High Triglycerides: What You Need to Know
Controlling High Triglycerides: Lifestyle Changes
Although finding out that you have high triglycerides might be upsetting, there's a lot you can do on your own to lower them. Making changes to your lifestyle can have a dramatic benefit. Here are some suggestions:
Get more physical activity. Exercise can have a big impact on triglyceride levels. Experts recommend that everybody get at least 30 minutes of exercise at least five times a week. If you're out of shape, start slowly. Begin with a quick walk three times a week and then build up from there.
Lose some weight. If you're heavy, shed a few pounds and try to maintain an ideal body weight. Exercise will help, but you also need to focus on diet. The key is to eat fewer calories -- whether they come from fats, carbs, or protein. Focus on a diet that's high in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. Cutting down on sugary foods -- like sodas -- could really help, too.
Choose better fats. Pay more attention to the fats you eat. Eat less foods with unhealthy fats (found in meat, butter, and cheese) and trans fats (in processed foods and margarines), as well as cholesterol. Boost your intake of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are found in olive oil, nuts, and some fish. Studies have found that the omega-3s in fatty fish -- like tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines -- are particularly good at lowering triglyceride levels. Because even healthy fats are high in calories, you still need to eat these foods in moderation.
Cut down on alcohol. Even small amounts of alcohol seem to cause big spikes in triglyceride levels. Limit alcohol intake to one drink a day.