How to lower triglycerides quickly? I love these kinds of questions for two reasons:
1) I believe that prevention of a disease is more important than managing it after it has already happened.
You can save yourselves a lot of suffering if you start learning about disease prevention as early as possible.
2) I’m also convinced that we as a society should decrease our reliance on prescription drugs and emphasize more non-drug managements, such as lifestyle changes including dietary modifications.
How to lower triglycerides quickly
I’d like to clarify the word “quickly” in this article.
Often, the desire to achieve things as quickly as possible could result in a lot of frustration and disappointments.
It’s important to spend the necessary amount of time on achieving a goal.
I’ve used the word quickly in this post because I’ve seen numerous patients who were able to lower their blood triglycerides level rather promptly (within 6-8 weeks) after adapting the following management.
Understandably, this time can vary among different groups of individuals.
Let’s go back to our discussion on how to reduce blood triglycerides.
It’s clear that medications are occasionally necessary for managing some conditions.
In my experience, most individuals don’t require drug therapy if they implement the relevant lifestyle changes early. In severe cases if taking a medication becomes necessary–because of the lifestyle changes– the dosage might be kept to a minimum.
Triglycerides are composed of three molecules of fatty acids plus glycerides.
It’s the most common form of fat that humans digest.
Dangers of high triglycerides
Triglycerides are a significant risk factor for coronary heart disease, especially in women.
Similar to elevated levels of fasting, very high levels of non-fasting triglycerides may also increase the risk for coronary heart disease.
Here are simple ways in which you can reduce your blood triglyceride level.
Regular exercise and triglycerides
A regular exercise routine consisting of at least 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity (e.g., brisk walking) most days (or total of 150 minutes per week), may help to reduce triglyceride levels in the blood.
We have different forms of exercises. They include:
- Cardio-respiratory (Heart and lung)
- Stretching or flexibility
- Power or resistance
I’ll concentrate on cardio-respiratory exercise in this article.
Many studies have shown the considerable value of 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical exercise in reducing risk factors for heart disease and stroke (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, insulin resistance).
You may ask what exactly moderate intensity physical exercise means.
Let me give you a couple of examples.
For instance, moderate intensity walking includes approximately 100 steps per minute for around 30 minutes per session or biking with a 5-9 mph speed on level terrain.
The good news for many of us with stressful lives is that we can accumulate exercise time in bouts of 10 minutes to achieve a daily goal of 30 minutes.
Studies shown that 3 times 10 minutes sessions of exercise (instead of single 30-minute session) will also help you in achieving your healthy goals.
Triglycerides fish oil dosage
The American Heart Association, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Health and Human Services recommend regular consumption of fatty fish (salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, mackerel, and trout) that provide omega-3 fatty acids (docosahexanoic acid [DHA] and eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]).
Eating eight ounces of fatty fish per week provides an average of almost 500 mg/d DHA and EPA.
Treatment consisting of 4 g of omega-3 fatty acids per day could reduce the blood triglyceride level by almost 45%.
Higher doses, DHA and EPA lower serum triglycerides by reducing the liver production of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (proteins that transport fat).
I’ve analyzed different studies and here is my opinion about taking fish oil–click here.
Triglycerides and alcohol consumption
The recommended alcohol intake isn’t more than one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
Alcohol and triglyceride test
Researches suggest that when drinking alcohol the level of triglycerides increases and reaches its peak at about 3 hours after the consumption.
Alcohol intake can significantly increase the average fasting triglyceride level up to 53%.
Moderate consumption of alcohol could benefit the heart and vascular system but increased consumption could elevate the risk of death.
It’s fine if somebody wants to have one or two glasses of wine a day.
I’d like to underline that recommendations are different for women and men.
You may ask why? Why should gender affect how much alcohol we should drink?
This recommendation takes into account the difference between average weight and metabolism of men and women, especially the amount of enzymes necessary to dissolve the alcohol in body (alcohol-dehydrogenase) that’s higher in men than women.
Limit total carbohydrate consumption
Individuals with high carbohydrate consumption who attempt to replace fat with carbs could see an elevated triglyceride level and lower high density lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol).
We’ve many people who I like to call, “master of oversimplification”. Unfortunately, our society often asks for oversimplified explanations for complex problems.
One of the major black and white areas in nutrition and medicine is related to carbohydrates.
It’s important for you to know that carbohydrates are necessary for a healthy function of your body. You shouldn’t totally remove this sort of food from your diet.
According to different dietary recommendations, 50-60% of each meal should be in carbs. Sometimes this ratio need to be adjusted according to an individual’s other medical conditions.
However, like everything else we should be aware that high consumption of more powerful and fast-acting carbs such as sugar, white bread, potatoes, noodles, white rice could significantly affect your triglyceride level.
You should try to consume slow/long-acting carbohydrates instead of rapid/short-acting ones. Samples of slow/long-acting carbs are whole grain bread, brown rice and noodles.
You should also try getting rid of any unnecessary sugar where and when you can. That helps a lot.
List of foods that lower triglycerides
Following foods are helpful in reducing blood triglyceride level however you still need to keep their portions small.
- Fruits (apples, banana and avoid fruit juice)
- Sweat potatoes (instead of white potatoes)
- Omega 3 fatty acids ((salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, mackerel, and trout)
- Choose 100% whole grain bread, cereals, brown rice and noodles
How to lower triglycerides quickly (and naturally) in 7 steps
I wish you good luck in your endeavor to learn about triglycerides, prevent its elevation and managing it (if you’ve already a high blood level).
Please let me know about your experience with the suggestions above. Send me your questions or go to comments below and let me know what you think.
Please, if you liked this article be generous to others and share it.
I’m confident that many people including me will appreciate your generosity.
Keep on learning!