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Lower Triglycerides Naturally

8/17 9:01:40

Question
QUESTION: I am a 43 yr old woman with Hypothyroidism. I 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. My blood pressure is low to normal. 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, Fat, protein, etc I am allowed to eat each day? I thought 200 carbs was ok but searching online it seems it should be 130? 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. I have also seen that taking Omega Fatty Acid suppliments can help? Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER: Hi and thanks for your question.
First of all I want to be sure your hypothyroidism is being treated, making it not an issue with your triglyceride level!

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 TG level drawn--it is extremely sensitive to anything you've had to eat or drink over the past 12 hours.

Triglycerides are the form of fat your body carries around before storing it (it's also stored as triglycerides, but then they are not in your blood, so the stored ones don't show up in your blood level).  Shortly after a person eats more carbs than they need, the body converts the sugars to fat (in the form of triglycerides) to store them.  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!!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much for your information. Yes my hypothyroidism is under control with medication. I found the carb number 130 on several sites including USDA etc. If that is the minimum required shouldn't I be eating that if I want to lower my triglycerides?
I am happy to stick to the 200 carb daily as there are many days when I don't reach this number and sometimes I save and borrow carbs from 1 day to another if I know that I have to eat out with friends or something.
I think my high number might have more to do with when I was tested! My doctor asked when I had last eaten and she said that was long enough but it had only been 4 hours! Next time I go in I will fast for at least 12 hours as you suggest. I am glad hearing this that I didn't just agree to take a pill since I bet my number will be much lower when I go back in 3 months and test properly along with the few changes in eating that I am doing.
I gave up squeezed juice a year ago and instead have a whole grapefruit or an orange instead, I find it more satisfying yet still make my "head" think it is getting yummy juice for breakfast. The only thing I think I have been doing really wrong is using hard candy to stave off cravings all that sugar is probably raising my number so I am going to try and switch to sugar free gum instead.
I walk briskly (2.5miles per hour) for an hour 6 days a week and keep trying to get that up to 3 miles per hour. I also just started rowing 20 minutes a day 5 days a week. About a month ago I started working out with weight resistance 3 nights a week. I converted my livingroom into a home gym so I won't have any excuse not to do it and I have to look at it every time I head towards the kitchen! lol.
Here is my breakdown on overall daily intake Goals:
1500 Calories, 200gr Carbs, 50gr Fat, 225mg Cholesterol, and 40gr Protein. Do those numbers sound about right? I have kind of bundled together numbers and formulas from all over and tried to go with about the middle amounts sugested. Once again thank you for your advice its all very confusing when my doctor just says eat less carbs or calories, I mean thats all well and good but a little guidance would be nice too I didn't become obese because I knew what I was doing when it comes to food. I have used the internet extensively for information but sometimes the data contradicts itself so then I have to guess or average out what I find out and hope I am getting it close to right. Once again your advice is greatly appreciated.

Answer
Terry,

That all sounds great!  Finding things on the internet is tough because you don't know who to rely on.
I searched the USDA website and couldn't find any reference to indicate a suggested number of carbohydrate grams to eat.  Anyway,the minimum number suggested is just to prevent having your body go into ketosis (seeking alternative sources of fuel because it's lacking the sugar that most of the cells need for energy).

I would just adjust your protein up to about 60 grams.  40 is kind of low, and 60 would bring you right to 1500 calories (4 calories x 200 carbs = 800, plus 450 from 50 grams of fat (at 9 calories per gram), plus 240 calories from 60 grams of protein totals 1490 calories!)   I'm sure you can get your  cholesterol lower than that on many days, but it's well within guidelines--just remember you never need to eat cholesterol because your body makes what you need!

Let me know how you're doing, and keep up the GREAT work with all the exercise you are making part of your day :)
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