Nearly every time I have had a blood test the doctor has told me that my triglycerides were high. Of course this was before I became a vegetarian, stopped drinking soda, lost a lot of weight, etc. I don’t know what they would say now.
Triglycerides are supposed to contribute to heart disease, atherosclerosis, and risk of heart attack. According to the MayoClinic.com, some ways to lower your triglycerides include: lose weight, eat fewer calories, avoid sugary foods, limit cholesterol, use healthier fats like olive oil, exercise, and avoid alcohol.
Ok, well I have lost about 12 pounds, and my BMI says I am nowhere close to being overweight. I accomplished the weight loss by eating fewer calories and doubling my exercise time to one hour per day. I don’t eat cake, cookies, doughnuts, soft drinks, milk chocolate, muffins, pancakes, cupcakes, meat, or much of anything else that is bad for me anymore. I do have a little sugar with my green tea and with my morning cheerios. I eat a lot of vegetables and fruit. I also eat a lot of ethnic food such as Indian and Middle Eastern, because they have a strong and very tasty vegetarian component. I do have a glass or two of wine per evening (the article says to avoid alcohol for triglycerides, but other articles praise the role of alcohol in preventing heart disease) and I do take fish oil, which is supposed to help, so I feel that I am doing about everything I can humanly do to keep my triglycerides low. If the alcohol makes them high, I may eventually cut that out, but sometimes I really feel like I am in the process of giving up everything that is really good to eat, and I hope it is all worth it. (That is not totally accurate. I do eat a lot of good food, it is just not fast food, or junk food, or things like that. Besides I have eaten enough of that unhealthy stuff in the past. If I never eat anymore of it I will be a lot better off. If I want to be healthy I must take responsibility for my health, and to me that means eating a healthy diet, which I did not do for the first 40 or 50 years of my life.)
In order to get my weight down I drastically changed my evening snacking routine. And at the present time I am in the process of changing my snacks again because I would like to lose another five pounds, and I think the way to do that is to cut even more fat from my diet, à la Dean Ornish. Dr. Ornish recommends that if I want to reverse heart disease, according to his formula I should consume no more than about 23 grams of fat per day. Now considering that I might consume 23 grams of fat before lunch, especially if I have some heart-healthy walnuts, and a teaspoon of heart-healthy fish oil, that does not leave me with room for much more fat for the rest of the day and night. So I have stopped eating pistachio nuts because even though they have a lot of monounsaturated fats, that is still a lot of fat. (I might not be doing any of this if I had not smoked for so long.)
Anyway, I expect to continue my war with triglycerides and fats in general. For those who want to join me in the fight, or who just find out more information, here are some interesting articles:
This article says that green tea lowers triglycerides. I drink two cups of green tea per day.
This article has some very important information on maintaining a healthy heart.
No post would be complete unless Wikipedia told us how to reduce triglycerides.
This article has a very thorough and interesting discussion of triglycerides. It says, “Anything that increases blood glucose will potentially increase triglycerides.” I eat a lot of fruit, and I drink wine and pomegranate juice, all of which is supposed to be healthy for my heart. But all of them have a significant amount of sugar. Granted, most of it is fructose, not glucose, but I wonder what effect fructose has on triglycerides. In looking around quickly on the internet it is difficult to get a definitive answer. Here is another article about which I am not sure.
Here are nine ways to lower blood fats, including triglycerides.
This article says that exercising in the morning before breakfast helps keep triglycerides low all day. I have one reservation about that: since most heart attacks happen in the morning I am a little hesitant to do my exercising then, and especially before breakfast.
As I said, I am doing all I can do for now to keep my triglycerides low. It remains to be seen if there is anything else I can do. In the meantime I must go eat lunch now and hope I don't eat too much fat or sugar. Boy, it can be difficult to eat a healthy diet.
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