Triglycerides how to lower triglycerides


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  If you have elevated blood level of triglycerides (TGs), a form of fat, is an independent risk factor for cardiac disease. The national guideline for a fasting TG level is < 150 mg/dL. Levels higher than 200 mg/dL are associated with a substantial increase in risk of heart attack, stroke and death. 
  Triglycerides are a type of lipid found in your blood. When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn't need to use right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, particularly "easy" calories like carbohydrates and fats, you may have high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia)

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 There are treatments to lower TGs is diet, exercise and optimizing weight. A diet low in not only fats, but also low in sugars and simple carbohydrates  the white stuff potatoes, pasta, bread helps to lower TG levels, and a routine aerobic exercise program also helps lower TG levels. Omega-3 fatty acids can help to lower triglyceride levels in many people.

   Here are some ways to help lower triglycerides:
 Eat fewer calories (through portion control) if you need to lose weight
 Eat small, frequent meals and do not skip meals
 Avoid late-night snacking
 Lose weight if you are overweight
 Participate in regular physical activity

  Omega-3 Fatty Acids

 There are foods that have been found to be good at lowering triglycerides when you also follow the other guidelines in this article. The fat found in fish, called omega-3 fatty acids, can help to lower triglyceride levels in many people. The amount of omega-3 fat that is needed to lower triglycerides, your physician may recommend that you purchase a fish oil supplement. To get more omega-3 fats in your diet, choose two or more meals of fatty fish each week  such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, tuna, tilapia  or include plant-based forms of omega-3 in your diet, such as soy foods, canola oil, flax seeds and walnuts.  Omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids supplements can help lower your cholesterol. You can take over the counter supplements, or your doctor may prescribe Lovaza, a prescription omega-3 fatty acid supplement, as a way to lower your triglycerides. Lovaza may be taken with another cholesterol-lowering medication, such as a statin. If you choose to take over-the-counter supplements. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements could affect other medications you're taking.

 Triglycerides are an important measure of heart health. Here's why triglycerides matter  and what to do if your triglycerides are too high.
If you've been keeping an eye on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, there's something else you might need to monitor: your triglycerides. Having a high level of triglycerides, a type of fat (lipid) in your blood, can increase your risk of heart disease. However, the same lifestyle choices that promote overall health can help lower your triglycerides, too.
 A simple blood test can reveal whether your triglycerides fall into a healthy range.
 Normal — Less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or less than 1.7 millimoles per L (mmol/L)
 Borderline high — 150 to 199 mg/dL (1.8 to 2.2 mmol/L)
 High — 200 to 499 mg/dL (2.3 to 5.6 mmol/L)
 Very high — 500 mg/dL or above (5.7 mmol/L or above)

  The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that a triglyceride level of 100 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) or lower is considered "optimal." The AHA says this optimal level would improve your heart health. However, the AHA doesn't recommend drug treatment to reach this level. Instead, for those trying to lower their triglycerides to this level, lifestyle changes such as diet, weight loss and physical activity are encouraged. That's because triglycerides usually respond well to dietary and lifestyle changes. Your doctor will usually check for high triglycerides as part of a cholesterol test  sometimes called a lipid panel or lipid profile . You'll have to fast for nine to 12 hours before blood can be drawn for an accurate triglyceride measurement.

   What's the difference between triglycerides and cholesterol?

 Triglycerides and cholesterol are separate types of lipids that circulate in your blood. Triglycerides store unused calories and provide your body with energy, and cholesterol is used to build cells and certain hormones. Because triglycerides and cholesterol can't dissolve in blood, they circulate throughout your body with the help of proteins that transport the lipids (lipoproteins).

 Although it's unclear how, high triglycerides may contribute to hardening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls (atherosclerosis)   which increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease. High triglycerides are often a sign of other conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and stroke as well, including obesity and metabolic syndrome a cluster of conditions that includes too much fat around the waist, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high blood sugar and abnormal cholesterol levels.

 Sometimes high triglycerides are a sign of poorly controlled type 2 diabetes, low levels of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism), liver or kidney disease, or rare genetic conditions that affect how your body converts fat to energy. High triglycerides could also be a side effect of taking medications such as beta blockers, birth control pills, diuretics, steroids or the breast cancer drug tamoxifen.

  Healthy lifestyle choices are key.
Lose weight. If you're overweight, losing 5 to 10 pounds can help lower your triglycerides. Motivate yourself by focusing on the benefits of losing weight, such as more energy and improved health.  Cut back on calories. Remember that extra calories are converted to triglycerides and stored as fat. Reducing your calories will reduce triglycerides.  Avoid sugary and refined foods. Simple carbohydrates, such as sugar and foods made with white flour, can increase triglycerides.
Limit the cholesterol in your diet. Aim for no more than 300 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day or less than 200 mg if you have heart disease. Avoid the most concentrated sources of cholesterol, including meats high in saturated fat, egg yolks and whole milk products.

 Try saturated fat found in meats for healthier monounsaturated fat found in plants, such as olive, peanut and canola oils. Substitute fish high in omega-3 fatty acids  such as mackerel and salmon  for red meat. Eliminate trans fat. Trans fat can be found in fried foods and commercial baked products, such as cookies, crackers and snack cakes. But don't rely on packages that label their foods as free of trans fat. In the United States, if a food contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, it can be labeled trans fat-free. Even though those amounts seem small, they can add up quickly if you eat a lot of foods containing small amounts of trans fat. Instead, read the ingredients list. You can tell that a food has trans fat in it if it contains partially hydrogenated oil.

 You should lower how much alcohol you drink. Alcohol is high in calories and sugar and has a particularly potent effect on triglycerides. Even small amounts of alcohol can raise triglyceride levels. Work out the best you can. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most or all days of the week. Regular exercise can boost "good" cholesterol while lowering "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides. Take a brisk daily walk, swim laps or join an exercise group. If you don't have time to exercise for 30 minutes, try squeezing it in 10 minutes at a time. Take a short walk, climb the stairs at work, or try some sit-ups or push-ups as you watch television.

 If healthy lifestyle changes aren't enough to control high triglycerides, your doctor may recommend medications that can help further lower your triglycerides. Usually, the focus of therapy is to lower high levels of the "bad" cholesterol (LDL cholesterol), before addressing high triglyceride levels. Medications to treat high cholesterol include:

 Niacin, sometimes called nicotinic acid, can lower your triglycerides and your "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol). Your doctor may prescribe a niacin supplement, such as Niaspan. Don't take over-the-counter niacin without talking to your doctor first. Niacin can interact with other medications and can cause dangerous side effects if you overdose.
Fibrates. Fibrate medications, such as fenofibrate (Lofibra, TriCor) and gemfibrozil (Lopid), can also lower your triglyceride levels.
Statins. If you also have low high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good") cholesterol or high low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering statins or a combination of a statin and niacin or fibrates. Because of the risk of side effects from statins, be sure to tell your doctor if you experience any muscle pain, nausea, diarrhea or constipation.  If your doctor prescribes medication to lower your triglycerides, take the medication as prescribed. And remember the significance of the healthy lifestyle changes you've made. How do foods affect triglyceride levels?

 Consuming foods high in simple sugars significantly contributes to high triglycerides. Follow these guidelines to limit simple sugars in your diet:
Substitute beverages like colas, fruit drinks, iced tea, lemonade, Hi-C and Kool-Aid with artificially sweetened beverages labeled “sugar-free” or “diet.”
Limit hard candies, chocolates, candy bars and gummy bears.
Avoid adding table sugar and brown sugar to hot and cold cereals. Instead, substitute Equal, Splenda, Sweet-n-Low, Sugar Twin or Brown Sugar Twin
 Choose sugar-free gum or mints instead of the regular versions.
 Try light or low-sugar syrups on pancakes and waffles.
 Spread breads and crackers with no-sugar-added jelly or preserves.
 Snack on whole fruit instead of fruit roll-ups and other
 fruit-flavored treats When selecting cereals, limit the sugar to no more than 8 grams per serving.
 Try sugar-free gelatin and puddings instead of their regular versions.
 Choose low-sugar cookies and other desserts. Remember, these foods are not calorie-free and may contain cholesterol-raising fats.  Be aware that desserts labeled “fat-free” usually contain more sugar and equal calories than the full-fat varieties.  Regulate your intake of cookies, pastries, pies, cakes and granola bars. All of these foods contain high levels of added sugar; choose them sparingly.
 Reduce your intake of ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, gelato, and flavored ices - all contain high levels of sugar.
 Limit your daily sugar intake to no more than 8% of your total calories each day. That’s 24 grams for someone following a 1,600-calorie diet, or 40 grams for a 2,000-calorie diet.
 Read the ingredients list on food labels, and limit foods that contain any of the following words (all simple sugars) as the first few ingredients: ?Sucrose
 Corn syrup
 High-fructose corn syrup

 Naturally occurring sugars, when eaten in excess, can also raise your triglyceride level.
Follow these guidelines to help limit natural sugars:
 Use honey and molasses sparingly - they are both high in sugar
 Choose light yogurt which use artificial sweeteners  instead
 of regular yogurt Choose whole fruit instead of fruit juice
 Limit the serving size of dried fruits to ¼ cup per day; dried fruits contain a more concentrated source of sugar
 Choose canned fruit in its own juice and strain before eating; avoid canned fruits packed in heavy syrup
 Limit your portion sizes of mashed potatoes, yams, beans, corn and peas to ½ cup; limit baked potatoes (with skin) to about 3 ounces. Although these starchy vegetables are a great source of fiber and nutrients, they can contribute to high triglycerides when eaten in excess.

 Highly refined breads, cereals, rice, pasta and crackers convert to sugar in the body much more quickly than whole-grain varieties, which may increase your triglyceride level.
To limit refined grains:
 Choose breads, crackers and cereals that contain whole grain oats, barley, corn, rice or wheat as the first ingredient. Avoid the words “bleached” and/or “enriched” as the first ingredient.
 Try whole wheat pasta or brown rice.
 Choose breads, crackers, rice and pasta with 2 or more grams of dietary fiber per serving.
 Select hot and cold cereals with 5 or more grams of dietary fiber per serving.
 Use barley, bulgur, couscous, millet or wheat berries as a side dish.
 Try whole wheat crackers with soup instead of saltines.

  Watching your overall portion size of grain-based foods is a key component to triglyceride control.

 1 slice of bread
 2 slices of reduced-calorie bread
 ½ hot dog or hamburger bun
 ½ English muffin
 ½ bagel (1 ounce)
 1 oz most cold cereals (¼ to 1 cup)

 2 graham crackers
 ¾ matzoh cracker
 4 slices melba toast
 3 cups popped light popcorn
 2 to 6 baked whole-wheat crackers
 ½ cup cooked cereal (including oatmeal, oat bran, cream of wheat)

Excessive intake of dietary fats, especially saturated and trans fats, can increase your triglycerides. However, reducing dietary fat too much may mean you are getting too much sugar in the diet. If you have high triglycerides, follow these dietary guidelines to reduce dietary fat: Limit your total fat intake to 30 to 35% of your total daily calories  Limit saturated fat to 7% of your total daily calories  Try to avoid high trans fat foods  Limit dietary cholesterol to 200 mg daily  Choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats  such as canola and olive oils  most often.  See your dietitian or clinician for more information on determining your daily fat limit.


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