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What are the methods to reduce Triglycerides without medications?

Posted on: 09 Mar 2021

By: Dr Vinoth Kumar

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What are triglycerides?

Triglyceride is a type of fat stored in the liver or fat cells  of  the body . When we take more calories than required , those excess calories are converted into triglycerides and stored.

 When is someone said to have high triglycerides?

When someone has Fasting triglycerides value of more than 200mg/dl, we consider them to have high triglycerides

What are the common reasons for high triglycerides in the blood?

1.Diabetes

2.Overweight and obesity

3.Excess alcohol intake

4.Smoking

5.Thyroid problems

6.kidney failure and liver failure

7.Regular use of certain tablets like steroids

8.Sedentary lifestyle

9.Intake of excess amount of saturated fats

What are the risk of having high triglycerides?

1.Pancreatitis is a major concern especially when the triglycrides are more than 500mg/dl

2.Increased risk for heart vessel blocks and heart attacks

3.More association with fatty liver disease

What is the best method to reduce triglycerides?

Lifestyle changes and Diet modifications and medications are the major and important methods to reduce triglycerides in the blood

What are the methods to reduce Triglycerides without medications?

1.DIET

a)Reducing carbohydrate intake:

Reduce the intake of calories coming from carbohydrates to less than 50% of total. The type of carbohydrate consumption is more important. Refined carbohydrates and simple sugars should be minimised as much as possible .

Reduce the intake simple sugars like Table sugar, honey, chocolates, fruit jams cakes , candys, Ice creams, sodas and refined carbs like white rice and refined flour

Replace refined carbs with complex carbs like starchy vegetables, whole grains and fruits.

For a healthy body, complex carbohydrates should contribute to more than 50% of carbs per day. Complex carbs have more fibre content so that the digestion and absorption in to the bloodsteam happens slowly. It gives the feeling of fullness so that indirectly the total calorie consumption also comes down. Intake of food items with high glycemic index increases blood sugar leves and also triglycride levels

b)Consumption of Fat intake:

Replace carbohydrates with fat preferably more MUFA and PUFA. Omega 3 fattyacids from marine sources are very helpful in reducing the triglyceride levels. Reducing the intake of saturated fattyacids and increasing the intake of MUFA , Omega 3 &6 PUFA is very helpful.

2.WEIGHT REDUCTIION:

Weight reduction by limiting calorie intake is very important step to reduced triglycerides. Each Kg weight reduction results in 8mg/dl drop in TG.

3.ALCOHOL ABSTINENCE

Stopping alcohol intake reduces the TG by more than 80% in patients who consume excess alcohol. Its benefits are maximum seen when the TG is more than 500mg/dl

4.PHYSICAL ACTIVITY:

Regular physical activity like walking for 30 min per day helps to reduce body weight as well as TG by more than 20%.

To summarise patients with high triglycerides should consume less calories and minimise the intake of Refined carbohydrates and simple sugars. Reduce the body weight with physical activity and avoid alcohol consumption. Take nuts, flax seeds, chia seeds and Olive oil, green leafy vegetables and marine fish. This is the best way to reduce triglycerides when it is minimally raised. When it is more than 500mg/dl medications along with lifestyle changes are essential to prevent heart attacks and pancreatitis