Lowering triglycerides can significantly improve heart health! Your body is an totally integrated system. Knowing the cause of high triglycerides and learning how to reduce your levels will decease your risk of heart disease.
While cholesterol is most often blamed for heart disease, recent scientific evidence does not support the theory that cholesterol causes cardiovascular disease. Fully half of all heart attacks occur in patients who have what are considered normal cholesterol levels. The evidence more strongly points toward triglycerides.
Triglycerides are a major factor in heart disease. An estimate two thirds of heart disease cases are at least partly a result of abnormal triglyceride levels.
There are two types of high triglycerides:
- Familial (genetic) – usually over 400mg/dl this is not
thought to be a cause of heart disease
- Insulin resistant – usually 150-400mg/dl this is dangerous,
associated with pre-diabetes and increased risk of heart disease
What are triglycerides and why are they important?
Triglycerides are lipids that are made from fats or carbohydrates you eat and are stored in the body. The higher their levels, the greater your risk for heart disease, which is why lowering triglycerides is so critical for your cardiovascular health.
Here is why elevated triglycerides are dangerous, and why lowering triglycerides is so important.
- They are deposited in various organs including the heart
- They can alter gene expression and increases heart disease
- They can cause insulin resistance leading to diabetes
- They can accumulate on artery walls causing plaque buildup
- They thicken blood causing strokes and other circulatory
- They contribute to abdominal obesity
What is a normal triglyceride level?
Before you go about lowering triglycerides, you need to check your levels to get a baseline so that you can tell how effective your efforts to lower them are!
The guidelines of the American Heart Association recommend that a normal triglyceride level is under 149 mg/dl.
However the Life Extension Foundation recommends an even lower level of 80-100 mg/dl measured in a fasting state.
The “fasting state” is when you have not eaten for at least 12 hours.
Unlike cholesterol, you really don’t have to worry about triglycerides going too low, so lowering triglycerides will have positive benefits for your health. Doing the right things will bring the levels down naturally, to what is optimal for you.
Cause of high triglycerides
Just what causes these levels to become too high?
There are several factors:
- Eating carbohydrates that raise your blood sugar rapidly
- Problems with carbohydrate metabolism
- Heavy drinking
- Insulin resistance (poor insulin sensitivity)
- A diet that consists of over 60% carbohydrate
- Lack of exercise – low physical activity
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Kidney disease
- Certain prescription medications (estrogen, birth control pills, tamoxifen, steroids, beta-blockers, and diuretics)
Lowering triglycerides really comes down to two things, restricting sugars, and getting regular exercise. Of course there is more to it than that, but those are the two most effective things.
Most people eat too many refined carbohydrates, and that is the cause of high triglycerides.
A “low glycemic diet” high in fiber will help in lowering triglycerides. This is because fiber slows down the entry of sugars into the bloodstream. Rapid entry of sugar into the bloodstream causes insulin to rise, and this promotes inflammation which in turn causes triglyceride levels to go up!
Nutritional supplements such as circumin, and green coffee extract, can also help by lowering inflammation, and helping the body manage blood sugar levels more efficiently.
Exercise also helps in lowering triglycerides because it increases insulin sensitivity, maintains lean muscle, and mobilizes fatty acids to be burned for energy.
Below are some short simple steps for lowering triglycerides:
- Limit your carbohydrates to mostly fresh vegetables – go easy on fruits
- Eat what is known as a low glycemic diet
- Avoid over consuming grains, and eating sweets
- Eat lean proteins
- Use nutritional supplements as you need them
- Get some kind of brisk exercise each day
That’s pretty much it! Lowering triglycerides willboost heart health and improve the health of your entire cardiovascular system. It’s probably the best things you can do to put yourself on a path to better health!