Triglycerides are a type of fat in your blood that, when too high, can contribute to hardening of the arteries and an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease
In fact, anytime you eat, calories that aren’t used up right away are converted into triglycerides and stored in your fat cells. Later, when you need energy, the triglycerides will be released. However, if you regularly eat too many calories, particularly from sugar and refined carbs, you may have high triglycerides in your blood.
To know your tryglyceride levels for sure a blood test should be done. According to the National Cholesterol Education Program, here’s what your results mean:
- Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL
- Borderline-high: 150 to 199 mg/dL
- High: 200 to 499 mg/dL
- Very high: 500 mg/dL or higher
How to Lower Your Triglycerides Naturally
Though high triglycerides can lead to serious health problems, the good news is that the lifestyle changes listed below can go a long way toward getting your levels back to normal.
- If you’re overweight, cut back on calories to reach your ideal weight.
- Avoid unhealthy fats like trans fats, but do eat healthy fats like those from olive oil, nuts and avocados.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Reduce your intake of alcohol, as even small amounts can raise triglyceride levels.
- Get plenty of omega-3 fats, either from wild-caught, low-mercury fish or from a high-quality fish oil supplement.
- Cut back on sugary foods and drinks, as sugar increases insulin production, which in turn increases triglycerides.
- Exercise at a moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes five or more days a week.
- Use stress-management tools to help you relax. Studies show that stress causes triglycerides to stay in your blood longer, so the less stress you face, the better.