When it comes to heart attack, you know that high blood pressure and cholesterol play a role. But what about elevated triglycerides?
While many people overlook the dangers of having high triglycerides, high levels of these fats in your bloodstream is actually as dangerous as having high levels of LDL cholesterol!
Studies haven't only tied high triglycerides to blocked blood flow to the heart and brain, which can cause a heart attack or stroke, but also to liver and other organ damage. On that note, we're sharing five ways to lower your triglycerides naturally.
Five ways to lower your triglycerides without medication
#1: Take it easy on the alcohol
Alcohol is packed with both calories and sugar – two things that can drive your blood triglyceride levels through the roof! One study found that even moderate alcohol consumption can raise triglycerides by as much as 53%.
#2: Do aerobic exercise a few times a week
and triglycerides go hand in hand. High levels of HDL cholesterol
can push down triglycerides. The best way to increase your HDL cholesterol is to do regular exercise
, particularly aerobic exercise such as walking, running, cycling or swimming. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests that you aim to do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, five days a week.
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the average South
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#3: Lose those extra kilos
When you consume more calories than you need for energy, your body turns the excess into triglycerides and stores them in fat
cells. According to research, losing even a modest 5% to 10% of your body weight can reduce blood triglycerides by 40mg/dL.
#4: Cut back on sugar
Here’s a scary fact: While the AHA recommends that you consume no more than six to nine teaspoons of added sugar daily, the average American consumes about 19 teaspoons a day – and this probably applies to the average South African, too. Watch for hidden sugar that lurks in soft drinks, juices, cereals, all kinds of bread, canned foods, condiments and salad dressings.
#5: Try a low-carb diet
Just like your body converts sugar and fat
into triglycerides and stores them in fat cells, it does the same with carbohydrates. One study that compared low-carb and low-fat diets found that low-carb dieters dropped an impressive 38 mg/dL in just six months, while the low-fat groups only saw a 7 mg/dL reduction.
Lowering your triglycerides is as simple as that – no medication needed!