With so much attention lavished on HDL and LDL cholesterol levels, the importance of healthy triglyceride levels has been largely lost. And that’s too bad—because figuring out how to lower triglyceride levels is essential to heart health.
Triglycerides are the chemical form of most fats in the body. The triglycerides in your blood come from dietary sources, primarily sugars and carbohydrates. I consider a healthy triglyceride level to be 50–100 mg/dL. Levels above that have been linked to coronary artery disease and metabolic syndrome, which is why it is so important to learn how to lower your triglyceride levels..
Given that the typical American diet is laden with sugary, processed and fast foods, it’s no surprise that high triglyceride levels are a problem for many people.
How to Lower Triglyceride Levels
Eat better. Specifically, you want to cut back on the amount of sugar and carbohydrates in your diet, and eat more healthy fats and lean protein. It’s my opinion that combining the healthy eating of Mediterranean cultures with traditional Asian cuisine offers the most heart-healthy diet of all. I call this approach to eating the Pan-Asian Mediterranean diet, or PAM diet, and it’s one of the best ways to lower your triglyceride levels. Learn all the details of my PAM diet.
Keep your weight down. The lower your weight, the lower your triglycerides, so weight loss and weight management are key in loweringtriglyceride levels. And since one of the best weight-management tools is exercise, I strongly recommend exercising regularly. Find out about my two favorite forms of exercise.
Take omega-3 essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) help lower triglyceride levels. One popular way to get your EFAs is by taking fish oil supplements, which can be found at health-food stores and grocery stores. But because our ocean waters are getting more polluted, fish can be contaminated with heavy metal and toxic chemicals; and the large factory ships that catch the fish don’t do a very good job of processing it right away, which means oils can oxidize even before they’re put into capsules. So look for a fish oil product that can guarantee freshness, preferably one that includes antioxidants such as rosemary extract and Vitamin E to ensure stability and freshness. For triglyceride support, try 2–3 grams daily in divided doses. Learn more about the four other supplements I recommend to promote lower triglyceride levels for everyone with cardiovascular concerns.
More Dr. Sinatra Advice on Healthy Cholesterol
What numbers indicate high cholesterol? Get my recommendations on what constitutes healthy cholesterol levels.
What are the different subtypes of LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol? Discover which kinds of cholesterol are most harmful.
What tests do you need to accurately assess your cholesterol levels? Find out which tests can flag the most dangerous subtypes of cholesterol.