Triglycerides are very responsive to diet changes. And, with the right changes to your diet, you can see a drop in your triglyceride levels in just a few days. One of the best thing you can add to your diet to lower your triglycerides naturally is fiber-rich foods. Despite what you may read or see on TV, high protein/low carbohydrate diets are not recommended for the treatment of elevated triglycerides and heart disease. The best triglyceride diet is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, high in fiber and low in meat and dairy products.
High fiber foods will not only help to lower your triglycerides, but you will also see a decrease in your LDL, or ‘bad’ cholesterol, a decrease in your blood sugar and, more likely than not, weight loss. The benefits of dietary fiber in your diet are tremendous.
How Does Fiber Lower Triglycerides?
Within a fiber-rich food, there are two kinds of fiber. There is soluble fiber and there is insoluble fiber. Both of these help to lower triglycerides and cholesterol, too, in different ways.
Soluble fiber acts to bind to the excess cholesterol and triglycerides like a gel. This happens inside your gut. The soluble fiber then carries the excess blood fats out of the body. Examples of these types of food include peas, strawberries, oatmeal and tasty bananas.
Insoluble fiber works indirectly. By adding volume to the food, the insoluble fiber helps to make you less hungry and less apt to snack on sweet treats. Insoluble fiber also adds bulk to your stool. This, in turn, slows down the digestion in your intestines which allows your body to absorb more of the nutrients from your food. Examples of foods with elevated levels of insoluble fiber include beans, green vegetables, whole wheat products as well as whole grains and many vegetables.
Insoluble fiber manages to make you crave food less. It does this because it absorbs nutrients at a high level and enables you to feel full all the time. This leads to weight loss. Losing weight reduces the triglyceride storage in your body, which, in turn, reduces your triglyceride levels.
Other Benefits Of Fiber
Another benefit of fiber in your diet is that it helps to reduce the absorption of any saturated fats that you eat. This is not to say that you can eat saturated fat freely as long as you eat high fiber foods. You still need to eat less saturated fat if you want to lower your cholesterol level.
There is a close relationship between triglycerides and cholesterol. Changes you make in your diet and lifestyle that decrease your triglyceride level will help to increase your HDL, or good, cholesterol. And vice versa.
How Much Fiber Should You Eat?
The current recommendation for fiber is about 25 to 30 gm. daily. Currently, the average American eats about 10 to 12 grams of fiber each day. No wonder we are sick!
Caution: increase your fiber intake gradually to avoid gas discomfort, and increase your water intake to help process the fiber and avoid constipation.
Here’s a great video from nutritionist Beth Avery of the Harris Teeter grocery chain that will give you more information on the importance of high fiber foods in your diet and how to shop for them. Note: while she focuses on diabetes in this video, remember that high triglycerides can easily lead into type 2 diabetes.