Picture of various foods in the shape of a heart that benefit heart health with a text bubble saying how to reduce triglycerides

Various molecules are counted and/or calculated when we do blood work. This article focuses on Triglycerides and how we may reduce them.

To learn about HDL-C and LDL-C, please click the links.

A Brief Review of Triglycerides

Next to cholesterol, triglycerides are the most important measurement in the lipid panel.

Triglycerides relate to overall heart disease risk, with close links to blood sugar metabolism, thyroid health and kidney function. Having low triglycerides is usually okay, but pathologically low values can be due to malabsorption, low intake of dietary fats, or possible autoimmunity [2]. Excessive triglycerides are related to an increased risk of heart disease.

Click here to learn everything you need to know about triglycerides.

Ways to Reduce Triglycerides

Some basic lifestyle factors have been shown in human research to have beneficial effects on lowering elevated triglycerides. In fact, the triglyceride response to diet and exercise, with accompanying weight loss, is about a 25% reduction in triglyceride levels [6].

These factors help reduce elevated triglycerides:

  • Weight reduction (if necessary) [6]
  • Aerobic exercise [6]
  • Minimizing alcohol consumption [6]
  • Mediterranean diet [6]
  • Niacin [6]
  • Omega 3-fatty acids (EPA, DHA); aim for 4 grams a day [6]
  • Avoid excessive fructose [3]
  • Dietary fat intake
    • Moderate elevations in triglycerides: limit trans fats, some saturated fats, and vegetable-based polyunsaturated fats [6]
    • Severe elevations in triglycerides: fat intake may be restricted to 10-15% of total energy intake [6]
  • There are several supplements and nutraceuticals used for lowering triglycerides but they must be prescribed on a case-by-case basis
Collage of pictures illustrating ways to reduce triglycerides to improve heart health, such as no transfats or alcohol, low carbohydrate diet, avoid high fructose corn syrup, eat foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, niacin, mediterranean diet, and exercise/weight loss

Summary

As you can see, elevated triglycerides must be assessed in conjunction with your other body systems and overall health. Triglycerides usually don’t elevate by themselves – there’s always something else going on simultaneously. A naturopath will be able to guide you through the various treatment options to best serve you. This article summarizes a few lifestyle interventions, but a naturopath will be able to prescribe specific herbal and nutraceutical interventions when indicated.

References

Interested in learning more?

Read on in our series of articles on Heart Health!

About the Author - Dr. Johann de Chickera

Dr. Johann de Chickera is a naturopath at Absolute Health and Wellness in Paris Ontario

Dr. Johann is a licensed naturopathic doctor and co-owner of Absolute Health and Wellness. He completed his 4-year degree at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). His clinical focus lies in chronic disease, such as those related to the Gastrointestinal, Endocrine, and Immune Systems.

His approach to medicine relies on working with the patient to come up with a feasible, multi-factorial approach that addresses all complaints at once. He employs a strong background in diagnostic medicine and human physiology and pathology to diagnose and treat. His treatment involve a combination of nutritional counselling, botanical medicine, eastern medicine (acupuncture), nutraceutical supplementation and hands on physical medicine.

To book in please call us at (519) 442-2206 or click here.

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