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7 Ways to Lower Your Triglycerides

feed your soul Jul 11, 2022

Take a look at your most recent cholesterol test/lipid panel and you’ll probably notice triglycerides listed among the results. So what exactly are they and how can you lower your levels in a more natural way if they are out of range?

Triglycerides: What are they? 


Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) in your blood. If too high, they can raise your risk of heart disease and stroke. Triglycerides get confused with cholesterol, however they function differently in the body. 


Cholesterol is a waxy substance made by your liver and is essential, meaning you can't live without it! It works to build cells and produce certain hormones, bile, and vitamin D.


Triglycerides store the unused calories of a meal in your fat cells, which can later be released for energy between meals.

 

Know your numbers


According to the guidelines of the National Cholesterol Education Program, here’s what the following triglyceride values mean:

  • Less than 150 mg/dL  = Normal
  • 150-199 mg/dL = Borderline high
  • 200-499 mg/dL = High
  • 500+ mg/dL = Very high

 

What raises triglycerides?


High triglycerides may be caused by any one of the following:

  • Diet high in sugar and refined and processed food, including high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and refined oils like canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, and sunflower. Check your food labels because processed foods are loaded with these inflammatory fats!
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Overeating on a regular basis
  • Obesity
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Inactive lifestyle 
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Certain medications
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Smoking


7 Lifestyle changes to lower triglycerides


Here are seven strategies you can implement to lower your triglycerides in a more natural way. To make it a habit, choose one or two (or all seven if you’re really motivated) and practice them consistently over the next several weeks as suggested below. You’ll be amazed at how good you feel, which is always a good indication that things are moving in the right direction beneath the surface.

  1. Cut way back on sweets and refined/processed foods. These include cereals, crackers, breads, pasta, snack foods, sweets, sugary beverages, and the following ingredients on food labels: high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), hydrogenated oil, partially hydrogenated oil, and highly refined oils, labeled as: canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean or sunflower oil.
  2. Move more, sit less. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day (walking, jogging, basketball, swimming, biking, etc.) and don’t sit for more than 50 minutes at one time. 
  3. If you drink alcohol, limit it to one serving per day. A serving is equal to 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.
  4. Load up on Earthfoods! Plant-based foods are your body’s BFF. Choose from an array of: non-starchy vegetables (bonus points for leafy greens), fruits (bonus points for berries), beans, lentils, herbs, spices, garlic, avocados, and nuts and seeds (i.e. flax, hemp, chia, sunflower, pumpkin, etc.).
  5. Use healthy oils. The best oils for healthy triglyceride levels are extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil.
  6. Eat more fatty fish. Low contaminant, oily, omega-3-rich fish are super effective for maintaining healthy triglyceride levels. These include anchovies, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, tuna, and trout. Aim for 2-3 servings per week!
  7. Bridge the gap. Those with triglyceride levels over 500 mg/dL can benefit from supplementing with high dose pure fish oil and also niacin (vitamin B3). Both supplements can lower triglycerides and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. Always check with your doctor before beginning any supplement, as it can negatively interact with certain medications you may be taking. 


Even if you choose only one or two from the list, remember to be consistent! Each can be extremely powerful when repeated on a daily basis.


Need support on your journey to better heart health? Check out my Seed Sprouters Community! It's like having your own personal dietitian in your pocket! 

 

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