If you’ve received a lab test showing levels over 150, chances are you doctor has talked to you about diet. But diet is only one way to address high triglycerides.
What are they?
Triglycerides are how you body converts what you eat to a type of fat or lipid that circulates in your blood stream. If Triglycerides are too high, then there’s too much fat circulating and that tends to deposit itself anywhere convenient – your fat cells, you blood veins (it similar to cholesterol another fat lipid created by your body primarily to repair damage and rebuild cells).
Where traditional medicine goes wrong?
So your doctor will most likely give you the traditional answer. You’re most likely overweight and you’re gaining weight so the traditional solution is “exercise more, eat less.”
Not that this is bad advice but it just rarely works, and is only a part of the solution.
Rather than purely trying to consume fewer calories, you might consider changing a number of factors that contribute to high triglycerides and generally are indicative of metabolic syndrome – a cluster of symptoms that indicate your health is headed in the wrong direction – toward type 2 diabetes.
So why not take a comprehensive approach that includes exercise, dieting, supplements, and do something that is sustainable which most dieting or exercise is not?
Just eating less is not generally a sustainable approach. Sure you can cut calories through will power for a while, but that generally just doesn’t last. Better to choose different and better foods where you can actually eat more but get less of the foods that cause the problem.
Consider the following changes any one of which could significantly impact your condition in a very positive manner.
- Reduce or eliminate grain consumption – in other words, get off of anything made of flour – breads, cakes, pies, cookies, rolls, cereals, etc. Grains turns to sugar faster than sugar turns to sugar and in your body and bloodstream grains are a primary fuel for too many triglycerides.
- Reduce or eliminate dairy. That includes milk, milk products, packaged products with diary, cheese, cream, etc. If you have to have dairy then make sure it is organic from grass-fed cows that are hormone-free – modern milk is not the same milk your parents had in past years – it’s full of hormone and antibiotics used to raise cows in new modern factories where they get sick and die a lot more frequently and are milked while they’re pregnant which leads to 10X the estrogen of normal milk.
- Increase raw leafy green vegetables – eat a salad once a day for a meal – it will fill you up and take the place of a meal where you eat something a lot worse.
- Increase slightly steamed vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini, and yellow squash. These will help fill you up – eat them first with a meal of chicken, fish, or beef.
- Eat only organic grass-fed beef and eat less of it. Most beef contains hormones, pesticides, GMOs, and more. Beef raised in feedlots produces beef that you just shouldn’t be eating nor should you be supporting that type of ranching.
- Eat only cage free organic chicken. Again, same as the beef. You shouldn’t support ranchers who are captives of big-agribiz companies who want to feed you chicken with hormones, insecticides, and GMOs.
- Avoid sugar and sugar-added foods. You might also consider avoiding minimizing fruit and fruit juices for a while. Sugar is just as much a contributor to your triglycerides as is grains.
- Choose healthier fats – stop using vegetable oils, corn oils, soy oils, for cooking – these are high in Omega 6 fats and too much of those fats can be devastating to your efforts to reduce your triglycerides. Instead choose olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil. Believe it or not, cooking in butter will be better for you than cooking in the bulk vegetable oils.
The key to exercise is to do things that are sustainable. If you workout with weights and do that regularly good for you but most people with metabolic syndrome and high triglycerides are not working out regularly so you need to find something you can do everyday and then build on that.
Walking is one of the key ways I recommend when you’re just starting – walk around the block and make it your goal to do that daily. Once you’ve made that a part of your day you can increase the frequency to twice a day and increase the speed or distance, but first establish a foothold of daily walking.
Naturally anyone would say they question how beneficial walking might be compared to other exercises, but if you’re currently doing nothing, walking is 100% better than no walking at all.
Supplements are not a miracle cure for anything unless your body is just deficient in converting your foods to vitamins which is often the case as we get older.
In particular, fish oil and niacin are the two recommended supplements for high triglycerides.
As we get older it is also very likely that we’re not making enough vitamin D – a vitamin our bodies manufacture from exposure to sunlight – our skin has a form of cholesterol just under the outer layer that converts UV to vitamin D – a perfect little factory – but of course if we don’t walk outside and get exposed daily to sun we can’t really make that.
Here are some good products I use personally.