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Will You Have Lower Triglycerides After Quitting Smoking?

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One of the key markers of long-term heart health is your triglyceride and LDL cholesterol counts. In most cases, elevated triglycerides are a sign that you are at risk of having elevated LDL cholesterol soon – even if your cholesterol levels are normal right now. High LDL cholesterol and high triglycerides can both leave you at risk of suffering from heart disease or a stroke. It is important that you take measures to reduce your triglycerides as quickly as possible.

Will You Have Lower Triglycerides After Quitting Smoking?

img_triglycerides_ss1One thing that doctors often recommend is that people quit smoking – not only because they will likely have lower triglycerides after quitting smoking (although this is often the case), but also because smoking has a negative impact on your cardiovascular health in other ways. Smoking can cause cancer, and it can contribute to numerous other respiratory issues. Even if you do not immediately notice lower triglycerides after quitting smoking you will most likely find that you have more energy and an improved sense of wellbeing, and that it is therefore much easier to make the other lifestyle changes that will support reducing your triglyceride levels.

How to Get Lower Triglycerides Without Medication

So, as you can see, stopping smoking is one important health change, but what else can you do? Well, another way that you can reduce your triglycerides is to stop drinking alcohol. Consuming alcohol even in moderation can increase triglyceride counts markedly. Not everyone is sensitive to triglycerides in this way, but it is something to be aware of. If your doctor warns you that you have high triglycerides, then cutting out alcohol at least for a short while is advisable. When you have managed to get your triglyceride levels under control you can look at possibly re-introducing occasional and moderate alcohol consumption into your routine, while monitoring your triglycerides at the same time. Some people can get away with drinking on special occasions, but for others it is better to avoid alcohol consumption altogether.

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Changes to Your Diet

The biggest benefits in terms of reducing triglycerides will come from diet changes. The modern western diet is one that is obesogenic, and that promotes high LDL cholesterol and high triglycerides. Making simple changes such as eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as more lean meats and oily fish, will go a long way.

Lower Sugar

Excess sugar consumption can be very bad for you. Ideally, the average adult female should get no more than 100 calories worth of sugars per day, and the average male no more than 150 calories worth of sugar per day. These figures are a percentage of your daily calorie intake, and an endurance athlete may be able to take in far more sugar, safely, but the average person is quite sedentary, so should aim to minimise their sugar consumption.

It is important to note that cane sugar is not the only type of sugar. Fruit sugars and simple carbohydrates are just as bad. Therefore, it is best to avoid high fructose corn syrup, white rice, white bread and other sources of simple sugars.

Aim to consume a diet that is rich in whole grains and green, leafy vegetables. It is OK to eat fruit in moderation, but do not make the mistake of assuming that fruit smoothies are automatically healthy. A large fruit smoothie could contain 800 calories and a huge amount of sugar. If you are going to consume fruit, actually eat it, rather than blending it.

Try to avoid drinking soda – a single can of soda can contain 140 calories worth of sugar – that is more than the recommended amount for a woman, and almost the entire recommended daily amount for a man – before you even eat anything.

Rather than drinking soda or fruit juice, it is a much better idea to drink water and unsweetened tea. These drinks will do the job of keeping you hydrated, without eating into your daily calorie allowance, giving you more room to eat foods that are high in essential micronutrients.

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More Omega 3’s

One important nutrient is the omega 3 essential fatty acid. This nutrient is something that most westerners do not get enough of. We were raised to fear oils and fats, and this means that we do not usually eat a lot of oily fish, or take in things like flax seed oil. Omega 3 fatty acids are useful because they contain fat soluble nutrients, and they are important for hormone production.

Omega 3 fatty acids are found in salmon, tuna, mackerel and other oily fish, as well as in some plants and seeds. They are a complement to the Omega 6 fatty acid and it is important to take in both (although Omega 6 by itself is not ideal).

If you do not enjoy eating oily fish, switching to a primarily plant-based diet has a lot of benefits – and you can even get your daily protein allowance from plants as long as you make a point of eating a very varied and balanced diet. Lean meats are not bad for you, however, and can make a major contribution to improving your overall health and wellbeing, as well as lowering your triglyceride level.

If long term dietary changes do not help you, then you may be offered medications to reduce your triglycerides.

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