TAMING THE TRIGLYCERIDES!
On the ongoing journey from clinical practice to volunteering for health fairs, a common culprit catches my eye – high triglycerides. Ninety-five percent or more people with diabetes have some type of lipid disorder since insulin plays an important role in the regulation of lipid homeostasis.
The combination of high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol is most common. What are these triglycerides?
They are a type of fat (lipid), main fat found in our blood. When you eat, our body converts any calories it doesn't need to use right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in the fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. If we regularly eat more calories than we burn, particularly simple carbohydrates and fats, we may have high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia). Hip fat and belly fat is triglycerides.
Triglycerides and cholesterol are separate types of lipids that circulate in our blood. Triglycerides store unused calories and provide our body with energy, and cholesterol is used to build cells and certain hormones.
The National Cholesterol Education Program labels triglyceride levels in the following way:
Less than 150 mg/dL
499 or higher mg/dL
Hypertriglyceridemia, which can increase risk of both cardiovascular disease and pancreatitis, is often caused by or exacerbated by uncontrolled diabetes or obesity.
Atherosclerosis is the biggest risk associated with having high triglycerides levels. In this condition, fats build up within the arteries, causing them to narrow and harden. In advanced cases, clots can form. Progressing atherosclerosis can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.
A 2010 study conducted at Harvard Medical School evaluated the effects of triglyceride and HDL cholesterol in the risk of coronary heart disease after LDL cholesterol levels were reduced. The study conducted with 170 cases and 175 controls suggests that high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol levels were associated with coronary heart disease, even in patients with lower LDL cholesterol levels. The chances of coronary heart disease increased by approximately 20 percent per 23 mg/dL increase in triglycerides.
Causes of high triglycerides
Obesity, sedentary lifestyle, type 2 diabetes, eating more calories than are being used for energy, underactive thyroid, kidney disease, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, medication side effects.
How to lower trigylcerides?
If you are overweight or obese, losing 5 to 10 percent of your weight can lower triglycerides.
Decrease the amount of saturated, trans and cholesterol in your diet.
Cut sweetened beverages, refined carbohydrates and baked goods from your diet. Simple sugars not only increase triglycerides but also impair triglyceride removal.
Stick to sprouted grains and seeds, nuts, quinoa and other high-fiber foods.
Take chia seeds, flax seeds, black sesame seeds 1 tbsp in a powdered form three times a day.
Exercise every day be it a walk around the block, biking, yoga or any sport that you enjoy.
A meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials for the effects of garlic on serum lipid profiles published in Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture suggests garlic may reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Recipe of the month:
Sprouted bean Tacos
- 1 cup sprouted mung beans
- 1 cup sprouted lentils
- 1 cup sprouted black beans
- 1/2 tsp chipotle powder or taco seasoning
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin,
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika,
- 1 tsp lime juice
Tomato salsa: 1 small green onion, 1 tomato raw , 1 tomato slightly cooked, 1 green chilly, 2 cloves garlic, ½ tsp lemon juice, sea salt, 6-7 sprigs cilantro. Chop coarse and pulse it in chopper just until it is mixed.
Limitless options for Taco shells: Lettuce leaves / corn shells,/ flour shells/ground lentil pancake (mung dal chilla), chickpea flour tortilla, ½ tsp red chilli powder, 1tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic powder.
Quick chickpea flour tortilla: 1 cup chickpea flour, 1/4cup yogurt, ¾ cup water, 1 tbsp flaxseed powder mix with 1 tbsp water (set aside for few minutes, it acts as egg substitute), 1 tsp cumin seeds. Mix all the ingredients.
Heat non stick griddle, dip a piece of cloth in oil and rub it on hot griddle pour ½ cup batter on griddle and spread it with spatula or ladle itself , once the tortilla starts curling up on edges or edges turn brown, flip it and let it cook on other side. Take it out and place it on plate.
Combine taco fillings in food processor, pulse it just until combined. Place two tbsp filling in each taco shell. Top with sliced avocado and tomato salsa.
To Our Health!
Bhavi Nirav is a Registered Dietitian/M.S., R.D., L.D., certified yoga practitioner, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Science of Vedas for Life Fulfillment – PART I
Welcome to a new series of articles on the subject of ‘living a fulfilled life.’ This series of articles will merge modern scientific knowledge about stress management for health and wellness with timeless wisdom of the Vedas as a solution to deal with modern day stresses encountered by each and every human being on this planet. My inspirations for these articles are the Vedas, the self-realized yoga masters of India, my scientific mentors and friends who have inspired me and infused me with knowledge and wit in my journey to becoming and being a physician, and lastly, but most importantly, my patients who provide me the opportunity to learn something new about the art of healing and helping others every day.
As a medical doctor, I provide holistic treatment for psychiatric disorders for people of all ages. I have the unique privilege of listening to what is going on in people’s minds. Whether it is depression, anxiety, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, it comes with a unique and individualized story. I usually help people to ‘hear’ themselves, understand their mental processes and emotions and guide them in a way that rewards them with long-term health, happiness prosperity and peace for themselves and in their immediate family as well as their community at large. My effort in writing these articles is in service to humanity in the interest of building a joyous and peaceful society.
At present, we are living in what can be considered “the best of times and the worst of times.” On one hand, we are blessed with modern technology and luxuries that give constant comfort and conveniences. However, on the other hand, today’s human life across the globe is full of stresses that deplete us of our quality of life.
There are global issues that impact each and every individual on this planet and yet world leaders often appear to lack a sense of direction or control on how to salvage humanity from a path of destruction. Popular media are filled with devastating news on a daily basis. You cannot go even a few hours without hearing about terrorism, global warming, and nuclear threats, just to name a few. Young people are being increasingly diagnosed with diseases usually associated with old age such as heart attack, stroke and cancer. The state of mental health is dismal with alarmingly high rates of anxiety, depression and suicide. These individual and global issues are compounded by world leaders who constantly challenge our notions of responsibility and trust needed to be worthy of being a world leader. These realities which impact all of humanity are beyond the control of sound-minded and peace-living individuals. Where is one to find answers and solutions?
Whether your inclinations are scientific, political or business-oriented, you will see how the Vedic wisdom can help make sense and guide ways for humanity to find its way out of the proverbial darkness and move towards the light of conscious living. This is the time-tested and proven path to health, happiness, prosperity and peace at the level of an individual and humanity as a whole.
To paraphrase Swami Chinmayanada (1916 -1993), the strength of a civilization is portrayed in the culture of its citizens. When each individual citizen strives for his or her own progress, the collective progress moves a civilization forward in the direction of better quality of life. Vedic knowledge, as a treasury of timeless and self-evident truths, is a unique and indispensable guiding light for making sense of this chaotic world we live in. If we can use the Vedic knowledge to face daily life, we can go through life’s highs and lows with patience and equanimity. We can create our own exemplary path through life that can inspire and motivate others.
So, get ready for your journey to discover eternal truths hidden inside yourself as we reveal the mirror of Vedic knowledge for you to look into. The same events, seen with the sharp discriminating eye of Vedic understanding will shape and strengthen your ability to understand these events in a way where you will feel empowered to take appropriate action towards creating a joyous and peaceful civilization. Don’t worry, we’ll keep it light and make it fun. So, see you again soon.
Maulik K. Trivedi M.D. is board-certified in general adult psychiatry, and child and adolescent psychiatry. He specializes in the MindBody approach to behavioral health at Florida Medical Clinic and can be reached at (813) 973-1304.