Do Your Bad Habits Drive Up Your Triglycerides?
Better habit: Set limits.
Have no more than one drink a day if you're a woman and two if you're a man. If your triglyceride levels aren’t lowering enough despite your efforts, your doctor may recommend skipping alcohol altogether. Beer lovers can choose from many good nonalcoholic beers. If you drink wine, switch to flavored sparkling water.
Bad habit No. 6: You overeat.
Very large meals can send your triglyceride level into the danger zone. Spikes are dangerous because they can contribute to inflammation that can damage blood vessels.
Better habit: Divide your usual serving in half.
At home, cook the usual amount of food but serve only half. At restaurants, divide your meal into smaller portions. Eat slowly to give your body time to register when you're full. Help yourself to more only if you're still hungry. If you feel satisfied, pack away what's left to enjoy later.
Bad habit No. 7: You skip meals.
Maybe you're too busy to eat. Maybe you think you'll lose weight if you skip a meal. The problem: you're likely to get so hungry later that you'll grab anything, healthy or not. Or you overeat at the next meal, which causes triglyceride levels to jump.
Better habit: Eat sensible-sized meals three times a day.
Enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner while sticking to recommended serving sizes. Have healthy snacks like nuts, fruit, or carrot and celery sticks handy when hunger strikes.
Bad habit No. 8: You don't move around much.
Do you sit still for long periods? Lack of movement makes it hard for your body to process blood sugar and triglycerides normally.
Better habit: Get up and do something.
Move more each day. Skip the escalator or elevator and climb stairs. Get off the bus or subway one stop early and walk. Find leisurely activities you enjoy: Walk, swim, or ride a bike. Join a gym. Your goal is to do at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.
Bad habit No. 9: You smoke.
When you have high triglycerides, heart disease is a major concern. If you smoke, your risk of heart disease dramatically increases.
Better habit: Live tobacco-free.
Make up your mind to quit. If you need help, talk to your doctor. When you’re ready, take action. Choose a date to give up your habit. Get support from friends and family. Buy sugar-free gum and low-calorie snacks to reach for instead of cigarettes. Find a local support group. Stay committed -- you’ll kick cigarettes to the curb and add years to your life.