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5 Ways to Reduce Triglycerides

By Ritika Samaddar in Dietetics

Nov 24 , 2016 | 4 min read

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Dr. Ritika Samaddar - Dietician at Max healthcare says, "If you are consuming too much sugar in your diet, there is a possibility that your triglyceride levels can be high. Your body has the tendency to combine the excess sugar fat and then store them as triglycerides".


What are Triglycerides?

Triglycerides are fats (lipids) that account for 99% of the fat stored in the body. It is an ester formed from glycerol and three fatty acid groups. To tackle the problem, we should understand triglycerides' meaning. When we eat, our bodies use some calories for various activities. The rest of the calories are stored in the body in the form of triglycerides to utilize later if the body needs them. This fat is 'Triglycerides'. They can cause many lifestyle diseases.

These are fats that typically accumulate around the gut (the “spare tire”) as well as around muscles (flabby arms). A normal triglyceride level should be less than 150 mg/dl of blood. They are closely associated with HDL (good cholesterol) and factors that affect in lowering cholesterol. It is not uncommon to see elevated triglyceride > 200 and low HDL ( than 40 for men, or less than 45 for women) occur together.


Triglyceride Levels

Triglycerides up to a certain level are normal, but their excess quantities might increase your chances of various lifestyle diseases. The below table states different triglyceride quantities in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

Category

Triglyceride Level (mg/dL)

Normal

Less than 150

Borderline High

150 - 199

High

200 - 499

Very High

500 and above



What are the Best Ways to Reduce Triglycerides For Healthy Lifestyle?

  1. Eliminate Sweets and Refined Carbo-Hydrated Food: Simple sugars are the primary ingredient of triglycerides and hence excess intake of sweets or drinks can raise triglycerides. Eliminate intake of food items loaded with sugars like cookies, pastries, sweet desserts, and fruit juices. Intake of refined cereals like white rice, bread, pasta made from white flour, or cornflakes can significantly raise triglycerides in sensitive individuals. Instead choose whole grains such as multigrain chapatti, and other grains such as quinoa, barley, and millet.
  2. Decrease or Eliminate Alcohol: Drinking alcohol raises triglyceride levels. For people who are sensitive, a small amount of alcohol can trigger it.
  3. Maintain a Healthy Weight: You may be surprised to discover that a modest weight loss of 5-6 kg can reduce your triglycerides, and cholesterol level, and decrease your risk of heart disease. Eat a healthy diet to lose weight and prevent lifestyle diseases like diabetes, CVD, etc.
  4. Exercise Regularly: Exercise will increase HDL cholesterol and burn off excess triglycerides. Weight-bearing activity, in particular, increases muscle mass and raises your metabolic rate. This will help your body burn more carbohydrates, leaving less storage for triglycerides.
  5. Choose Healthier Fats/Food: We need to choose our food and its serving very carefully in terms of lowering triglycerides. Below are some food items which you need to eat or avoid as per the advice. 
    • Eat more plant foods! Vegetable proteins such as beans, peas, nuts, and lentils are excellent ways to improve your health and will have a direct effect on lowering your triglycerides and cholesterol.
    • Choose high-fiber foods: Foods high in fibre will help to control your triglycerides and LDL ("bad") cholesterol.  Consume beans, whole grains- Oats, Quinoa, brown rice; Nuts and seeds -Almonds, chia seeds, flaxseed; fruits and vegetables. Drink more water with an increase in fibre.
    • Avoid Trans-fat and hidden fats The primary dietary source of trans fats in processed food is "partially hydrogenated oils" which are found in fried foods like doughnuts, and baked goods including cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, cookies, margarine, and other spreads.
    • Eat healthy oils: Increase intake of MUFA-rich oils to lower the triglycerides levels. Replace saturated fats like butter, ghee, shortening, lard, or margarine with MUFA-rich oils like canola oil, rice bran, and soyabean oil.
    • Choose Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, the "good" fats! Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to significantly reduce the elevated triglycerides level. Hence include foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, trout), flax seeds, flaxseed oil, Almonds, and legumes.
      Checkout 25 foods and 7 days diet to lower triglycerides.

10 Ways To Reduce Triglycerides


Conclusion

Triglycerides are nothing but the excess fat in our bodies. It becomes a cause of many problems if its levels are not controlled. People with high triglyceride levels can try the methods stated in the article to lower their triglyceride levels.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Fastest Way to Lower Triglyceride?

    Avoiding sweetened drinks is one of the first things a person should do to reduce triglyceride levels. Exercising regularly will further speed up the process.

  2. What Foods Decrease Triglycerides?

    Eating a vegetable diet, using MUFA-rich oil substitutes like Canola oil, and incorporating fatty salmon, flax seeds, almonds, etc., will help lower your triglyceride levels.

  3. How Long Does it Take for Triglyceride Levels to Lower?

    According to a review published in the May 2012 edition of the journal Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids, visible results can be seen within 1 month of consuming fish liver oils.

  4. Do Eggs Raise Triglycerides?

    Yes. Eggs contain saturated and trans-fats, which can increase triglyceride levels considerably. Hence, people with high triglyceride levels should avoid eggs.