So you want to know how to lower triglyceride levels? You are not alone.
You and I live in a culture where grabbing for a bottle of pills is the first reaction people have. If I have a problem I take a pill. If I want pleasure I take a pill.
But sometimes the natural solution is the best one.
It is true that medical science has had remarkable advances. And we should be grateful for these. But medical science is not the solution to every health problem.
Your doctor deals with disease. At optimal heart health we are concerned with health.
You and I are not satisfied with avoiding heart disease. We prefer optimal heart health.
So let's take a few moments and consider how we can use food to lower triglyceride levels. To do so we will answer these questions.
While we are on the subject of triglycerides... Do you have your own story
to tell about struggles and victories with triglycerides? How about
another heart health issue? Have you learned something in your reading
that you would like to share? If so you can have your own webpage right here on this site.
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Here’s a question for you…
Are you sick and tired of just not
Are there health issues – in addition to your heart health – that concern you? Like…
Anxiety? Or not sleeping well? Or joint pain? Or low energy? Or poor digestion? Or weight gain? Or stress? Why do so many people suffer from these symptoms and others? Those nagging health issues that seem so difficult to define.
Did you know that these health problems – as well as more serious chronic diseases – can be the result of …
Many people have come to realize this and have made changes to recapture their health. We have a great – FREE – resource we want you to have. Simply click the link below.
It is truer today than it was just a short time ago. Our doctors are realizing that
are more than an indication that we have a heart health problem. High
triglycerides are now recognized as an independent health risk for
coronary heart disease.
Our doctors no longer worry just about cholesterol. Triglyceride testing has become a normal part of evaluating our overall heart health.
Why is this true? Because high triglycerides put us at higher risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) the same way high cholesterol does. So to avoid CHD – and attain optimal heart health – it is imperative that you and I keep our triglycerides down.
O.K. My triglycerides are high. So…
What causes high triglycerides?
Triglycerides come from two sources. They are produced by our bodies. And they are consumed in the things we eat. Both of these can be influenced by diet.
Obviously if we eat foods low in triglycerides we are dealing with the second source of triglycerides. But if we govern what we eat we also deal with the first. That is because out bodies tend to produce more triglycerides from certain foods.
I guess it is safe to say that – when it comes to triglycerides – you are what you eat.
Triglycerides are a form of fat. In fact they are the most common form of fat in your body. The body consumes, converts, stores, and uses triglycerides to produce energy. That is how we live.
But it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
Triglyceride levels that are too high cause heart disease.
If you and I are to have optimal heart health then we must take action. We can start by using food to lower triglyceride levels.
It doesn’t take an anthropologist to know that the average human diet in developed countries has changed drastically. Nor do we have to return to a state of being 'hunter-gatherers'. We simply need to return to a better way of eating.
Doing so will help take care of the triglyceride struggle. It
will help take care of a number of other problems as well. Here is a
case in point.
One scientist, Carl Rehnborg, while working in China in the late 1920s noticed mass malnutrition and disease. He also noticed that the variations in local diets were accompanied by variations in health. He theorized that some diseases may be caused by a lack of nutrition and could be prevented by supplying diets with the missing nutritional elements. His theories led to one of the oldest and most respected supplement companies in the world.
By the way... our family's health has been benfitted greatly by making nutritional changes - especially when our young children started taking the supplements they needed.
Please click here to read Our Family's Health Story.
The best approach for reducing triglycerides is not just about supplying missing elements. That is part of it. But first we need to concentrate on eliminating certain things from our diets. These are things we like, but they are certainly not things we need. Let's begin by asking...
If we are going to use our food to lower triglyceride levels obviously we are going to have to avoid or minimize certain foods. Fortunately many of the things that we need to avoid are also helpful in balancing our cholesterol. There is one noticeable exception, however. That is…
I know. You were afraid I was going to say that.
It is true that wine can bolster heart health. Moderate alcohol consumption can increase HDL (good) cholesterol which in turn benefits heart health. Personally I love that fact.
But unfortunately alcohol is easily converted into triglycerides.
If you already have an overabundance of serum triglycerides then you will want to avoid alcohol until your triglycerides come down.
The second way we can use food to lower triglyceride levels is by cutting down on…
You are probably thinking that I am no fun at all. I know how you feel. Eating sugar is like a hobby for me the way some people watch football or work in their gardens. But I have had to cut down. And in reality I find that I don’t crave sugar like I used to. I also feel better by not eating so much.
When I mention sugar you know what I mean. At the very minimum this means pies, cakes, sweet rolls, sodas, candies…you get the picture.
My favorite is ketchup. You may be surprised to know that ketchup is extremely high in sugar. You can get some at the health food store that uses better sweeteners.
Unfortunately the scenario goes way beyond this. For some reason commercial production of many foods (even most foods) includes added sugar. Check the labels when you buy. Even breakfast cereals that advertise heart health benefits have highly processed sugars added to their other highly processed ingredients.
Products like baked beans provide another example. Beans are high in fiber and are themselves beneficial in a diet designed to promote heart health and reduce triglycerides. But typically the commercially prepared varieties are loaded with sugar.
Not all fruit. Avoid the fruit look-a-likes.
The question of fruits and fruit juices is an important one and not as easily answered. That is because it is related to the issue of sugar. First let it be said that fruit drinks typically are less fruit than drink.
I remember growing up - perhaps you do to - seeing a series of commercials advertising their product as containing 10% real fruit juice. The product is still around and is characteristic of many products. Such a statement should seem to us ridiculous. It should be hidden in the fine print as an embarrassment. Instead it was pronounced, as it were, from the mountain top. They were proud of their 10%. And a whole culture has been duped by it, is being duped by it.
But this is slightly beyond the present point. The important point is many so called fruit drinks are mixes loaded with sugar. The sugar may be in the form high fructose corn syrup but it is still sugar.
If you are going to consume fruit juice make sure it is juice from fruit, not substitutes, and with no added sugar.
Whole fruit is necessary to a healthy diet. But canned fruits, again, are often loaded with sugar.
That being said we must remember that fruit has sugar in it which can be converted to triglycerides. When trying to bring triglycerides down limit the amount of fruit consumed.
Forget the fruit drinks that have some fruit in them and stay away from canned fruit with added sugar or fructose.
Next on the list of food to lower triglyceride levels are simple carbohydrates. We have already talked about sugar, which is a simple carbohydrate. But foods like white rice and breads or pastas made from white flour should be avoided. This would include processed cereals, crackers and other snacks.
When we say white flour we mean flour that has been processed and bleached. There is a wheat flour that is naturally white, or nearly so. This is still whole wheat unprocessed flour and is full of good natural stuff.
Products that have been made from processed flours are more easily converted into triglycerides and have much lower nutritional value.
The final category concerning food to lower triglyceride levels is fat. Surprisingly not all fats are to be avoided. The ones to avoid would include saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats if they have been hydrogenised. The latter includes a surprising number of products. Read the labels.
Look for the phrase 'partially hydrogenated'.
The most notorious is margarine and similar products. These contain trans-fats which have been blamed for the great increase in heart disease.
Other fats would include butter, lard, animal fats, gravies, cream sauces and tropical oils such as palm and coconut.
Nuts are high in fat and, though good for your health, can be a bit of a problem when trying to reduce triglycerides. However, they are better than some other protein sources.
Whole milk, ice cream and other milk products with high fat content add to the problem. Select lean cuts of meat and don’t eat more than 6 ounces per day.
Use some common sense when choosing meat. Meat with high fat content is of course off the good list. Bacon, sausage, fatty fowl like duck or goose should be limited or avoided.
Processed lunch meats are not good for many reasons. Removing the
skin from chicken and turkey reduces the fat content. Hotdogs and
hamburgers? Do you really need to ask? Organ meats - not a temptation to me - are high in fat.
As I mentioned earlier high triglycerides are linked to coronary heart disease.
Coronary heart disease is the top killer of men and women in developed countries like the US.
Avoiding certain foods to lower triglycerides is a bit inconvenient. But if it will help you reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease then it is worth the trouble.
Avoid certain foods if your triglycerides are high. You can lower triglycerides with a bit of discipline.
But this is only half the story. What should you eat? To find out read…
A good diet to lower triglycerides.
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A Challenge For You!
People are making great improvements in their heart health.
How... are they doing it? By challenging themselves to change the way they eat. Really!
I have a challenge for you. It is my double dog dare.