What can you do to reduce your triglyceride levels?
- Healthy eating -- every day. It is a simple truth that what you put in your body is what you will get out of it. Limit levels of salt, solid fats like whole dairy products, red meats and tropical oils, added sugars and refined grains.
- Reduce your body mass index (BMI) to a safe level for your age and height. Even a 5-10 percent weight loss can result in a 20 percent decrease in triglyceride levels.
- Physical activity. Just 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days per week can cut your caloric expenditure and help you obtain safe levels of triglycerides within the body.
- Increase your fiber. Getting that daily recommendation of vegetables, fruits, fiber wealthy whole grains, fat-free milk products, seafood (limit your intake to 3 servings per week to keep mercury levels in balance), lean meats and poultry, legumes, nuts and seeds to help you get healthy triglyceride levels and keep your cholesterol levels in check.
What if you are currently overweight and find these recommendations difficult to implement?
Find a “healthy partner.” This can be a close friend, workmate, classmate or family member who has a similar goal of getting healthy. Starting an online social media group of similar minded individuals can also help you push past plateaus and get your health in tip top shape without costing you hundreds of dollars. Through the Metro Parks system you can begin a healthy walking group that will keep you moving and motivated to shed pounds and enjoy an internal balance brought on by nature and scenery. Cutting down on your caloric intake can be difficult but there are many free resources available to help you decrease portion sizes and even find healthy delicious recipes to try. If you have high triglycerides it is recommended that you substitute monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (found in canola and olive oils) for saturated fats. Try to keep your dietary fats to no more than 35 percent of your total diet daily.
You can have a healthy heart and learning your triglyceride levels is just a first step in greater overall heart health. Until next time – good health to you!