the food that you eat. Like high cholesterol, high triglycerides are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
What levels of triglycerides are desirable? Anything less than 200 mg/dL (5.2 mmol/L) is desirable and anything that is above 240 mg/dL (6.2 mmol/L) is too high.
You can do the following things to help lower triglyceride levels:
- Lower carbohydrate intake
- Active lifestyle
- Healthy diet
- Eat high-fiber foods
- Limit sugar
- Avoid transfats and hydrogenated oils
- Limit alcohol
- Eat Vitamin C and Omega-3 rich foods or take supplements
- Don’t overeat
- Control weight
Lowering triglycerides helps reduce the risk of heart disease. While high blood pressure is the leading cause of heart disease, triglyceride levels can still be important for reducing health risks related to cardiovascular disease. High triglycerides are also associated with a condition known as metabolic syndrome which is the combination of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low HDL cholesterol, and high triglycerides. This condition is not only a contributor to heart disease, but also diabetes and stroke.
You should have your tryglyceride levels checked every couple of years at least. They are measured during a blood test that measures your cholesterol.
Here is a list of circumstances and medications that may cause high triglycerides:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Underactive thyroid aka hypothyroidism
- Kidney disease
- Birth control pills
Sometimes genetics can be a cause of high triglycerides, but it is rare. In even rarer cases, people can develop pancreatitis with very high levels of triglycerides. Overall, the best way to lower triglycerides is to eat healthy and exercise. You may need some weight loss tips to get you started. If that doesn’t work, you may need to consult a doctor for treatment with medicines like statins, fibrates or niacin to help bring down elevated levels.
Learn about the benefits of Totally Endoscopic Minimally Invasive Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery.
National Cholesterol Education Program NCEP
Healthy Heart Guide