Which are high cholesterol and low triglyceride foods
Triglycerides - 13 Easy Ways To Lower Them
Triglycerides are a type of fat that is found in your blood.
After you've eaten, your body converts the calories you don't need into triglycerides and stores them in your fat cells for later use for energy.
While you need triglycerides to keep your body energized, having too much triglycerides in your blood can increase your risk of heart disease (1).
About 25% of adults in Germany have elevated blood triglycerides, which are classified as over 200 mg / dL (2.26 mmol / L). There are the following risk factors for increased triglyceride levels in the blood:
- an uncontrolled diabetes disease,
- regular alcohol consumption and
- a high-calorie diet (especially high in fructose).
This article shows 13 ways you can naturally reduce your blood triglycerides.
Table of Contents
1. Lose some weight
Whenever you eat more calories than you need, your body converts those calories into triglycerides and stores them in fat cells.
Therefore, weight loss is an effective way to lower blood triglyceride levels.
In fact, research has shown that losing even a modest 5-10% of body weight can lower blood triglycerides by 40 mg / dL (0.45 mmol / L) (2).
The goal, of course, should be to establish long-term weight loss. Studies have shown that weight loss can have a lasting effect on blood triglycerides, even if you regain some weight.
One study focused on participants who dropped out of a weight management program. Although they regained the weight they had lost nine months earlier, their blood triglycerides remained 24-26% lower (3).
It has been shown that the loss of at least 5% of body weight has a lasting effect on lowering the level of triglycerides in the blood.
2. Limit your sugar intake
Added sugar is a big part of many people's diets.
While the American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 6-9 teaspoons of added sugar per day, the average American ate about 19 teaspoons daily in 2008 (4).
Above all, fructose is converted into triglycerides in the liver. Fructose is mainly found in fruits and their juices. The dietary fiber contained in the fruits inhibits the absorption of fructose. Since these do not get into the juice during the pressing process, the fructose it contains passes into the blood unhindered when fruit juices are consumed.
Extra sugar in your diet is converted to triglycerides, which, along with other risk factors for heart disease, can lead to increases in blood triglycerides.
A 15-year study showed that those who consumed at least 25% of the calories from sugar were twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who consumed less than 10% of the calories from sugar (5).
Another study found that consumption of added sugar was linked to higher blood triglyceride levels in children (6).
Fortunately, several studies have shown that a low-carb diet and added sugar can lead to decreases in blood triglycerides (7, 8, 9).
Even replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water could reduce triglycerides by almost 29 mg / dL (0.33 mmol / L) (10).
Minimizing the amount of added sugar in your diet from soft drinks, fruit juices, and candy can lower blood triglyceride levels.
3. Follow a low carb diet to reduce triglycerides
Much like added sugar, extra carbohydrates in your diet are converted to triglycerides and stored in fat cells.
Unsurprisingly, low-carb diets have been linked to lower levels of triglycerides in the blood.
A 2006 study looked at how different carbohydrate intakes affected triglycerides.
Those on a low-carbohydrate diet containing about 26% of the calories from carbohydrates had greater drops in blood triglycerides than those on a higher-carbohydrate diet containing up to 54% of the calories from carbohydrates (8).
Another study looked at the effects of low and high carb diets over a period of one year. Not only did the low-carb group lose more weight, but they also had greater reductions in blood triglycerides (7).
Finally, a 2003 study compared low-fat and low-carb diets. After six months, the researchers found that the blood triglycerides were 38 mg / dL (0.43 mmol / L) in the low-carb group and only 7 mg / dL (0.08 mmol / L) in the low-fat group. Group (9) had decreased.
Following a low-carbohydrate diet can lead to a significant decrease in blood triglycerides, especially when compared to a low-fat diet.
4. Lower triglycerides by consuming fiber
Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Other good sources of fiber are nuts, grains, and legumes.
Including more fiber in the diet can decrease the absorption of fat and sugar by the small intestine and help lower the amount of triglycerides in the blood (11).
In one study, researchers showed that rice bran supplementation lowered blood triglycerides by 7-8% in people with diabetes (12).
Another study looked at how a low-fiber, high-fiber diet affected blood triglyceride levels. The low-fiber diet caused triglycerides to rise 45% in just six days, but triglycerides fell back below baseline during the high-fiber phase (13).
Adding fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can reduce triglycerides in the blood.
5. Exercise regularly
"Good" HDL cholesterol is inversely related to triglycerides in the blood, which means that high HDL cholesterol can help lower triglycerides.
Endurance exercise can increase the levels of HDL cholesterol in the blood, which can then lower the levels of triglycerides in the blood.
When combined with weight loss, studies show that endurance exercise is particularly effective in reducing triglycerides (14).
Examples of recommended endurance sports in this context are hiking, jogging, cycling and swimming.
In terms of crowd, the American Heart Association recommends exercising at least 30 minutes five days a week.
The benefits of exercise on triglycerides are most evident in long-term exercise programs. One study showed that jogging for two hours a week for four months resulted in a significant decrease in triglycerides in the blood (15).
Other research has found that exercising at a higher intensity for a shorter period of time is more effective than exercising at a lower intensity for a longer period of time (16).
A regular exercise program with high-intensity endurance sports can increase the "good" HDL cholesterol level and lower blood triglycerides.
6. Avoid trans fats
Artificial trans fats are a type of fat that is added to processed foods to increase their shelf life.
Trans fats are common in commercial fried foods and baked goods made from partially hydrogenated oils.
Because of their inflammatory properties, trans fats are attributed to many health problems, including raised "bad" LDL cholesterol and heart disease (17, 18, 19).
Consumption of trans fats can also increase levels of triglycerides in the blood.
One study showed that triglyceride levels were significantly higher when participants were on a diet high or moderate in trans fats compared to a diet high in unsaturated oleic acid (20).
Another study found similar results. After a three-week diet high in trans fat, this resulted in higher levels of triglycerides than a diet high in unsaturated fatty acids (21).
A diet high in trans fat can increase both triglycerides in the blood and your risk of heart disease. Limit your consumption of processed, baked, and fried foods to minimize your trans fat intake.
7. Eat fatty fish twice a week.
Oily fish is known for its heart health benefits and the ability to lower triglycerides in the blood.
This is largely due to its content of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that is considered essential, which means you must get it through your diet.
Both the nutritional guidelines for Germans and the German Nutrition Society recommend eating two servings of fatty fish per week.
In fact, it can reduce the risk of death from heart disease by 36% (22).
A 2016 study showed that eating salmon twice a week significantly lowered triglyceride levels in the blood (23).
Salmon, herring, sardines, tuna and mackerel are some types of fish that are particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Oily fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Eating two servings a week can reduce your risk of heart disease and lower triglyceride levels.
8. Increase your unsaturated fat intake.
Studies show that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can lower blood triglycerides, especially when they replace other types of fats.
Monounsaturated fats are found in foods like olive oil, nuts, and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils and fatty fish.
One study analyzed what 452 adults had eaten in the previous 24 hours and focused on several types of saturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Researchers found that saturated fat intake was linked to increased blood triglycerides, while polyunsaturated fat intake was linked to lower blood triglycerides (24).
Another study found that older participants were given four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily for six weeks. For the duration of the study, this was the only source of extra fat in their diet.
The results showed a significant decrease in triglyceride levels as well as total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol compared to the control group (25).
To maximize the triglyceride-lowering benefits of unsaturated fats, choose a healthy fat like olive oil. Use it as a substitute for other types of fat in your diet, such as trans fats or highly processed vegetable oils (21).
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can lower blood triglycerides, especially when consumed instead of other fats.
9. Establish a regular meal pattern
Insulin resistance is another factor that can lead to high triglycerides in the blood.
After you have had a meal, the cells in your pancreas send a signal to release insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin is then responsible for transporting glucose to your cells for use in energy production.
If you have too much insulin in your blood, your body can become resistant to it, making it difficult to use insulin effectively. This can lead to a build-up of glucose and triglycerides in the blood.
Fortunately, stopping eating regularly can help prevent insulin resistance and high triglycerides.
A growing body of research shows that irregular eating patterns can lead to decreased insulin sensitivity and increased risk factors for heart disease such as LDL and total cholesterol (26, 27).
However, the evidence is mixed when it comes to meal frequency.
A 2013 study showed that eating three meals a day significantly reduced triglycerides compared to six meals a day (28).
On the other hand, another study showed that eating six meals a day resulted in a greater increase in insulin sensitivity than eating three meals a day (29).
Regardless of how many meals you eat each day, eating them regularly can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood triglyceride levels.
Research has yet to agree on how meal frequency affects blood triglyceride levels. However, initial studies suggest that consuming regular meals can reduce many risk factors for heart disease and reduce insulin resistance.
10. Limiting alcohol consumption
Alcohol is high in sugar and high in 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 up to 53%, even if your triglyceride levels are normal initially (30).
However, other research has linked light to moderate alcohol consumption to a reduced risk of heart disease, while “coma drinking” is associated with an increased risk (31, 32, 33).
Some studies suggest that limiting alcohol consumption may help lower blood triglyceride levels.
11. Add soy protein to your diet
Soy is rich in isoflavones, which are a type of plant compound with numerous health benefits. This is especially true for lowering LDL cholesterol (34, 35, 36).
Soy protein in particular has been shown to reduce triglyceride levels in the blood.
A 2004 study compared how soy and animal proteins affect triglycerides. After six weeks, it was found that soy protein lowers triglyceride levels by 12.4% more than animal protein (37).
Similarly, an analysis of 23 studies found that soy protein was linked to a 7.3% decrease in triglycerides (38).
Soy protein is found in foods like soybeans, tofu, edamam, and soy milk.
Soy contains compounds that are linked to several health benefits. Eating soy protein instead of animal protein can reduce triglycerides in the blood.
12. Eat more nuts to lower triglycerides
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 found that each serving of nuts reduced triglycerides by 2.2 mg / dL (0.02 mmol / L) (39).
Another analysis of 2,226 participants had similar results, showing that nut consumption was linked to a modest decrease in blood triglycerides (40).
The nuts include:
- Brazil nuts
- Macadamia nuts
Remember 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 people who consumed between 3-7 servings of nuts per week (41, 42, 43).
Nuts contain many heart-healthy nutrients, including fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and unsaturated fats. Studies suggest that eating 3-7 servings of tree nuts per week can reduce triglycerides in the blood.
13. Try a natural supplement to lower triglycerides
Several natural supplements have the potential to lower triglycerides in the blood.
Below are some of the key nutritional supplements that have been studied:
- Fish oil: A study known for its powerful effects on heart health found that taking fish oil supplements reduced triglycerides by 48% (44).
- Fenugreek: Although fenugreek seeds have traditionally been used to stimulate milk production, they have also been shown to be effective in reducing blood triglycerides (45).
- Garlic extract: Several animal studies have shown that garlic extract can lower triglyceride levels thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties (46, 47, 48).
- Guggul: This herbal dietary supplement has shown promise in lowering triglyceride levels when used in nutritional therapy for patients with high cholesterol (49).
- Curcumin: A 2012 study found that supplementing with a low dose of curcumin can cause a significant decrease in triglycerides in the blood (50).
Several supplements have been studied for their ability to lower triglyceride levels, including fish oil, fenugreek, garlic extract, guggul, and curcumin.
The bottom line on lowering triglycerides
Diet and lifestyle factors have a huge impact on triglycerides in the blood.
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