How to Lower Triglycerides After Quitting Alcohol
The levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in your body are a strong marker of your overall health. Elevated triglyceride levels are often associated with elevated LDL cholesterol levels and can be a warning sign that you are at risk of suffering from a stroke or heart disease. If elevated triglyceride levels are detected during a routine examination, your doctor will most likely recommend that you take measures to reduce them. One thing that a lot of tests have found is that people have lower triglycerides after quitting alcohol, however, simply stopping drinking is not always enough to restore your triglycerides and your cholesterol levels to a healthy balance.
Ways to Lower Triglycerides
To reduce your triglyeride levels you will most likely need to make a lot of different changes to your lifestyle. It is rare that a single lifestyle change will be impactful enough to help you to see massive results – although there is a large impact in terms of lower triglycerides after quitting alcohol and stopping smoking. Most other lifestyle changes simply won’t produce the same results – unless they are combined or sustained.
In fact, if you commit to living a healthy lifestyle, including changes to you diet, drinking, exercise and sleep habits, you could notice a dramatic difference in not just your triglyceride levels but other health markers too.
There are medications that are available to help lower triglycerides, but these are usually prescribed only in extreme cases. If you commit to a healthy lifestyle and do not find that you see lower triglycerides after quitting alcohol and cleaning up your diet, your doctor may offer medications, but other methods should be tried first.
Lower Sugar Intake
Ideally, a woman should be getting no more than 100 calories worth of sugar per day, and a man should be getting no more than 150 calories from sugar per day. The best way to achieve this is to stop drinking soda and concentrated fruit juice, and avoid chocolate and sweet desserts.
You can also dramatically reduce your sugar intake by avoiding refined carbohydrates. Stop eating white rice, white bread and baked goods and focus on eating fresh vegetables and whole grains instead. Stay away from white pasta and eat whole grain pasta instead, and try to make the bulk of your meals green, leafy vegetables, lean meats and healthy fats.
Some people go all the way and adopt a paleo approach. This is not strictly necessary but it can be helpful for people who want to have a strict list of rules to follow.
Stop Drinking Alcohol
While not everyone is sensitive to alcohol, it is something that often dramatically increases triglyceride levels in some people. If you already have high triglycerides, it makes sense to eliminate alcohol while you are focused on reducing your levels. If you do manage to reduce your triglyceride count without the help of medication then you may be able to re-introduce occasional, moderate alcohol consumption – but for many people simply avoiding it altogether is the best option. Be aware that it does not take a lot to cause triglyceride levels to increase once again.
More Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are an important part of a healthy lifestyle and have a lot of benefits in terms of heart health as well as hormone production. Eating two servings of oily fish each week can help to improve your triglyceride levels within just a few weeks. The best fish to consider eating are salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel and trout.
Some people are nervous about eating tuna because of the risks of taking in excess mercury, and there are concerns about levels of certain heavy metals and chemicals in salmon from some parts of the world too. If this is something that worries you then you may want to look at getting your omega 3 fatty acids from other sources, such as nuts, flax seeds, dark green vegetables, soy, legumes or omega 3 supplements.
Plant based foods are a good option for both protein and healthy fats. It is difficult to get all of your protein needs from plant based food but it is possible if you eat a very varied diet, and it can be highly beneficial for you cholesterol levels. Even if you are not interested in going completely vegetarian, cutting your red meat intake and eating more lean meats, fish and vegetables is a great starting point.
Fruit can be a part of a healthy diet, even when you are trying to reduce your cholesterol levels, however you should focus on eating the fruit, rather than drinking smoothies, because fruits are so calorie dense and it is very easy to drink a thousand calories in one go, taking in a massive amount of fruit sugar in the first place.
Whatever you decide to do, be aware that it will be a long-term process and that if you want to stay healthy you will need to keep up wth your new habits for the rest of your life. Eat fresh whole foods, get more exercise, and try to get plenty of sleep – the results will be a fitter, healthier and happier you with greatly improved health markers and a better quality of life for many years to come. You do not need to take medication in order to lower your triglyceride levels.