You might be wondering “what are triglycerides and how do I know if mine are too high?”Triglycerides are a type of fat found in our blood that our bodies use for energy. Having a healthy number of triglycerides can be very beneficial in maintaining good health; however, when your triglyceride levels get too high, your health may be at risk.
“What kind of risk are we talking about?”Your triglycerides are measured through simple blood testing…. A count of 150 and lower has been commonly referred to as a “normal” level amount. If you fall in between 200 and 500, your levels are commonly referred to as “high or very high”. It’s at this level that your body becomes more vulnerable to increased risk of metabolic syndrome (combination of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, too much fat around the waist, and high triglycerides) and heart disease. Regularly consuming more calories than you burn, consuming a lot of alcohol, and poorly-managed diabetes are a few of the causes of high triglyceride levels.
“How can I lower my levels and reduce my risk of heart disease?”Here are a few ways that may QUICKLY lower your triglyceride levels:1. Cut sweets from your diet – sugars are typically unneeded calories that are converted into triglycerides for storage in the body. Cutting down on sugars will have a direct effect on the number of triglycerides you consume daily.2. Reduce your refined carbohydrates – simply eating whole grain carbs over white flour products could be very beneficial. Consuming less carbs while increasing the amount of protein you eat could help lower your blood sugar levels as proteins absorb into the bloodstream much slower than carbs do.
3. Consume plant-based foods – if you select the protein in your diet from plant-based sources (rather than red meat) you may find your cholesterol and triglyceride levels quickly decreasing.
Steps to Take
Here is my general checklist:
- Confirm you water-only fasted for 12-14 hours before your cholesterol test. (No food, no coffee, just water) The more outside that window you are, the more it can increase your TGs (especially if near a fatty meal).
- You have a coffee sensitivity. I know, I know, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But we’ve found a surprisingly large number of low carbers who see their triglycerides stubbornly high from what appears to be coffee alone. Note this is just a fraction of the coffee drinkers as most of them appear to be doing fine.
- You may have “carb leaks”. Get serious about tracking your food. Be really, truly, absolutely sure you’ve accounted for all carbs in the diet. Common unaccounted-for leaks include sauces, spices, beverages, alcohol, and many things labeled “0g Carb” that actually aren’t (rounded down in some nutrition labels) such as some brands of Heavy Whipping Cream. Sometimes you want to use a glucometer to detect what is actually higher carb than you thought. Bottom line: many who have even moderate carbs while on a LCHF diet can see their TGs spike because it’s still too much of an energy surplus.
- Cut out refined/liquid/concentrated forms of fat. Drop bulletproof coffee, oils, fat shakes, fat bombs, etc. Move toward as much fat from real food sources as possible.
These above steps I’ve worked with family and friends on when TG is high and it’s had a very high success rate, save two people.