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14 July 2017

13 Simple Ways to Lower Your Triglycerides!

Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood.

After you eat, your body converts the calories that you don’t need into triglycerides and stores them in your fat cells to be used for energy later.
While you do need triglycerides to supply your body with energy, having too many triglycerides in your blood can increase your risk of heart disease (1).
About 25% of adults in the US have elevated blood triglycerides, which is classified as having levels over 200 mg/dL (2.26 mmol/L). Obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, regular alcohol use and a high-calorie diet can all contribute to high blood triglyceride levels.
This article explores 13 ways to naturally reduce your blood triglycerides.

1. Lose Some Weight

Whenever you eat more calories than you need, your body turns those calories into triglycerides and stores them in fat cells.
That’s why losing weight is an effective way to lower your blood triglyceride levels.
In fact, research has shown that losing even a modest 5–10% of your body weight can decrease blood triglycerides by 40 mg/dL (0.45 mmol/L).
While the goal is to sustain weight loss in the long term, studies have found that weight loss can have a lasting effect on blood triglyceride levels, even if you regain some of the weight.
One study focused on participants who had dropped out of a weight management program. Even though they had regained the weight they had lost nine months before, their blood triglyceride levels remained 24–26% lower.
Summary: Losing at least 5% of your body weight has been shown to have a lasting effect on reducing blood triglyceride levels.

2. Limit Your Sugar Intake

Added sugar is a big part of many people’s diets.
While the American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 6–9 teaspoons of added sugar per day, in 2008 the average American was eating about 19 teaspoons daily (4).
Hidden sugar commonly lurks in sweets, soft drinks and fruit juice.
Extra sugar in your diet is turned into triglycerides, which can lead to an increase in blood triglyceride levels, along with other heart disease risk factors.
One 15-year study showed that those who consumed at least 25% of calories from sugar were twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who consumed less than 10% of calories from sugar (5).
Another study found that consuming added sugar is associated with higher blood triglyceride levels in children.
Luckily, several studies have shown that diets low in carbs and added sugar can lead to a decrease in blood triglycerides.
Even replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water could decrease triglycerides by almost 29 mg/dL (0.33 mmol/L).
Summary: Minimizing added sugar in your diet from soda, juice and sweets can reduce blood triglyceride levels.

3. Follow a Low-Carb Diet

Much like added sugar, extra carbs in your diet are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells.
Not surprisingly, low-carb diets have been linked to lower blood triglyceride levels.
One 2006 study looked at how various carb intakes affected triglycerides.
Those who were given a low-carb diet providing about 26% of calories from carbs had greater drops in blood triglyceride levels than those given higher-carb diets providing up to 54% of calories from carbs.
Another study looked at the effects of low and high-carb diets over a one-year period. Not only did the low-carb group lose more weight, but they also had greater reductions in blood triglycerides.
Finally, a 2003 study compared low-fat and low-carb diets. After six months, researchers found that blood triglycerides had dropped 38 mg/dL (0.43 mmol/L) in the low-carb group and only 7 mg/dL (0.08 mmol/L) in the low-fat group.
Summary: Following a low-carb diet can lead to a significant reduction in blood triglyceride levels, especially when compared to a low-fat diet.

4. Eat More Fiber

Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Other good sources of fiber include nuts, cereals and legumes.
Including more fiber in your diet can decrease the absorption of fat and sugar in your small intestine, helping to lower the amount of triglycerides in your blood.
In one study, researchers showed that supplementing with rice bran fiber decreased blood triglycerides by 7–8% among people with diabetes.
Another study looked at how high and low-fiber diets affected blood triglyceride levels. The low-fiber diet caused triglycerides to jump 45% in just six days, but during the high-fiber phase, triglycerides dipped back below baseline levels.
Summary: Adding fiber to your diet from fruits, vegetables and whole grains can reduce blood triglycerides.

5. Exercise Regularly

“Good” HDL cholesterol has an inverse relationship with blood triglycerides, meaning that high levels of HDL cholesterol can help lower triglycerides.
Aerobic exercise can increase levels of HDL cholesterol in your blood, which can then lower blood triglycerides.
When paired with weight loss, studies show that aerobic exercise is especially effective at decreasing triglycerides.
Examples of aerobic exercise include walking, jogging, bicycling and swimming.
Regarding amount, the American Heart Association recommends getting at least 30 minutes of exercise five days per week.
The benefits of exercise on triglycerides are most apparent in long-term exercise regimens. One study showed that jogging for two hours per week over four months led to a significant decline in blood triglycerides.
Other research has found that exercising at a higher intensity for a shorter amount of time is more effective than exercising at a moderate intensity for longer.
Summary: A regular workout regimen with high-intensity aerobic exercise can increase “good” HDL cholesterol and decrease blood triglycerides.

6. Avoid Trans Fats

Artificial trans fats are a type of fat added to processed foods to increase their shelf life.
Trans fats are commonly found in commercially fried foods and baked goods made with partially hydrogenated oils.
Due to their inflammatory properties, trans fats have been attributed to many health problems, including increased “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and heart disease.
Eating trans fats can also increase your blood triglyceride levels.
One study showed that triglyceride levels were significantly higher when participants followed a diet with high or moderate amounts of trans fats, compared to a diet high in unsaturated oleic acid.
Another study found similar results. Following a three-week diet high in trans fats resulted in higher triglyceride levels than a diet high in unsaturated fat.
Summary: A diet high in trans fats can increase both blood triglycerides and the risk of heart disease. Limit your consumption of processed, baked and fried foods to minimize your trans fat intake.

7. Eat Fatty Fish Twice Weekly

Fatty fish is well known for its benefits on heart health and ability to lower blood triglycerides.
This is mostly due to its content of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that is considered essential, meaning you need to get it through your diet.
Both the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and American Heart Association recommend eating two servings of fatty fish per week.
In fact, doing so can decrease the risk of death from heart disease by 36%.
A 2016 study showed that eating salmon twice a week significantly decreased blood triglyceride concentrations.
Salmon, herring, sardines, tuna and mackerel are a few types of fish that are especially high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Summary: Fatty fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Eating two servings per week can decrease the risk of heart disease and reduce triglyceride levels.

8. Increase Your Intake of Unsaturated Fats

Studies show that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can reduce blood triglyceride levels, especially when they are replacing other types of fat.
Monounsaturated fats are found in foods like olive oil, nuts and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats are present in vegetable oils and fatty fish.
One study analyzed what 452 adults had eaten over the past 24 hours, focusing on several types of saturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Researchers found that saturated fat intake was associated with increased blood triglycerides, while polyunsaturated fat intake was associated with lower blood triglycerides.
Another study gave elderly participants four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily for six weeks. For the duration of the study, this was the only source of added fat in their diets.
The results showed a significant decline in triglyceride levels, as well as total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, compared to the control group.
To maximize the triglyceride-lowering benefits of unsaturated fats, pick a healthy fat like olive oil and use it to replace other types of fat in your diet, such as trans fats or highly processed vegetable oils.
Summary: Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can decrease blood triglyceride levels, especially when they are consumed in place of other fats.

9. Establish a Regular Meal Pattern

Insulin resistance is another factor that can cause high blood triglycerides.
After you eat a meal, the cells in your pancreas send a signal to release insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin is then responsible for transporting glucose to your cells to be used for energy.
If you have too much insulin in your blood, your body can become resistant to it, making it difficult for insulin to be used effectively. This can lead to a build-up of both glucose and triglycerides in the blood.
Fortunately, setting a regular eating pattern can help prevent insulin resistance and high triglycerides.
A growing body of research shows that irregular meal patterns can lead to decreased insulin sensitivity, as well as to increases in heart disease risk factors like LDL and total cholesterol.
However, the evidence is mixed when it comes to meal frequency.
A 2013 study demonstrated that eating three meals per day significantly decreased triglycerides, compared to eating six meals per day.
On the other hand, another study showed that eating six meals per day led to a greater increase in insulin sensitivity than eating three meals per day.
Regardless of how many meals you’re eating daily, eating regularly can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood triglyceride levels.
Summary: While research is unclear on how meal frequency affects blood triglyceride levels, studies show that setting a regular meal pattern can decrease many heart disease risk factors and prevent insulin resistance.

10. Stop Alcohol Intake

If these calories remain unused, they can be converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells.
Summary: Some studies suggest that limiting your alcohol intake can help lower blood triglyceride levels.

11. Add Soy Protein to Your Diet

Soy is rich in isoflavones, which are a type of plant compound with numerous health benefits. This is especially true when it comes to lowering LDL cholesterol.
Particularly, soy protein has been shown to reduce blood triglyceride levels.
A 2004 study compared how soy and animal proteins affected triglycerides. After six weeks, soy protein was found to decrease triglyceride levels by 12.4% more than animal protein.
Similarly, an analysis of 23 studies found that soy protein was associated with a 7.3% decline in triglycerides.
Soy protein can be found in foods like soybeans, tofu, edamame and soy milk.
Summary: Soy contains compounds associated with several health benefits. Eating soy protein in place of animal protein can reduce blood triglycerides.

12. Eat More Tree Nuts

One analysis of 61 studies showed that each serving of tree nuts decreased triglycerides by 2.2 mg/dL (0.02 mmol/L).
Another analysis including 2,226 participants had similar findings, showing that eating tree nuts is associated with a modest decrease in blood triglycerides.
Tree nuts include:
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios
  • Brazil nuts
  • Macadamia nuts
Most studies have found the greatest health benefits in individuals who consumed between 3–7 servings of nuts per week.
Summary: Nuts contain many heart-healthy nutrients, including fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats. Studies suggest that including between 3–7 servings of tree nuts per week can decrease blood triglycerides.

13. Try a Natural Supplement

Below are a few of the main supplements that have been studied:
  • Fish oil: Well known for its potent effects on heart health, one study found that taking fish oil supplements reduced triglycerides by 48%.
  • Fenugreek: Though traditionally used to stimulate milk production, fenugreek seeds have also been shown to be effective at reducing blood triglycerides.
  • Garlic extract: Several animal studies have shown that garlic extract can reduce triglyceride levels, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Guggul: This herbal supplement has shown promise in decreasing triglyceride levels when used with nutrition therapy in patients with high cholesterol.
  • Curcumin: A 2012 study found that supplementing with a low dose of curcumin can cause a significant drop in blood triglycerides.
Summary: Several supplements have been studied for their ability to lower triglyceride levels, including fish oil, fenugreek, garlic extract, guggul and curcumin.

The Bottom Line

Choosing healthy, unsaturated fats in place of trans fats, decreasing your intake of carbs and exercising regularly may help lower your blood triglycerides in no time.
With a few simple lifestyle modifications, you can decrease your triglycerides and improve your overall health at the same time.

13 July 2017

The Only 5 Easy Exercises You Need to Do Every Day!

Getting a little exercise every day is important for your health. Yet while there are various workouts you can do, what follows is perhaps the only exercise you need to do each day. Known as the Five Tibetan Rites, and also referred to as the Fountain of Youth, this practice strengthens and stretches all the main muscles in your body and will help you maintain your balance. Performing these rites daily will therefore keep you limber and strong, no matter how old you are. You can do the practice in just 10 minutes, ideally in the morning, as they will give you a boost of energy.
Getting Started: Begin by practicing five to seven repetitions of each rite and build up to 21 reps. 
Rite 1
tibetan exercisesStarting position: Stand with your arms outstretched and horizontal to the floor, keep your palms facing down and your arms in line with your shoulders. Keep your feet hip-width distance apart.
Exercise: Stand tall, drawing the crown of your head up toward the ceiling, then focus on a spot in front of you, so that you can count your rotations. Spin around clockwise until you become slightly dizzy. If you're feeling rather dizzy, interlace your fingers at your heart and stare at your thumbs. Be sure to have a chair nearby too, enabling you to hold onto and steady yourself. Start off with two rotations and gradually increase to 21.
Breathing: Inhale and exhale deeply as you spin. 
Rite 2
tibetan exercisesStarting position: Lie flat on the floor and fully extend your arms by your sides, with the palms of your hands face down on the floor. If you have lower back issues, place your fingers underneath your sacrum.
Exercise: Raise your head off the floor as you inhale and tuck your chin into your chest. At the same time lift your legs while keeping your knees straight in a vertical position. Extend your legs over your body toward your head. Slowly exhale and lower your legs and head to the floor, all while keeping your knees straight and your big toes together.
Breathing: Breathe in deeply as you lift your head and legs, exhale as you lower them.
Rite 3
tibetan exercisesStarting position: Kneel on the floor, keep your toes curled under. Place your hands on the back of your thigh muscles and tuck your chin toward your chest.
Exercise: Slide your hands down the back of your thighs, drawing your shoulders back and your head up toward the sky. Your upper back should be arched more than your lower back. Move your head back as though you were drawing a line with your nose on the ceiling. Return to an upright position slowly and repeat.
Breathing: Arch your spine as you inhale and as you exhale, return to a standing position. 
Rite 4
tibetan exercisesStarting position: sit down on the floor, keep your legs straight out in front of you and keep your feet about 30 centimeters apart. Keep your palms on the floor alongside your sit bones. 
Exercise: As you gently drop your head back, raise your torso so that your knees bend while your arms remain straight. In this exercise, you are basically in table-top position. Slowly return to your starting position and rest for a few seconds before repeating the exercise. 
Breathing: As your rise up into the pose, breathe in and hold your breath as you tense your muscles then breathe out fully as you come down.
Rite 5
tibetan exercisesStarting position: Lie down on your belly, keep your palms facing down and in line with your chest.
Exercise: Press up into an upward-facing dog by curling your toes under and lifting your heart, drawing your shoulders back. Keep your arms straight and look straight ahead of you. If you are a little more flexible, you can draw your head back and look up and draw your hips up and back, extending your spine into downward-facing dog pose. Repeat, moving back and forth between downward and upward-facing dog. 
Breathing: As you rise up into upward-facing dog, breathe in, then breathe out as you push back into downward-facing dog.

There's Nothing Butter Can't Get Covered
Butter is an essential resouce found in every kitchen. It's a necessary ingredient in many recipes, it aids cooking, and it enhances the flavor of many of our favorite foods. However, there are some unusual benefits of butter that you are surely missing. Surprisingly, butter is a brilliant solution to many of our household, food, and daily problems. Read this post to find out what else you can do with this multi-purpose dairy product. 
Household Applications of Butter

1. Mask a Creaky Dooralt
Have a noisy door in your house that is really getting on your nerves? Butter's got this covered, literally. Open a stick of butter and rub it onto the hinges of your creaky door, and say goodbye to the irritating sound. 

2. Remove Ink from Plastic
We often stain plastic objects, then attempt to remove the stains by rubbing them with water and soap. That's the hard way. The easiest solution to this is found in your fridge. Grab some butter, rub it generously onto the ink-stained plastic, and let it soak. After 20-40 minutes, wipe off the butter and there you go - your plastic looks like new. 

3. Untangle Jewelry
The tangling of necklaces happens very easily, usually at the worst time, when your patience levels aren't sky-high. It seems like the more you try to untangle it, the worse it becomes. Instead of letting it get to you, remember our friend the butter. Rub a small quantity of butter onto the entwined area and using a fork, work out the entanglement.

alt4. Get Rid of Watermarks from Wood
If you have stained your wooden furniture with condensation rings and don't know how to remove them - take this advice. Apply about a tablespoon of butter to the watermark, rub into the wood and leave it over-night. Wipe it off the following morning and you will see how the butter was able to replace the wood's lost moisture.

Butter in Food and Cooking 

5. Slice Through Sticky Foods Easily
Isn't it annoying when you're cutting through a thick chocolate cake and by the time you get to the third pass your knife is full of sticky scraps? Next time you're slicing such food, remember to coat your knife with butter before you start. Just like that you'll avoid messiness and your knife will slice though food smoothly, making your slices nice and neat. 
6. Prolong the Freshness of Cheese
Like many other foods, cheese is difficult to keep from molding, especially in hot weather. No matter if you store it in cold temperature or not, mold will still find its way to your storage and grow on your vulnerable cheese. Prevent this from happening by covering the exposed portions of your cheese with butter, and it will form a protective seal that will keep it from getting moldy. 
7. Preserve Semi-Used Onions

It's not the first time we've used a portion of onion then stored the rest of it for later use, only to find that after a few days it has become shriveled and is no longer good for use. Next time you store a partially-used onion, simply spread a bit of butter onto its moist surface and store it in foil. This will prolong the freshness of your onion for quite some time.
Body and Health Remedies Using Butter

8. Aid in Swallowing Pills 
If you often find it hard to swallow sizeable pills and capsules, make your life easier by coating them with a little butter and then swallowing them with a gulp of water. This will be enough for them to easily slide down your throat.

9. Maintain Dry or Brittle Nails
Suffering from dry nails that turn weak and brittle is a common occurrence, especially when exposed to moist conditions. Surprisingly, butter can treat the problem easily. Before you go to sleep, find a stick of butter, rub it onto each cuticle, leaving a little dab, and put on a pair of cotton gloves. Leave your nails to soak the proteins from the butter overnight and it will help them regain their strength, as well as prevent them from cracking in the future. 

10. Soften Your Hands
We've all suffered from dry and rough skin on our hands, especially in the cold season. Butter contains plenty of proteins and fats which can act as a natural moisturizer, so you can find a quick supply of that in your own kitchen. Apply some butter to your hands and rub it in, the same way you do with a regular moisturizer.

11. Nourish Your Hair
If you suffer from dry hair and are finding conditioners useless, you may want to try a more natural alternative to having healthy, moisturized hair. Although it sounds unusual, my advice would be to saturate your hair with a little butter. Its natural properties will help tame the frizz, while giving your hair some healthy shine and smoothness.