Worried About Triglyceride Levels? Try These 5 Suggestions
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Triglycerides are the form of fat that moves through the bloodstream to your body’s tissues. Whenever your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol is measured, triglycerides are checked, too. (A triglyceride test is typically performed in a lipid panel, in which total, HDL and LDL cholesterol are all measured.) At present, triglyceride levels lower than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are considered normal and levels above 200 mg/dL are considered too high.
High triglyceride levels can be genetic, but lifestyle influences are strong, and refined carbohydrates like sugar and fruit juices are the main factors boosting triglyceride levels in the blood. This is especially true for quick-digesting (high glycemic load) carbs. In many people, these foods elevate insulin levels, promoting both triglyceride production and the storage of fat.
I recommend the following lifestyle changes to help keep your serum triglyceride levels down to a level as low as possible:
- Get regular exercise that is at least moderately intensive along with some weight training.
- Opt for your carbohydrate sources to be whole. Vegetables, fruits, rolled or steel cut oats and sprouted breads provide you with a lot of variety and very little in the way of blood sugar surges.
- Cut back on alcohol, avoiding beer especially (even small amounts of alcohol can elevate triglyceride levels).
- Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids by eating salmon, sardines, black cod and herring on a regular basis, and consider taking a molecularly distilled fish oil supplement that contains both EPA and DHA in a dose of two to four grams per day.
- Maintain a diet that’s low in processed carbohydrates including fruit juices, such as my Anti-Inflammatory Diet, and familiarize yourself with the concept of glycemic load, which can help you choose carbohydrate foods that rank low on that scale.
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