Fatty deposits that are stored in the body are called triglycerides and here’s how it works. Carbohydrates are converted into glucose for energy use and, once your cells are satisfied, any excess glucose is diverted to the liver where glycogen is made and sent to your muscles for storage and eventual use. When your body has stored as much glycogen as it can hold, the remainder is once again delivered to the liver for transformation into triglycerides which are then stored as future energy reserves in fat cells. Unfortunately, the body has the ability to store an endless supply of fat. Not all triglycerides are stored. Some remain in the blood stream, causing the blood to become thick. This presents a problem since this sludge-like blood can easily form clots, cause blockages and even thicken vessel walls which, in turn, can cause strokes and heart attacks. Because bodybuilders and those involved in regular sessions of intense fitness programs use up more of the glycogen as energy, they can eat more carbs without as great a danger to their health. However, it is still important to keep triglyceride levels as low as possible in order to reduce health problems.
How to Lower Triglycerides
Living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to manage triglyceride levels and prevent excessive buildup. For those who cannot successfully control their triglyceride levels through healthy living adjustments, medications can be prescribed by your doctor to assist with such management. Here are some tips for naturally controlling triglyceride levels through healthy lifestyle changes:
Reduce Weight –
Losing weight is the first step toward lowering triglyceride levels. Dropping as little as 5 to 10 pounds will significantly assist with this goal. Benefits extend past the mere lowering of triglycerides to include increased energy and better health.
Limit Foods High in Cholesterol –
If your triglyceride levels are very high, avoid eating foods which are high in cholesterol. Remove from your diet such foods as fatty meats, chicken skin, whole milk products and egg yolks.
Switch to Better Fats –
Instead of consuming high levels of saturated fats found in animal products, use more plant-based oils like canola, olive and peanut oils which contain monounsaturated fats. You can further lower triglyceride levels by including more fish in your meals as a substitute for red meat. Salmon, mackerel and other types of fish contain high amounts of healthy omega-3 fatty acids that are known for lowering triglyceride levels.
Significantly Reduce Trans Fats –
Fried foods and commercially processed foods contain large amounts of trans fat. Even those labeled as “trans fat-free” can contain 0.5 grams or less which can add up quickly if you eat enough of these products. Look over the labeling and if the product lists partially hydrogenated oil as an ingredient then it contains trans fat and should be avoided.
Cut Calories –
Unused calories are changed to triglycerides and stored in fat cells so cutting calories will lower triglycerides. Create a healthy diet plan that provides the approximate amount of calories needed for your particular lifestyle and adjust your caloric intake as you become more or less active.
Avoid Simple Carbohydrates and Processed Foods –
Simple carbs and sugars produce high amounts of triglycerides and are unhealthy as well. Avoid eating foods made from white flour and processed foods which contain large amounts of sugar.
Limit Alcoholic Beverages –
A great deal of triglyceride forming sugar and calories exist in alcohol. Therefore, eliminate alcohol completely from your lifestyle or, at least, reduce drinking drastically as small amounts can significantly increase triglyceride levels.
Get Plenty of Regular Exercise –
Regular exercise has been proven to raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels along with harmful triglycerides. Experts recommend getting at least 30 minutes of brisk exercise daily which can be broken down in two 15 minute or three 10 minute sessions.
Of course, in order to get in tip-top shape, high intensity exercises with minimal rest periods are the best as they raise beneficial metabolism and hormonal levels in your system and provide maximum muscle growth and fat loss. Plus, such a program gives your body the vigorous exercise it needs in the shortest amount of time.