How To Lower Triglycerides: Six Tips
Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
High triglyceride levels usually coincide with other negative health markers that can increase your risk of developing life-threatening diseases.
Maintaining a healthy diet is an easy way to lower your triglyceride levels.
Supporting triglyceride homeostasis is an attainable goal, and taking one fatty15 capsule daily can help.*
Your recent blood test revealed you have high triglycerides, and your doctor wants you to work to lower them. Let’s learn about triglycerides, how to lower them, and how a science-backed, award-winning supplement can help support healthy triglyceride homeostasis.*
What Are Triglycerides?
Triglycerides are the most abundant type of fat in your body. These fat molecules come from the foods we eat and the excess calories we consume — when we consume more calories than we can burn off, our body stores the extra calories in the form of triglycerides.
When the triglycerides are needed for energy, very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol particles move them into the tissues that need them. If our bodies don’t use them, they are stored as fat.
Why Are the Risks of High Triglycerides?
High triglycerides usually go hand in hand with other health issues that make up metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome includes:
- Unhealthy cholesterol levels. Usually, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol).
- Obesity. People who have high triglycerides can suffer from obesity and excess belly fat.
- High blood sugar. When triglycerides are higher, blood glucose levels are usually higher, too.
- High blood pressure. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease and can coincide with a diagnosis of high triglyceride levels.
Metabolic syndrome places you at a higher risk of developing heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks and stroke. In addition, you're more likely to develop type 2 diabetes when you have high triglycerides.
If you need to lower your triglyceride levels, there are ways you can do it by making simple but intentional lifestyle changes to support your health goals.
Six Tips for Lowering Triglyceride Levels
High blood triglycerides are reversible with proper diet and exercise. If you feel lost when making healthy food decisions and getting enough physical activity, we can help.
Here are six tips for eating healthfully, staying active, and working toward lower triglyceride levels.
1. Avoid Sugar
Triglyceride levels begin to climb when we consume more calories than we can burn. Even if you don’t eat much, the foods you choose could have more calories than you realize.
Added sugar can add excessive amounts of calories that contain no nutritional value. They can also raise your blood sugar levels too quickly and then cause them to crash later.
Hidden sugar, like fructose, lactose, glucose, dextrose, and sucrose, is in many processed foods, cereals, and drinks. Learn to spot them on the label so you can make informed choices about what goes into the grocery cart.
2. Choose Fish Instead of Red Meat
Red meat contains high levels of unhealthy fats, which can raise your levels of triglycerides. Instead of a steak, order the fish dish. Fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines all contain healthy fats and are a better fit for a healthy diet.
3. Make Your Carbs Count
Carbohydrates get a bad rap because the ones we choose aren’t always the best for our bodies. Carbohydrates can be excellent sources of fiber, and a high-fiber diet helps lower triglyceride levels.
Skip white bread and flour and opt for whole grains. Replace white rice with brown rice to up your fiber intake and further support your heart health.
4. Rethink Your Drink
Alcohol can raise triglyceride levels, even if you have one drink. If you drink excessively, you risk higher triglyceride levels and many other negative health markers. Excessive alcohol consumption is linked to pancreatitis and an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
5. Get Moving
Physical activity can help you with weight loss goals and help reduce triglyceride levels. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate weekly exercise to keep your heart healthy and triglycerides low.
6. Get Fat Savvy
There’s a lot of misinformation about fat, and determining whether you should include it in your diet can be tricky. Learning which fats are good and healthy isn’t easy, especially since dietary guidelines issued in the 70s have told us that a low-fat diet is a solution to keeping the heart healthy.
While it’s clear some fats, like trans fats, are bad for us, some fats are necessary to maintain our health. The fat you find in foods like avocados and walnuts are healthy fats. The fat in processed, pre-packaged foods like cookies and cakes is not.
Then there are omega-3 fatty acids, the ingredient found in fish oil supplements. They’ve been widely marketed as heart-healthy supplements, but if you have high triglycerides, you might wonder if they’re safe and effective for you to use.
What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fats found naturally in foods like olive oil, flaxseed, and fatty fish. You may have heard of them referred to as “essential” fatty acids, which means our bodies need them to function but can’t readily make them. That means we must get them through our diets or supplements.
So, does omega-3 live up to the hype? And if it does, should you consider taking an omega-3 supplement to help lower triglyceride levels? The answer isn’t quite as simple as yes or no.
In reality, only one omega-3 (ALA) is essential. EPA and DHA are not recognized as essential fatty acids, yet most omega-3 supplements contain them. In addition, only high-grade, pure EPA (without the inclusion of DHA) has been shown to protect heart health among adults.
What Are the Side Effects of Omega-3s?
If you decide to take an omega-3 supplement, there are side effects you could experience. Most of the time, the dosing requirements indicate that large doses between 2,000 to 3,000mg are needed to support heart health.
Excessive consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can lead to:
- Low blood pressure
- Thinning of the blood
- Excessive bleedings if you get an injury
- Increased risk of bruising
Additionally, omega-3 is subject to lipid peroxidation — it can become rancid like cooking oil that has sat on a shelf for too long. A recent study determined that more than one in 10 fish oil supplements sold on store shelves are rancid before they are even purchased.
When omega-3 oxidizes, it becomes toxic to certain cells in your body. In a study of 12 different cell types, omega-3 killed four of the cell types at higher doses, including lung and blood vessel cells. Those are the very cells that someone with high triglycerides seeks to protect.
Thankfully, there’s a better fatty acid.
Introducing C15:0, aka pentadecanoic acid. This odd-chain, saturated fatty acid is the first essential fatty acid to be discovered since omega-3 (over 90 years ago).
What Is C15:0?
Although we have been told that all saturated fats are bad for us, science now supports that that is not exactly the case.
Saturated fats can be even-chain or odd-chain. While even-chain saturated fats have been shown to be detrimental to your health, C15:0, an odd-chain saturated fatty acid has been associated with multiple health benefits including better heart health.* There are now calls to action to update current dietary guidelines to differentiate between good and bad saturated fats.
How Does C15:0 Work?
C15:0 naturally binds to receptors found throughout our bodies, called PPARs (pronounced pee-pars), that help to regulate our metabolism, including our cholesterol and glucose homeostasis. This helps to explain why daily supplementation helps to promote healthy cholesterol and triglyceride homeostasis.*
In addition, your cells will get some much-needed attention.
- Stronger cell membranes. As we get older, our cell membranes become flimsy and weak. C15:0 is a sturdy fatty acid that integrates into cell membranes to fortify and protect them.*
- Mitochondrial function. Aging cells have sluggish mitochondria—they don’t carry out cellular functions like they once did. C15:0 improves mitochondrial function by 45 percent, so your cells can function better.*
- Mood, appetite, and sleep improvements. By binding to PPARs that regulate functions like mood, appetite, and sleep, most users notice an improvement in these areas within six weeks.*
How Can You Increase Your Levels of C15:0?
C15:0 is found mostly in whole dairy products. Because of a generation spent avoiding whole fat dairy products, our levels of C15:0 are at an all-time low.
As we have turned to plant-based beverages and foods, we are worsening the global deficiency as many of these products are completely deficient in C15:0. As we get older, our C15:0 levels naturally decline, meaning we may require C15:0 supplementation.
However, increasing your intake of whole-fat dairy products comes with extra calories, sugars, and high levels of the "bad" even-chain saturated fats.
A solution? Fatty15.
Fatty15: The Support You Need, No Fishy Side Effects
Supporting triglyceride homeostasis? Easier than you may expect, thanks to fatty15. Along with a healthy diet, fatty15 has been shown to be better, broader, and safer than the purest, highest performing omega-3 (EPA) supplements, with just one 100mg capsule per day.*
You can support healthy triglyceride levels and restore your cellular health and overall wellbeing along the way with fatty15, your science-backed, vegan-friendly, sustainably produced, award-winning, pure C15:0 supplement,
Broader and safer clinically-relevant activities of pentadecanoic acid compared to omega-3: Evaluation of an emerging essential fatty acid across twelve primary human cell-based disease systems | PLOS ONE
Eric Venn-Watson M.D.
Senior Scientist, Co-Founder
Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.
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