The Best Way to Lower High Triglycerides Ė What Health Authorities and the Media Wonít Tell You 

A recent paper in the March 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine reported the incidence of elevated triglycerides in 5610 men and women 20 years of age and older.

This was part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey known as NHANES. The data is from 1999 to 2004. The findings are likely to be worse now with the ever-increasing incidence of overweight and obesity. These stats do not include the numbers of obese kids and teens who arenít tested for cardiovascular risk factors even when they should be.

Keep in mind that the optimum level of triglycerides is less than 100mg/dl rather than the normal value of less than 150mg/dl. The data indicates that 33% of the people had triglyceride levels above 150mg/dl. Of this group, 17.9% had levels between 150 to 500 mg/dl. So at least one-third of the population is walking around with a heart disease risk factor that is often not addressed and when it is, the wrong advice is usually given.

Why are Triglycerides important?

We are used to being bombarded with messages about cholesterol while triglycerides are often overlooked. They are an important risk factor for heart disease. They are also a marker for metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes, which leads to heart disease.

You can learn more about metabolic syndrome and your risks here.(PowerPoint) or (Flash).

Another important factor is that when triglycerides go up the ďgoodĒ or HDL cholesterol goes down. Not a good thing for your heart!

Where Do Triglycerides Come From?

Triglycerides are fats found in the blood and stored in fat cells for future energy needs. Unfortunately, the US population is storing far more fat than will ever be used for energy unless we all change what we eat. A high carbohydrate diet translates directly to high triglycerides in the blood and on the body.

The Usual Advice

Unfortunately the same old outdated and often ineffective advice is given. Rather than realize that high triglycerides are a marker for insulin resistance and carbohydrate intolerance, people are told to lose weight, cut calories by decreasing fat intake and eat more vegetables, fruits, legumes and grains. Note that these are the very foods that are likely to increase triglycerides.

Many are given statin drugs that are not very effective at lowering triglycerides or increasing the HDL cholesterol. Statins will lower the LDL cholesterol but an unfortunate effect is once the LDL drops many people think their cardiovascular risks are gone and ignore high triglycerides.

There are a few medications that do lower triglycerides but none work as well as a very low carb lifestyle. Exercise and decreasing alcohol intake also help.

What Works

Many studies comparing a very low carb lifestyle with a low fat, low calorie lifestyle have shown time and again that cutting carbs is a superior way to significantly normalize triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol thus decreasing cardiovascular risk. In fact, a lower fat strategy often leads to higher levels of triglycerides.

You can check out the research on low carbs here.

Most times meds arenít needed. If diet alone isnít effective enough the addition of fish oil supplements is a good strategy.

Remember that one diet does not fit all. Elevation of triglycerides, especially with low HDL cholesterol, indicates an intolerance to poor-quality and excessive carb intake. This is especially true if you are genetically predisposed to diabetes.

Since an excessive carb intake is the cause it is also the solution. Donít get stuck in the mindset that one size fits all and that we will all respond to the same diet the same way. We donít.

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The information presented on this site is in more about mystery new york pi no way intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical treatment. This information should be used in conjunction with the guidance and care of your physician. Consult your physician before beginning this program as you would any weight-loss or weight-maintenance program.  Those of you on diuretics or diabetes medication should proceed only under a doctorís supervision as changing your diet usually requires a change in medication dosages. As with any plan, the weight-loss phases of this program should not be used by patients on dialysis or by pregnant or nursing women. As with any weight-loss plan, we recommend anyone under the age of 18 follow the program under the guidance of their physician.