If you eat a lot of animal foods, you’re at greater risk of getting heart disease. Increased fat in your blood means you’ll need to lower triglycerides naturally. These fats that are accumulating are called triglycerides and they’re largely a result of a diet rich in animal protein. A maximum of 150mg /dL (decilitre) is considered in the normal range. If your levels reach 200mg/dL, your triglycerides are endangering you. Read on for the steps that you should take – and quickly – to reduce your triglyceride levels.
Tips and tricks to lower triglycerides naturally
If your GP has given you a warning about your high triglyceride levels, you must take it seriously. The cholesterol in your blood is a danger and you’re at risk of developing serious heart disease. Fortunately, the future of your health lies in your hands and, if you have the will, there’s a way. Diet is one of the biggest factors in this situation. Start by increasing your consumption of whole fibre. Eat more porridge and grains (such as brown rice, quinoa or amaranth). They’ll help to mop up excess fat. Broccoli, spinach, apples and oranges are also excellent allies to you.
Try to either avoid or significantly reduce your reliance on processed white breads and pastas, salted snacks, pastries, cakes, fried foods and alcohol. These are not particularly beneficial to your health because they increase the amount of lipids (fats) in your blood. Substitute them with whole grains and other healthy, nutritious foods such as leafy greens, seeds and nuts.
Processed sugar? It’s sweet, but it’s a no-no if your ticker’s not working properly. Stevia can take the place of refined sugar. Make sure that you’re drinking water or pure juices rather than fizzy drinks or diet soda pop. Peckish? Opt for fresh fruits instead of sweets and candy. A small amount of dark chocolate (with a cocoa content of no less than 70%) can be beneficial in moderation. Another nice thing to eat if you’re hankering for something indulgent is frozen banana ice cream. Try it! You’ll never go back to dairy.
Talking of dairy, it’s best avoided. Happily, there are all sorts of plant-based substitutes. You can find non-dairy milks (almond, coconut, soya, rice, oat and many others) and vegan cheeses (made from nuts, soya or coconut oil). To dress or season your salads, olive oil is a champ. It’s much healthier, more delicious and more versatile than salad cream or mayonnaise. Limit or eliminate takeaways.
Meat is your main adversary when you’re battling with high triglycerides. It’s so easy to forego them altogether. A vast array of alternatives exist. Expand your culinary and gastronomic horizons with tofu (try smoked, seeded, marinated – even pizza flavoured!), tempeh and seitan (vital wheat gluten).
Monounsaturated fatty acids are your friends, so add them to your menu. You’ll find them in olive oil, dried fruits, rapeseed oil, sunflower seeds and avocados. They’re all full of omega-3 fatty acids, as well. Eat up!
An interesting side note: you can be slim and still have high triglyceride levels. If you know that yours are a problem, you should mind your weight – whether you’re within a healthy range or not. Roasting, grilling, steaming and boiling your food is always preferable to frying or stewing. Eat as many raw fruits and vegetables as you can and avoid overly processed meals.
Give alcohol a miss – apart from, perhaps, one small glass of red wine once a day. This limited amount can boost cardiovascular health. If you smoke, quit. Really, there are no ‘buts’ about it. Your health depends upon it.
Natural remedies to regulate triglycerides? You can’t go wrong with a clove of garlic every day. This bulb wields a powerful influence over lipids in the blood. An easy way to benefit from it is to add it to cooking. You can even mince it into a salad or a cup of broth and eat it raw.
Another simple remedy is to add two tablespoons of fine porridge oats to a glass of water. Leave it in the refrigerator overnight. First thing next morning, drink the water. It will reabsorb fat and regulate your cholesterol. If you follow your porridge water with an infusion of mandarin or orange peel, you’ll double this effect.
Always make sure to drink plenty of water every day. Need help making this a habit? There are mobile apps that will remind you! Recommended amounts: 2 litres per day during the winter months and 3 litres per day during the summer months.
Above all, pay attention to the number of calories you’re taking in. You may want to consider booking an appointment with a nutritionist – particularly if your weight is a problem. Bear in mind that women should aim to consume between 1200-1500 calories a day. For men, the daily requirement is somewhere around 1800 calories. Take smaller portions and don’t fill the plate to overflowing. Always avoid eating heavily before bed. If you must snack, choose light and nutritious foods.
An extremely important part of your treatment for to lower triglycerides naturally is exercise. You don’t have to run marathons. Even moderate exercise is hugely helpful. Start off by taking a short walk three times a week. As it becomes habit, gradually increase the frequency and the length of your walks. You’ll be feeling brilliant on 20 or 30 minutes a day. Variety is good, too. It breaks routine and prevents boredom. Try biking or swimming. Even everyday choices can be of benefit. Take the stairs rather than the lift. Do your cleaning with vigour. Dance with abandon. Cut the grass or wash your car. The point, of course, is this: get moving!
It bears repeating – even at the risk of nagging: quit smoking. Tobacco doesn’t necessarily produce triglycerides in the blood, this habit does inhibit the improvement of triglycerides level. Smoking also makes it more difficult to exercise properly. Drop the cigarettes. You’ll feel better and it will have a dramatically positive effect on your entire body – specifically, your heart, lungs and skin.
Images courtesy of Nick Nguyen, Steven Depolo, Ben Hosking