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13 simple ways to lower your triglyceride levels

13 einfache Wege Deine Triglyzeridspiegel zu senken

Triglycerides are a type of fat that is found in your blood. After you eat, your body converts the calories you don't need into triglycerides and stores them in your fat cells for later use.

Even though you need triglycerides to provide your body with energy, too many triglycerides in your blood can increase the risk of heart disease.

About 25% of all people in the Western world have elevated triglyceride levels above 200 mg/dL (2.26 mmol/L). Obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, regular alcohol consumption and a high-calorie diet can all contribute to high blood triglyceride levels.

This article shows you 13 ways to lower your blood triglyceride levels naturally.

1. lose some weight

Whenever you eat more calories than you need, your body converts the excess calories into triglycerides and stores them in fat cells. For this reason, losing weight is an effective way to lower your blood triglyceride levels. Scientific research has shown that losing just 5 to 10% of your body weight can lower your blood triglyceride levels by up to 40 mg/dL (0.45 mmol/L) (1).

Although long-term sustained weight loss should be the goal, studies have found that weight loss can have a lasting effect on blood triglyceride levels even if you gain back some of the lost weight. One study focused on subjects who had dropped out of a weight management program. Although they had regained some of the weight they had lost, their blood triglyceride levels remained 24 to 26% lower than before the weight loss (2).

2 Limit your sugar intake

Added sugar is one of the main problems in many people's diets. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 6 to 9 tablespoons of added sugar per day, but the average consumption is just under 20 teaspoons. Hidden sugar is found in sweets, soft drinks and fruit juices.

Excess sugar in the diet is converted into triglycerides, which can increase blood triglyceride levels along with other risk factors for heart disease.

A 15-year-old study showed that those who consumed at least 25% of their calories in the form of sugar had twice the risk of dying from a heart attack compared to those who consumed less than 10% of their calories in the form of sugar (3).

Another study found that consumption of added sugar in children led to higher blood triglyceride levels (4).

Fortunately, several studies have shown that diets low in carbohydrates and added sugars can lead to lower blood triglyceride levels (5, 6). Even replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water could lower blood triglyceride levels by almost 29 mg/dL (0.33 mmol/L) (7).

3. follow a low-carb diet

Similar to added sugars, added carbohydrates can also be converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells. It is therefore not surprising that low-carbohydrate diets are associated with lower blood triglyceride levels.

A 2006 study looked at how different amounts of carbohydrates can affect triglyceride levels. Those who ate a low-carbohydrate diet and consumed about 26% of their calories in the form of carbohydrates showed a greater drop in blood triglyceride levels than those who ate a higher-carbohydrate diet and consumed up to 54% of their calories in the form of carbohydrates (6).

Another study looked at the effects of a low-carbohydrate and a high-carbohydrate diet over the course of a year. The low-carbohydrate diet group not only lost more weight, but also experienced a greater reduction in blood triglyceride levels (5).

Finally, a study from the same year compared low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets. After 6 months, the researchers found that triglyceride levels had fallen by 38 mg/dL (0.43 mmol/L) in the low-carbohydrate group, while the low-fat group only saw a reduction of 7 mg/dL (0.08 mmol/L) (8).

4 Eat more fiber

Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Other good sources include nuts and legumes. Incorporating more fiber into your diet can reduce the absorption of fat in the small intestine, which helps lower the amount of triglycerides in the blood (9).

In one study, researchers showed that supplementing with rice bran lowered blood triglycerides by 7 to 8% in diabetics (10).

Another study looked at how high-fiber and low-fiber diets affect blood triglyceride levels. The low-fiber diet increased triglyceride levels by 45% within 6 days, but during the high-fiber phase, triglyceride levels dropped below baseline (11).

5 Exercise regularly

Good HDL cholesterol is inversely related to triglyceride levels, which means that high HDL cholesterol levels can help lower triglyceride levels. Aerobic exercise can increase HDL cholesterol levels in the blood, which can then lower triglyceride levels. Studies show that aerobic exercise combined with weight loss is particularly effective in lowering triglyceride levels (12). Examples of aerobic exercise include walking, jogging, cycling and swimming.

As for the amount of aerobic exercise, health experts recommend at least 30 minutes 5 days a week.

The benefits of exercise on triglyceride levels are most evident in long-term exercise programs. One study showed that 2 hours of jogging per week over a 4-month period led to a significant reduction in blood triglyceride levels (13).

Other studies have found that higher intensity exercise over a shorter period of time is more effective than longer moderate intensity exercise (14).

6 Avoid trans fats

Artificial trans fats are the type of fat that is added to processed foods to extend their shelf life. Trans fats are commonly found in fried and baked foods made with partially hydrogenated fats.

Due to their pro-inflammatory properties, trans fats have been linked to many health problems including elevated LDL cholesterol levels and heart disease. The consumption of trans fats can also increase blood triglyceride levels.

One study showed that triglyceride levels were significantly higher when subjects followed a diet high or moderate in trans fats compared to a diet rich in unsaturated oleic acid (15).

Another study came to similar conclusions. Following a three-week diet rich in trans fats resulted in higher triglyceride levels than a diet rich in unsaturated fats (16).

7 Eat oily fish twice a week

Fatty fish is known for its heart health benefits and its ability to lower blood triglyceride levels. This is largely due to its high content of omega-3 fatty acids - a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that is considered essential, meaning it must be consumed in the diet.

The American Heart Association guidelines recommend two portions of oily fish per week. According to studies, this can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 36% (17).

One study also showed that eating salmon twice a week can significantly reduce blood triglyceride levels (18).

Salmon, herring, sardines, tuna and mackerel are some types of fish that are particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

8. increase your consumption of unsaturated fats

Studies show that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can lower blood triglyceride levels, especially when they replace other types of fat in the diet. Monounsaturated fats are found in foods such as olive oil, avocados and nuts. Polyunsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils and oily fish.

One study analyzed what 452 adults had eaten over the previous 24 hours, focusing on different types of saturated and polyunsaturated fats. The researchers found that consumption of saturated fats was associated with increased triglyceride levels, while consumption of polyunsaturated fats was associated with lower blood triglyceride levels (19).

In another study, elderly subjects were given 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day for 6 weeks. For the duration of the study, this was the only source of added fat in the diet. The results showed a significant decrease in triglyceride levels and LDL cholesterol levels compared to the control group (20).

To maximize the triglyceride-lowering benefits of polyunsaturated fats, you should choose a healthy fat like olive oil and use it to replace other types of fats like trans fats or highly processed vegetable oils in your diet (16).

9. stick to a regular meal pattern

Insulin resistance is another factor that can cause high blood triglyceride levels. After you eat a meal, the cells in your pancreas receive a signal to release insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin is responsible for transporting glucose into your cells for energy.

If you have too much insulin in your blood, you can become resistant to insulin, which makes it more difficult to use insulin effectively. This can lead to a buildup of both glucose and triglycerides in the blood.

Fortunately, following a regular meal pattern can prevent insulin resistance and high triglyceride levels in the blood. A growing body of research shows that irregular meal patterns can lead to reduced insulin sensitivity and an increase in risk factors for heart disease such as high LDL and total cholesterol levels (21, 22).

However, study results are mixed when it comes to meal frequency. A 2013 study showed that eating 3 meals a day significantly lowered triglyceride levels compared to eating 6 meals a day (23). In contrast, another study showed that eating 6 meals a day led to a greater increase in insulin sensitivity than eating 3 meals a day (24).

Regardless of how many meals you eat per day, eating regular meals can improve your insulin sensitivity and lower your blood triglyceride levels.

10. limit your alcohol consumption

Alcohol is high in calories and very often also high in sugar. If these calories are left unused, they can be converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells. Although a variety of factors come into play here, some studies show that moderate alcohol consumption can increase triglyceride levels by up to 53% even when triglyceride levels were normal to begin with (25).

However, other studies have linked light to moderate alcohol consumption with a reduced risk of heart disease, while high alcohol consumption increased this risk (26, 27).

11 Add soy protein to your diet

Soy is rich in isoflavones - plant components with numerous health benefits. The latter is especially true when it comes to lowering cholesterol levels (28, 29).

Soy protein in particular has been shown to lower blood triglycerides. A 2004 study compared how soy protein and animal proteins affected triglyceride levels. After 6 weeks, it was observed that soy protein lowered triglyceride levels by 12.4% more than animal protein (30).

An analysis of 23 studies also concluded that soy protein was associated with a 7.3% reduction in triglyceride levels (31).

Soy protein is found in foods such as soybeans, tofu, edamame and soy milk.

12. eat more nuts

Nuts provide a concentrated dose of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids, all of which work together to lower blood triglyceride levels.

An analysis of 61 studies showed that each serving of nuts lowered triglyceride levels by 2.2 mg/dL (0.02 mmol/L) (32). Another study of 2226 subjects came to similar conclusions, showing that nut consumption was associated with a small reduction in blood triglyceride levels (33).

Nuts attributed with these benefits include:

  • Almonds
  • pecans
  • walnuts
  • cashews
  • pistachios
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Brazil nuts

However, keep in mind that nuts are high in calories. One serving of almonds, or 23 almonds, provides 163 kcal, which means moderation is key.

Most studies have observed the greatest health benefits in people who consumed 3 to 7 servings of nuts per week (34, 35).

13. use a natural supplement

A number of supplements may have the potential to lower blood triglyceride levels. The following list contains the most important supplements that have been scientifically studied:

  • Fish oil: fish oil is known for its powerful positive effects on heart health, and one study also showed that fish oil supplements lowered triglyceride levels by 48% (36).
  • Fenugreek: Although traditionally used for other purposes, fenugreek has been shown to be effective in lowering blood triglyceride levels (37).
  • Garlic extract: Several studies conducted on animals have shown that garlic extract can lower triglyceride levels thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties (38).
  • Guggul: This herbal supplement has shown promise in lowering triglyceride levels when used in dietary therapy for patients with high cholesterol levels (39).
  • Curcumin: A 2012 study found that supplementation with low doses of curcumin can lead to a significant drop in blood triglyceride levels (40).


Diet and lifestyle factors have a major impact on your cholesterol levels. Choosing healthy, unsaturated fats instead of trans fats, reducing your carbohydrate intake and exercising regularly can help lower your blood triglyceride levels quickly.

With a few simple lifestyle changes, you can lower your triglyceride levels and improve your overall health at the same time.




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