Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) that can be present in the bloodstream. Your body transforms any calories it doesn’t need immediately away into triglycerides when you consume them. Your fat cells store triglycerides. Between meals, hormones release triglycerides for energy.
You may have high triglycerides if you eat more calories than you burn regularly, particularly from high-carbohydrate diets (hypertriglyceridemia).
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The Difference Between Cholesterol And Triglycerides
Triglycerides and cholesterol are different types of lipids found in the bloodstream:
- Triglycerides are fat molecules that store excess calories and supply energy to your body.
- Cholesterol is required for the formation of cells and the production of some hormones.
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In the United States, approximately 25.9% of individuals have increased blood triglycerides, which are defined as triglyceride levels greater than 150 mg/dL. Obesity or uncontrolled diabetes, regular alcohol consumption, and a high-calorie diet can all lead to elevated blood triglyceride levels.
High triglyceride levels may contribute to artery hardening or thickening (arteriosclerosis), which increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease. Extremely high triglycerides can potentially induce severe pancreatic inflammation (pancreatitis).
Obesity and metabolic syndrome a cluster of problems that include too much fat around the waist, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol levels are common signs of excessive triglycerides, which raise the risk of heart disease and stroke.
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Here are ways to Lower Triglycerides:
1. Sugar consumption should be limited
Many people’s diets contain a significant amount of added sugar. While the American Heart Association suggests that you consume no more than 100–150 calories of added sugar per day, according to one study, the average American consumes about 308 calories per day.
Sweets, soft drinks, and fruit juice all have added sugar.
Extra sugar in your diet can be converted to triglycerides, which can raise blood triglyceride levels and increase your risk of heart disease.
When compared to those who did not drink sugar-sweetened beverages regularly, those who did were almost 50% more likely to have high triglycerides, according to a 2020 study that included data on 6,730 people.
Another study discovered that eating a lot of added sugar is linked to greater blood triglyceride levels in kids.
Fortunately, multiple studies have shown that eating a low-carbohydrate diet can lower blood triglyceride levels.
In some people, even a modest alteration like replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water can lower triglycerides.
2. Exercise regularly
On most or all days of the week, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity. Triglycerides can be lowered and “good” cholesterol can be increased with regular exercise. Try to include more physical activity in your everyday responsibilities, such as climbing the stairs at work or going for a stroll during your lunch break.
Studies show that aerobic exercise is especially helpful at lowering triglycerides when combined with weight loss.
Walking, running, bicycling, and swimming are all examples of aerobic exercise that the American Heart Association recommends receiving at least 30 minutes 5 days per week.
Long-term exercise regimens show the greatest effects of exercise on triglycerides. In one research of persons with heart disease, 45 minutes of exercise five times a week resulted in a considerable reduction in blood triglycerides.
All forms of exercise can help lower triglyceride levels. According to some studies, exercising at a higher level for a shorter period is more effective than exercising at a moderate intensity for longer durations of time.
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3. Reduce your carb intake
Extra calories from carbs in your diet are converted to triglycerides and deposited in fat cells, similar to additional sugar. Low-carbohydrate diets have been associated with reduced blood triglyceride levels, which is unsurprising.
People on low-carb diets observed their triglyceride levels drop at 6, 12, and 24 months, according to a study of 12 randomized controlled trials. Triglyceride levels dropped the highest 6 months after commencing a low-calorie diet in these studies.
Low-fat and low-carb diets were examined in a 2020 study. Researchers discovered that those on a low-carb diet had lower triglyceride levels than those on a low-fat diet 6–12 months after commencing their respective diets.
4. Fatty fish should be consumed twice a week
Fatty fish is well-known for its heart-health benefits and ability to decrease triglycerides in the blood.
This is mostly due to its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, a form of polyunsaturated fatty acid that is deemed essential, which means you must obtain it from your diet.
The American Heart Association and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans both recommend eating two servings of fatty fish each week to minimize the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Furthermore, one study found that eating salmon twice a week reduced blood triglyceride levels considerably.
Salmon, herring, sardines, tuna, and mackerel are just a few examples of seafood high in omega-3 fatty acids.
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5. Increase your fiber intake
Natural sources of dietary fiber include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It can also be present in a variety of other plant foods, such as nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes.
More fiber in your diet can help lower your triglyceride levels by slowing the absorption of fat and sugar in your small intestine.
Eating more dietary fiber was connected to decreased triglyceride levels in one study involving 117 persons who were overweight or obese (15Trusted Source).
Another small trial in teenagers discovered that eating a high-fiber cereal with a high-fat breakfast lowered post-meal triglyceride rises by 50%.
6. Trans fats should be avoided
Artificial trans fats are a type of fat used to extend the shelf life of processed foods.
Commercially fried foods and baked items manufactured with partly hydrogenated oils are high in trans fats. On limited levels, they can also be found in some animal products. The use of trans fats in food has been prohibited in the United States in recent years.
Trans fats have been linked to a variety of health issues, including elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and heart disease, due to their inflammatory qualities.
According to an analysis of 16 studies, replacing trans fats in the diet with polyunsaturated fats can help lower triglyceride levels.
7. Reduce the amount of alcohol you consume
Alcohol is abundant in calories and sugar, and it has a particularly strong triglyceride-lowering impact. Avoid consuming alcohol if you have severe hypertriglyceridemia.
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Dietary and lifestyle choices can have a significant impact on triglyceride levels. Choosing healthy, unsaturated fats instead of trans fats, reducing carbs and added sugars in your diet, and exercising regularly are just a few ways that might help lower your blood triglycerides. You may lower your triglycerides and improve your overall health by making a few simple lifestyle changes.
There’s no need to make drastic dietary and lifestyle changes overnight. To achieve more long-lasting, sustainable adjustments that are simpler to maintain, try trying a couple of the suggestions outlined above and gradually introducing other strategies into your routine.