There are so many elements to our diet that we need to think about. It’s more than just calories in and out. We need to think about the types of cholesterol and fats we’re eating while making sure we get the right nutrients to support our system. There’s so much that some of the simplest elements are ignored because they sound tricky.
This is the case with triglycerides. You’ll look at the name and instantly think they’ll be the hardest of all to understand. That’s not the case.
Triglycerides are the fat content within your blood. They help you gain energy throughout the day, and you can store them for later use. They’re stored around the belly and hips and are often referred to as “lipids” (a type of fat). They will eventually digest and form energy, but you need to create a deficit in the energy levels within your body to call for them to be needed.
And you need to keep them to a healthy level. Too many triglycerides can lead to heart problems, including cardiovascular disease.
Of course, now it comes to looking at your diet again, and you need to consider your overall lifestyle. So, it’s time for your ultimate guide to lowering your triglycerides without causing masses of stress!
Are Your Triglycerides Too High?
Let’s look at triglycerides for a moment, before looking at lowering them. We know that they do have a necessity, so it’s important to make sure you have enough of them in your body. That means focusing knowing just how high is too high.
It’s important to get tested for your triglyceride levels on a regular basis. The American Heart Association suggests every five years from the age of 21. Be honest with yourself. How often have you had a lipid panel? The chances are that you don’t even remember the last time you had one. Don’t worry; I don’t either!
Lipid panels involve overnight fasting, so you will know if you’ve had one at all. That means any fat that you consumed recently isn’t causing a spike in the levels unintentionally. High triglyceride levels aren’t instantly spotted. There are no symptoms, making triglycerides a silent killer.
You should have no more than 150mg per decilitre of triglycerides in your blood. However, 200mg or more is considered high. The levels in between are considered borderline. If you have more than 500mg, then your levels are considered very high, and your doctor will want you to act immediately.
Higher levels have been linked to heart disease, especially if your bad cholesterol levels are also high. If you have Type II diabetes and high triglycerides, your doctor will be even more worried! Other medical conditions can be a cause for concern.
There have been debates about triglycerides over the years. At one point, doctors only saw the benefits. At other times, they’ve had a bad reputation. So, it’s completely normal to decide that you’ll ignore the whole subject because there’s just so much conflicting information.
Well, it’s time to get away from the conflicting information. We’re sharing the most up to date information about triglycerides. They’re not the big bads of health, but they’re not entirely good for you in large amounts. Here’s your guide to completely lowering your levels to a manageable and healthy amount.
Start by Incorporating a Good Exercise Plan
Let’s start with the very best way to keep your triglycerides to a minimum. It’s all about the exercise. Remember that your triglycerides are there to help give you some energy. If you don’t use up all the energy, you have to store it. The best way to burn more energy throughout the day is to do some exercise.
You don’t need to do a lot. Start by doing moderate exercises around or outside the home. You only need five days of 30-minute sessions on a weekly basis. That’s around 150 minutes per week or moderate exercise. If you do high-intensityexercise, then you starttocut down that weekly amount!
Make sure you start off slow. Jumping right into five-day exercise plans when you’ve done nothing at all recently is not a good idea. This is a sure-fire way to risk an injury. Also, you’ll want to talk to your doctor before you beginning exercising. There may be some types of exercise that you can’t do for various health reasons.
Exercise doesn’t just offer a way to burn off excess energy. You’ll also find that you burn off excess calories, making it easier to lose weight. This is important for keeping your triglycerides to a minimum and something that we’ll consider soon.
When doing exercise, find something that you enjoy and is easy to fit into your day. If you create an unrealistic plan of exercises that you have no interest in, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Join an aerobics class or get some home DVD workouts to enjoy your exercise instead. It’s okay not actually to like doing it while you’re doing it. It’s hard work, and you will question why you’re putting yourself through it all the time. You’ll get a good feeling afterward, though—focus on that.
Exercise will boost the happy hormones being released in your diet. You’ll find that you feel good about yourself.
Don’t forget about the power of strength training. This will help to build your muscle, so your body is encouraged to take the excess calories from the fat. You’re more likely to get rid of the storage around your middle!
Try to get your exercise in first thing in a morning. This is an excellent way just to get it out of the way and get your day started off right.
Get Your Weight Down
If you are overweight, it’s time to start losing it. We all let ourselves go now and then, and it can be hard to get back to a normal BMI, but that’s not what you need to focus on right now.
Start by focusing on losing 5-10% of your weight. This could be a few pounds or maybe more, but it’s a realistic goal to work towards, setting you up for a better chance of success. If you keep focusing on these 5% milestones, you’ll be at your healthy goal weight before you realize!
Losing just 5% really can lower your triglycerides. It offers a range of other benefits too, including lowering your risk of diabetes, improving your sleep, and feeling better within yourself.
You’ll need to focus on a calorie deficit diet to lose weight. This is more than just about the type of food that you eat, but also about the portion sizes. You could have a usual healthy diet, but if you eat too much, then you will eat more calories than you burn. Doing exercise will help you burn excess calories when you need it.
Make sure you lose the weight healthily. Crash dieting is not going to help your overall health. The crash diets get you to a goal, but they don’t help you stay there. In most cases, you will slow your metabolism down, so you gain the weight and more over the first few weeks that you return to your normal eating plan. Focus on long term success. Losing weight slowly is good for you.
Cut Down on the Saturated Fat
Fat gets an unfair reputation. However, that’s for a reason. Saturated fat is bad for you. What you want to get into your diet are unsaturated fats. You can get the good fats from olives, avocados, and coconut oil. Add them to your diet, and you’ll help support your liver and boost your energy levels. Also, check out this product that has cholesterol and triglyceride fighting ingredients.
Cut down on the saturated fats and trans fats that come from chicken skin, fatty meats, and processed foods. Make sure you cut back on the amount of butter and milk that you get. There’s no need for large amounts to get other nutrients (most of them are in dark leafy greens).
However, while unsaturated fats are better for you, you will need to watch the amount that you eat. They tend to be high in cholesterol—and not always the good kind. Even good cholesterol should be kept within a manageable level. High cholesterol levels are linked to high triglyceride levels and other health problems.
The unsaturated fats are also higher in calories. You run the risk of preventing that calorie deficit if you don’t want your portion sizes!
The same applies to omega-3 fatty acids. Oily fishes like herring, sardines, and salmon are good for your diet and will help to keep your triglycerides to a minimum. Experts recommend that you eat two portions of oily fishes a week, as the omega-3s are also good for your cognitive function and body’s cells.
Watch out for too many omega-3s. While they are good for you, if you take too much you can end up with poor blood clotting. Like with everything else, it’s about moderation. You want a healthy and balanced diet.
Cut Down on the Sugars
Refined sugars are bad for you. If you speak to many dieticians, sugars have become the new fat. They’re the reason we’re gaining weight and suffering from a range of health problems.
The problem is most dieticians just state “sugar” and not “refined sugar.” They forget or fail to remind us that fruits have natural sugar, but also plenty of fiber. The fiber helps to prevent the natural sugars from metabolizing into the blood stream right away.
Refined sugars don’t have that fiber count to help. Fruit juices are also problematic because they lose the fiber to help prevent the glucose creation. When you eat or drink refined sugars, you cause an insulin response to get rid of it. On a small scale this isn’t going to be too bad for you, but on a large scale, it’s one of the reasons why so many of us have problems with lipids. When the insulin response occurs, the metabolism puts the calories and fats to one side to deal with later. However, the metabolism never comes back to them, causing weight gain and fat storage.
It’s time to cut back on the amount of refined sugar you eat. Check for the sugar counts on the labels of food and drink before you buy it. Make sure that you keep your sugar to around 100g or less per day. This isn’t an amount to aim for. Less is better!
If you’re worried about the sugar cravings, then cut back by half at first. Don’t just go cold turkey on all the refined sugar in your diet.
Don’t forget about the sugars in your carbohydrates. Pasta, rice, bread, and other similar items are full of sugar that will quickly metabolize. You need to choose the right types of them to avoid a major insulin response. Dieticians recommend switching to wholegrain options of your favorite carbs or sticking to starchy carbs, like potatoes and sweet potatoes. They have the fiber levels to help balance the sugar response in the blood.
Talk to Your Doctor About Your Medication
Unfortunately, there are going to be some things that you can’t completely control. This is the case for medication. You’ll need to discuss your medication with your doctor and find out how it could affect your triglyceride levels. Before you cut down on it, make sure your doctor is happy with that.
At the same time, the actual medical conditions can cause your triglycerides to increase. Your body isn’t working as effectively as it should, meaning your metabolism is slower.This is a common problem with those who have poor iron levels or bad thyroids.
Your doctor may be able to help you. There are some medications used to lower cholesterol levels. These medications have also shown positive effects on the triglycerides. Your doctor will want to make sure the medications won’t affect other drugs you may be taking and won’t affect your health conditions negatively.
There are some side effects noted with these drugs. Read the labels and discuss the side effects with your doctor.
It’s Time to Fight Your Triglycerides
Lowering your triglyceride levels is relatively simple. In the majority of cases, you can manage them through a good diet and exercise. Burn off the energy and encourage the metabolism to need the triglycerides instead of storing them around your middle. If you’ve tried everything, discuss the issue with your doctor and find out if there are other options available. There may be a medication that helps you avoid storing the triglycerides and prevent other health conditions causing an issue.