What are Triglycerides and How Do I Decrease Them?

triglyceridesTriglycerides are the main form of fat in the body. When you eat fatty foods, this is the type of fat that is deposited in different areas of your body, such as your hips and belly, for possible use later. When your body runs out of carbohydrates, triglycerides are converted into energy that can be used by the body. While triglycerides undoubtedly serve an important purpose as backup energy source, too much of it can also increase your risk for developing heart diseases. Therefore, it is important that you keep your triglycerides within normal levels, that is, less than 150 mg/dl. To decrease your triglyceride level, here are some things that you can do:

  • Lose some weight. If you are overweight or obese, you definitely have higher triglyceride levels and are at greater risk   for developing heart diseases. Losing five to ten pounds can greatly lower your triglyceride levels and thus help you reap the benefits of weight loss, such as overall improved health and increased energy. In addition, losing belly and hip fat will help boost your body image.

 

  • Exercise. Exercise is one of the best ways to lose weight and thus lower your triglyceride levels. You need to engage in moderate exercises for about five days per week in order to see results.

 

  • Eat foods rich in omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to play important roles in the body, such as reducing inflammation and controlling blood pressure. Studies also show that it can help lower triglycerides, thus reduce your risk for developing heart diseases. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fish like mackerel, herring, sardines, trout, salmon, and tuna. You may also ask your doctor for omega-3 supplements.

 

  • Limit intake of saturated and trans fats. Not all fats are bad for your health. What you need to avoid are saturated and trans fats, since these are the ones that get deposited in the walls of the arteries, forming plaques that can impede blood circulation. Avoid meats and dairy products that are high in fat. In addition, use vegetable, peanut, canola, and olive oils instead of coconut oil for cooking.

 

  • Avoid sweets. Foods that are very high in sugar are also high in triglycerides. Hence, you should avoid desserts, candies, soft drinks, and sweetened coffee and tea. Always look for the sugar content on food labels in order to eliminate excess sugar in the diet. The sugar content of a certain food should be no more than 1/3 of the total carbohydrate content.

 

  • Limit your alcohol intake. While studies show that moderate drinking of alcohol can help lower your risk for developing cardiovascular diseases, drinking too much can still be a problem when it comes to your triglycerides. Alcohol has high sugar and caloric content, and even just a small amount of alcohol can raise your triglycerides. Ideally, you should only have one drink per day, that is, five ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer.

 

While triglycerides provide energy for the body, it is important to remember that too much of it can have harmful effects. Just keep your triglyceride levels within the normal range so that you cut your chances of having heart diseases.

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About Mathea

Mathea Ford, RD/LD, is the owner of Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC. She has over 22 books on Amazon, check out her work at http://www.renaldiethq.com/go/author

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