Diet Tips to Lower Triglyceride Levels
Diets & Meal Plans
Triglycerides are a specific type of fat found in the body. Having high triglyceride levels can increase the risk of heart diseases.
Our body breaks down food and converts the extra calories into triglycerides. It stores them in fat cells to generate energy later. While one needs these fat cells to supply energy to the body, having excess triglycerides can increase an individual’s risk of developing a heart condition. What one eats plays a crucial role here, one must make sure that they follow a diet to lower triglycerides.
Several reasons can lead to high triglyceride levels such as obesity, regular consumption of alcohol, kidney disease, uncontrolled diabetes, or eating a high-calorie diet. Around one in every five people in the country suffers from high triglyceride levels.
Understanding triglycerides numbers
The regular level of triglyceride in the body is under 150. The higher the number, the greater are the chances of heart disease.
Here are some numbers you should pay attention to:
- Standard triglyceride – lower than 150 mg/dL
- Borderline triglyceride – between 150 and 200 mg/dL
- High triglyceride – over 200 mg/dL
- Very high triglyceride – over 500 mg/dL.
Food plan to control triglyceride levels
High triglyceride levels often lead to problems such as diabetes, thyroid disease, obesity, and more. So, as the first line of treatment, one’s doctor will try to control the condition by bringing down the triglyceride levels.
Moving on, one must consume a healthy diet to lower triglyceride levels and keep other medical conditions in check. Here are some easy tips to keep one’s triglyceride level within the stipulated level by choosing the right foods.
- Limiting the sugar intake
According to the American Heart Association, an average individual should not consume more than 6-9 teaspoons of added sugar every day.
The most common sources of sugar are sweets, fruit juice, and soft drinks. The sugar present in these items can turn into triglycerides in the body. This increase in the blood triglyceride levels can raise the risk of heart diseases.
- Following a low-carb diet
Similar to added sugar, our bodies also convert carbs into triglycerides and store it as fat cells. Therefore, one must follow a low-carb diet plan to lower triglyceride levels.
A low-carb diet also helps in losing weight, which in turn, affects the level of triglycerides in the blood.
- Eat a high-fiber diet
Fiber, found in various food items, helps to decrease the absorption of sugar and fats in the small intestines, thereby lowering the triglyceride levels in the blood.
There are plenty of good sources of fiber such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts, whole grains, and legumes. Consuming a fiber-rich diet every day can help in keeping triglyceride levels under control.
- Avoid trans fats
Trans fat is a type of fat used in processed foods to increase their shelf life. Most often, junk food, fried food items, and even baked goods made from hydrogenated oils have trans fat.
Trans fats cause a lot of health problems and can increase LDL or bad cholesterol levels as well. These also increase blood triglycerides levels. Therefore, if one is planning to follow a diet to lower triglycerides, they should avoid trans fats altogether.
- Eat fatty fish twice a week
These fish are a storehouse of omega-3 fatty acids which is an essential ingredient for maintaining heart health as well as for lowering blood triglyceride levels.
The American Heart Association endorses eating fatty fish twice a week to reduce the risk of heart diseases significantly.
Few fishes that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, and herring.
- Increase the intake of unsaturated fats
There are two types of unsaturated fats — monounsaturated fats, found in nuts, avocados, and olive oil, and polyunsaturated fats, found in fatty fish and vegetable oils. These can decrease the triglyceride levels in the blood.
To maximize the benefits of a diet to lower triglycerides, one should replace highly processed vegetable oils with healthy fats like olive oil.
- Limiting alcohol intake
Alcohol is rich in both sugar and calories. If our body does not use these components, then it converts sugar into triglycerides.
However, some studies link moderate alcohol consumption with reduced risk of heart conditions, and excessive consumption with an increased risk.
- Consume tree nuts
Tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, pecans, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts are sources of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and unsaturated fats. All these nuts help in lowering the triglycerides levels in the blood.
A healthy diet can reduce blood triglycerides levels significantly. So, one should choose the right diet plan to lower triglycerides levels to reduce the risk of all kinds of health conditions. Additionally, exercising regularly and eating a well-thought-out meal plan can also prove to be beneficial in lowering the triglyceride levels.