Eight Strategies to Reduce Triglycerides

High triglycerides in your bloodstream can be just as much a danger signal for the health of your heart as high cholesterol, according to the Harvard Heart Letter. Trouble is, people's awareness of the threat of cholesterol, hyped in the media for years, is far greater than that of triglycerides, the most common form of fat in food and the blood. Researchers have determined that the triglyceride danger threshold is 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood. So if your level is above that, the best way to reduce it is to change your lifestyle in the following eight ways.

1. Lower your intake of saturated fat and trans fat. Saturated fat is high in red meat and full-fat dairy products. Trans fat appears in some fried and commercially prepared foods. Check the labels for these culprits. 2. Watch the quality of your carbohydrate intake. Try to avoid refined foods such as pasta and white rice, and reach instead for whole-grain products. Also shun high-sugar foods and drinks.

3. Check alcohol's effect on you. Alcohol dramatically increases triglycerides in some people, who are known as "responders." To see if you fall into this category, get your triglycerides tested, stop alcohol consumption for three weeks, then get another triglyceride test. 4. Eat dark-flesh fish regularly, perhaps twice a week, for their omega-3 fatty acids, which lower triglycerides.

5. Exercise regularly, which has been shown to lower triglycerides and raise the level of "good" cholesterol. 6. Work toward a healthy weight. If you're overweight, you can decrease triglycerides by losing even 5 percent to 10 percent of your weight. 7. Take supplements such as niacin and fish oil. Also consider taking pharmaceuticals like fibrates and cholesterol-lowering statins. 8. Throw away your tobacco, which has a terrible effect on triglyceride levels, as well as everything else in your body.


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