Friday, March 20, 2009

How Can I Lower My Triglyceride Level?

I am a 43 yr old woman who recently had a blood test and my cholesterol is fine but my Triglycerides are 316. My doctor wanted to put me on medication but I would rather try to lower this number naturally. I am 5ft 6inches tall and weigh 220. I have lost 40 lbs in the past year and am continuing towards my goal of 145lbs. I am doing this by watching what I eat and exercising. I am obviously doing something wrong as my Triglyceride count is too high. What controls Triglycerides levels? How many carbs am I allowed to eat each day? I thought 200 carbs was ok but searching online it seems it should be 130 grams. Also the fat allowance is fairly wide as well. I am very confused and want to adjust my diet to improve my count but am not sure what to do. Terry

I'm glad you are trying to control your triglyceride level with your diet. Congratulations on losing 40 pounds in the past year! That is a great rate of loss and I'm nearly positive if you do that again this year your triglyceride level will be much lower!

First, be sure you are completely fasting when you get your triglyceride level drawn--it is extremely sensitive to anything you've had to eat or drink over the past 12 hours.

Triglycerides are the form in which fat travels in your blood before being stored. (It's also the way your body fat is stored, but these stored compounds are not reflected in your blood test). Shortly after a person eats more carbs than they need, the body converts the digested sugars to fat (in the form of triglycerides) for storage to use later for calories. So triglycerides are largely affected by your carbohydrate intake. Moreso by sugary carbs and by alcohol; and even by fruit juice (so limit this to just 4 oz a day at the most).

I think 200 grams of complex carbs a day is a great target for you! 130 is a minimum number of carbs for a healthy diet, so that may explain where you've seen that number. In a balanced diet, nearly 50% of your calories should be from carbs, so if you are eating a 1600 calorie diet for weight loss (which would be very sensible) then 800 of those calories should be from carbs, and that is 200 grams! perfect :)

Exercise should help as well, as it will mobilize the triglycerides to be burned as fat energy instead of storing it! Good luck keeping up the great work!!

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