Triglyceride- 6 Ways to Reduce & Control Triglyceride & Be Healthy.

This is Part 3 of my articles on Cholesterol and Triglycerides

In my last Post, I discussed:

  • What are Triglycerides
  • What are their Functions
  • How they are  Measured
  • Why they  are  important.

In this Post I will discuss how we can control our Triglyceride intake and keep blood levels in the healthy range.

The SAFE Programme *

It is possible to control Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels without resorting to prescribed  drugs, although they may be required in some cases. The SAFE  programme is one way to do this. It is particularly effective for control of Triglycerides. The SAFE Programme stands for :

  • S = Sugars.
  • A = Alcohol.
  • F = Fats.
  • E = Exercise

S  = Sugars.  Avoid any form of refined Carbohydrates, for during digestion they can be converted to glucose  which can then be converted into Triglycerides The following contain large amounts of triglyceride– producing sugars:  Cakes, biscuits, sweets, chocolates, honey, soft drinks, cordials, fruit juices(especially sweetened),  fruit (especially dried and glace fruits), commercial muesli and cereal, liqueurs and sweet wine. Choose Starches and fibres which are complex carbohydrates. They are digested slowly or not at all, so they have less effect on raising triglycerides and blood glucose levels. Examples of these are whole grain bread, brown rice  and fruit and vegetables that have a lot of fibre, particularly green leafy vegetables.

Read labels especially for commercial breakfast cereal which contain honey and a lot of sugar. Make your own muesli or eat porridge .

A = Alcohol . Minimising alcohol intake is a key principle for controlling triglycerides. Some simple ways of doing this are as follows. Avoid heavy and/or binge drinking at all cost. This is not only bad behaviour, it is potentially dangerous. It can lead to a life threatening condition called pancreatitis. A result of this condition is the development of Diabetes.  Change to light or non alcoholic beer. Drink soda and bitters. Don’t mix drinks. Have one or two alcohol free days per week. Never feel embarrassed about saying, ” No Thank you !”, when offered alcohol.

F = Fats:   Saturated fats particularly need to be reduced. Some need to cut all types of  fats including polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated.

Eat  non-fat or low-fat dairy products most often. Eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids instead of meats high in saturated fat like hamburger. Fatty fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oils do not need to be avoided as they help lower blood triglycerides.

Krill Oil is an even better source of omega-3 fatty acid.

Click on the UltraOmeganol banner  below to learn more.

E = Exercise:  Exercise is an essential part of the SAFE programme.

There are many beneficial effects from exercise, both physical and emotional. Triglycerides are lowered and HDL cholesterol is raised with exercise . In general the higher the intensity and the longer the duration, the greater the change in blood fats. The exercise programme should be tailored to the person; taking into account the age, physical ability and limitations of the person and any pre-existing heart disease. Most experts recommend  at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on five or more days each week.

An alternative approach is that advocated by Dr Al Sears in his PACE programme (Click on the Banner below for details)

Other Factors:  Other risk factors for coronary artery disease multiply the hazard from hyper-lipidemia, If you’re overweight, cut down on calories to reach your ideal body weight. This includes all sources of calories, from fats, proteins, carbohydrates and alcohol. Control high blood pressure Avoid cigarette smoking. If drugs are used to treat hyper-triglyceridaemia, dietary management is still important. It is important to follow the specific plans laid out by your doctor  and nutritionist.

Motivation to change is an important consideration.

The following points need to be addressed.

(i)   Does the person understand the reasons why change is needed.

(ii)  The person needs to accept these reasons as valid.

(iii) They must want to change

(iv)  Help from other sources may be necessary, eg  Dietitian, Sports Trainer etc

(v)   One person needs to supervise the programme such as your Doctor or other Health Professional.

(vi)  Look for and measure small but sustained changes.

(vii) Monitor the changes in terms of well-being

(viii) Be patient.   ( “A  journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Confucius)

Conclusion: In my last two posts, I have endeavoured to show the important role excess Triglyceride has in the causation of many diseases, especially Heart disease and Diabetes and how this risk can be reduced.

Books on this and related topics are available on the Fishpond or Amazon Links below 

. The Healthy Heart Cookbook for Dummies (For dummies) The Low Cholesterol Diet and Recipe Book: 220 Delicious Easy-to-make Recipes, All Shown in 900 Step-by-step Colour Photographs - Expert Guidance on Low Cholesterol Low Fat Eating for Fitness, Special Needs, Well-being and a Healthy Heart Square 130x126


Doctor Bill


*  Acknowledgement:    The SAFE programme has been adapted from the book :  ” The State of the Heart” -Cholesterol & Triglyceride control. By Professor Ian Hamilton-Craig  Printed by Barklay Sterling Books  

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7 Responses to “Triglyceride- 6 Ways to Reduce & Control Triglyceride & Be Healthy.”

  • Comment from Jazz Salinger

    Hi Dr Bill,

    This is a great post on such an important topic. I love how you break the information down and make it easy for us to understand.

    Your advice is really easy to follow. For me, it’s always the hidden salt and sugar in packaged food that bothers me. I’m always reading labels.

    You’d be surprised how much sugar is in some popular yoghurts. I guess we just have to try to be careful with what we eat.

    I will keep the SAFE Programme in mind. 🙂

  • Comment from docbill

    My pleasure Jackie

  • Comment from docbill

    Hello Rita, Don’t feel guilty. I’m sure the honey and lemon, on those unfortunate occasions, will do you more good than harm.
    Like everything else in life, its all about balance and moderation. Sounds to me that you already have the message.

    Regards. Doctor Bill

  • Comment from docbill

    Thanks Cherie. You no doubt saw my acknowledgement of the source of the SAFE programme at the bottom of the post. The book is comprehensive on the topic of Cholesterol etc and is written by an Australian Cardiologist
    Regards. Doctor Bill

  • Comment from Rita Pepper

    Thank you Dr Bill,
    For this information,
    Oh dear I always thought honey was so good for you and I use it all the time, If I have a cold the first thing I go for is the hot lemon and honey drink before bed.

    The good news is I don’t smoke and I don’t have more than a glass or two of alcohol on rear occasions.

  • Comment from Cherie Rasmussen

    Hi Dr Bill

    Great article on your very informative site.

    I really liked reading about the S.A.F.E. program as I have not as yet heard of it. This is very relevant and useful information on how to live a healthy and happy life.

    Many thanks Dr Bill and looking forward to reading your next article.

  • Comment from Jackie Stenhouse

    Hi Dr Bill,

    Thank you for providing us with very useful information on how to reduce our cholesterol and stay healthy.

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