The fats and starchy carbs you eat are stored in your fat cells as triglycerides, a form of fat that needs to be controlled; tough its main function is to supply energy. If the level is high, you are more likely to develop a condition called metabolic syndrome – includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar (diabetes), belly fat, and high bad cholesterol level in your blood.
High triglycerides in your blood also prevents the good cholesterol (HDL) carrying back the bad cholesterol (LDL) for destruction in the liver. So, if you have high blood triglycerides, it also means that you have high bad cholesterol levels in your blood.
High triglycerides in your blood increase your chance of atherosclerosis (thickening of arteries with plaques), increasing the risk of heart disease, fatty liver disease, and certain cancers in the head, neck, oesophageal, breasts, liver, colo-rectal and also developing kidney disease.
High triglycerides in your blood can be caused due to obesity, eating the wrong foods, under-active thyroid, and diabetes, among others. Drinking too much of alcohol increases your blood triglycerides.
There are some medications that can cause high triglycerides, and in some may be hereditary. Antipsychotic medications are given to treat disorders such as bipolar disease and schizophrenia. Some antipsychotic medications can raise triglyceride levels, particularly medications classed as atypical, which includes clozapine (Clozaril) and olanzapine (Zyprexa), Deborah Antai-Otong reported in the April-June 2004 issue of “Perspectives in Psychiatric Care”.
Several types of blood pressure medications can affect triglyceride levels. Diuretics— which decrease the blood volume to lower the amount of blood being forced through the blood vessels—in doses greater than 50 milligrams per day can increase triglyceride beta blockers are another class of medication used to lower blood pressure. Beta blockers work by blocking the effects of epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, on the body. Beta blockers slow the heart rate, so it requires less oxygen and blood to effectively pump. Beta blockers can also raise triglycerides levels slightly, although the effect may be temporary. Older classes of beta blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor) and propranolol (Inderal) are more likely to raise triglyceride levels than newer beta blockers such as carvedilol (Coreg) and nebivolol (Bystolic), Mayo further explains.
Estrogen in synthetic form is found in birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy. Estrogen can raise triglyceride levels, but this may be offset by the synthetic progesterone, or progestin, in the birth control pill, which lowers triglyceride levels, according to MSN Health and Fitness.
You need to be careful of eating certain foods that elevate your triglycerides. Normal triglyceride level in your blood should be less than 150mg/dl. Over 200 should be considered very high.
Certain carbs have a direct effect on blood triglycerides. Starchy vegetables like peas, corn, potatoes are stored as triglycerides in your fat cells, and the overproduction and that are not used for energy, flows into your blood stream. Fill your plate with low starch veggies like cauliflower, mushrooms, spinach, kale and other leafy veggies. Avoid root veggies. Also minimise your consuming fruits and other foods containing simple sugars like fructose.
Beans are very nutritious and contain high fibre and proteins, but they are loaded with sugar. Black beans have no sugar. The American Heart Association advises for those having high triglycerides to limit intake of saturated fat, added sugar and salt. You should increase your whole grains, lean meats, legumes, low fat dairy, seafood, poultry, nuts and non-starchy veggies.
Fruits are good for you, but if you have high tri glycerides in your blood reduce your intake because of the high fructose- a kind of sugar found in some foods. Dried fruits are also high in fructose.
Alcohol contains sugar and this is converted into triglycerides in your fat cells. Beer, liquor, spirits and wines contain sugar, so restricting the consumption of alcohol may be required with high triglycerides in your blood.
If you are buying canned fish at the supermarket, carefully read the label and buy fish packed in water and not oil. This is not applicable to fresh fish. You are recommended to eat fatty fish, two servings a week. Fatty fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines and tunas. Omega-3 fatty acids do not influence your triglycerides in the blood.
Does coconut oil increase your triglycerides? It is true that coconut has saturated fat, but studies have shown that it has no influence on triglycerides or cholesterol in your blood.
Avoid eating ice cream frequently. Any foods with added sugar consumed in excess will increase your triglycerides. Avoid sodas, baked foods, most breakfast cereals, flavoured yogurt as far as possible. Added sugar in all these treats are the culprits for high blood triglycerides.
For breakfast have a bowl of steel-cut oats with berries. For lunch include a salad loaded veggies. Choose brown rice or quinoa for dinner instead of potatoes or pasta.
Avoid eating processed foods and foods with Trans-fat. Avoid packeted foods in the freezer racks in the supermarkets. They are full with trans-fat added to increase their shelf life.
So basically triglyceride lowering foods include whole-grain carbs, low fat meats and healthy fats (mono and polyunsaturated fats, and coconut fat) Avoid white bread, sugar and fruit juices. Eat fish, chicken lean meats, and tofu are
good selections to lower your blood triglycerides.
Conclusions: Remember, lowering your triglycerides is as important as lowering your bad cholesterol. The foods that you should eat daily are discussed to lower your triglycerides, helping you to avoid the risks of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, including cancer.