One of the big reasons people come into CoreLife is because they’re worried about their health. We take a blood sample, and check your labs to see what issues might already exist and need addressed. Your triglycerides are one of those labs we’re particularly interested in.

Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood stream. Excess calories are converted by the body into triglycerides and stored in fat cells for later energy use. Because of this, triglycerides are, in fact, needed by the body as a fuel source, but having too many can increase your risk of heart disease. Obesity, regular alcohol consumption, a high-calorie diet, and uncontrolled diabetes can all increase your triglyceride levels (and all increase your risk of heart disease independently, too!). Here are five tips to help lower your triglyceride levels and consequently, your heart disease risk.

1) Healthy Weight – excess calories consumed = increased triglycerides for fat storage. Losing weight = losing fat = “losing” triglycerides. Research has shown that even a 5-10% weight loss can reduce blood triglycerides by 40mg/dL.

2) Cut the Added Sugar – the average American eats nearly 19 teaspoons of sugar a day; the American Heart Association suggests consuming no more than 6-9 tsp of added sugar each day. Extra sugar, like extra calories, is converted into triglycerides. Diets low in carbohydrates and added sugars can lead to reduced blood triglyceride levels. Something as simple as exchanging water for sugar-sweetened beverages has the potential to lower triglycerides by nearly 30 mg/dL.

3) Pass the Fiber, Please – fiber is found in whole fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Nuts and legumes (beans) are also good sources. More fiber in your diet can reduce fat and sugar absorption during digestion, lowering your triglyceride levels. In one study, a low-fiber diet increased triglyceride levels by 45% in just SIX DAYS.

4) Get Moving – exercise not only helps reduce weight, thereby reducing triglycerides previously stored as fat, but aerobic exercise like walking, running, swimming, and bicycling also increase HDL levels, the “good” cholesterol, while helps lower triglycerides. The benefits are most prominent when exercise is done consistently.

5) Omega-3 Power – omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and have been shown to reduce the risk of death from heart disease by over 30%. Fish like salmon, herring, sardines, and tuna, are all very high in omega-3 fatty acids. Flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts also serve as great plant-based sources of omega-3s. Not able to get in 2 servings of fatty fish a week? Try a high-quality fish oil to get in your daily dose.

All of these tips can also help your to lose weight and improve many of your other lab values, as well. Need help figuring out how to incorporate these tips into your daily lifestyle? Come chat with us at CoreLife!

Aubrey Phelps MS RDN LDN