With all the focus in the last 15 years on cholesterol, mainly due to the many billions of dollars made by selling cholesterol-lowering drugs, the role of high triglycerides in heart disease has often been overlooked. There is simply not enough money to be made in lowering triglycerides. This is because it is mainly a dietary issue.
Abnormally high levels of triglycerides have been implicated in causing atherosclerosis, or hardening of the blood vessels. They have also been implicated in inflammation of the pancreas and other disorders. The good news is that for most people lowering their triglyceride levels is a simple matter of better nutrition and will power. Let me let you in on a personal story.
I personally had borderline to high triglyceride levels since my teenage years. Several medical doctors told me that it was “idiopathic,” which, in plain English means that they had no idea why my triglycerides were higher than they should have been. After spending several years studying biochemistry and trying all sorts of nutritional plans, I found that certain simple dietary changes and one superior nutritional supplement dropped my triglyceride levels from just under 200 to well below 50 in just a couple of months. And this is where they have remained.
I then shared this success story with a friend, who was also diagnosed as having “idiopathic” high triglycerides, except that he also had a history of heart disease in his family and his triglycerides were over 850, which is dangerously high. Well, I’m happy to say that after copying my nutritional plan, his family doctor’s eyes practically popped out of her head when she saw the results of 105 in two months and 74 two months after that, proving that people can and do have control over their own health.
The strategy is the following: eliminate all simple sugars and refined carbohydrates from the diet. That means no white bread, no white rice, no white spaghetti, no sugar and/or sweets, no alcohol and no sweet/tropical fruits. Replace them with complex carbohydrates, such as dark rye rusks, brown rice, whole-grain spaghetti and lots of raw and steamed vegetables. Replace the sweet fruits with sour, low-fructose fruits, such as Granny Smith apples, kiwis and grapefruits.
Sugars, all types of sugars, including sucrose, dextrose, maltose and generally anything that ends in -ose, are converted by the body into triglycerides. Fructose, or fruit sugar, is one of the worst offenders, being the most damaging when consumed in fruits with a low fiber content. A good general rule is to eat only fruits that grow in the Northern European or North American latitudes, such as apples, pears and berries, which are lower in fructose than tropical fruits and to limit their consumption to a few servings per day.
The second piece of the puzzle is exercise. Daily exercise helps to burn off excess triglycerides, as the fats in your body are converted into energy. The key here is consistency, not fanaticism. My friend, for example, began with walking up a steep hill for one half mile, twice a day on his way to work after breakfast and lunch. It’s that simple.
The final piece of the puzzle is taking at least six capsules of a pure, top-quality concentrated fish oil supplement, every single day. Fish oil is extremely effective at lowering triglycerides. Honestly, I can say that it was a great satisfaction for me to see my friend wave his blood test results in my face with glee, after coming back from his (shocked) family doctor. And to top it all off, he lost about 35 kilos, or 77 pounds, yet another health benefit of this regimen.