Most people know that they should monitor their cholesterol levels and their blood pressure; however, many do not realize that they should also monitor their triglyceride levels. High triglyceride levels increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Triglycerides are a type of lipid (fat) that is found in the blood. If you consume more calories than your body can burn, those calories are stored as triglycerides to be used as energy later. Having a high triglyceride level can increase the risk of arteriosclerosis, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, pancreatitis and heart attacks.

If you suffer from high triglycerides, it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, including:

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Rare genetic conditions that change how the body converts fat into energy
  • Obesity

In addition to these medical conditions, high triglycerides can be caused by taking certain types of medicines, including:

  • Diuretics
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Beta-blockers
  • Estrogen and progesterone
  • Steroids
  • Retinoids
  • Certain HIV medications

How can you lower your triglyceride levels naturally?

Lifestyle changes to lower triglyceride levels.

• Lose weight – If you are overweight, try to get to a healthy body weight. However, if you can lose between five and ten percent of your body weight, you can significantly reduce your triglyceride levels. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds and lose between 10 and 20 pounds, your triglyceride levels will decrease by approximately 20 percent.

Exercise The Mayo Clinic reports that adults should get at least 75 minutes of vigorous or 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week along with twice strength training of all major muscle groups. You should aim for 30 minutes of exercise each day. If you need to lose weight, you will also need to decrease calorie consumption and increase your physical activity even further.

• Avoid prolonged sitting – Many people do not realize that the more hours per day that you sit can increase your risk of a number of metabolic issues, including high triglyceride levels. If you have a job that requires sitting, try to get up and move around at least once an hour to decrease your triglyceride levels.

A healthy diet to lower triglyceride levels

• Limit the consumption of refined carbs – The National Institutes of Health report that consuming refined carbs and sugar can increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. In addition, increased triglyceride levels occur when a diet is rich in carbohydrates, especially simple sugars. When simple sugars are consumed, it increases the availability of both glycerol-6 phosphate and acetyl CoA, which are used in the synthesis of triglycerides.

• Limit alcohol – Alcohol consumptions should be limited as they can increase triglyceride levels. When alcohol is processed by the body, it turns into simple sugars. If you have high triglyceride levels, alcohol should be avoided.

• Supplements - A supplement that is specifically designed to lower triglyceride levels can help to get it to an acceptable level. Red yeast rice has been shown to contain isoflavones, plant sterols and monounsaturated fatty acids that have been shown to reduce triglyceride levels, naturally. Additionally, vitamin K2 helps to improve body composition and decrease triglyceride levels.

• Increase fiber consumption – Fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables help to reduce triglyceride levels by slowing down the absorption of sugars. Studies have shown that increasing fiber consumption also fills you up faster, which can reduce your calorie consumption and can lead to weight loss in individuals who are overweight or obese.

• Increase omega 3 fatty acid consumption – The types of fat that you consume can increase your risk of high triglyceride levels. Decrease the amount of saturated fat and increase your consumption of healthy fats like omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are found in salmon and other fatty fish.

Triglycerides are fats found in your bloodstream and fat cells. When you need more energy, your body burns triglycerides for energy. Unfortunately, if you consume more calories than you can burn, triglyceride levels can increase and lead to a number of health issues. High triglyceride levels have been linked to cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. Luckily, there are many natural ways to lower your triglyceride levels, including supplementation, daily exercise, and dietary changes. Although triglycerides and cholesterol levels both increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, they are independent risks. High triglycerides can result in atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of plaque inside the arteries.

Author's Bio: 

Misty Jhones