Triglycerides, fats in the blood, provide energy. Problems occur when you have excess triglycerides. Your body converts calories not used immediately into triglycerides and stores them in fat cells. When you eat more calories than you burn, you can wind up with high triglyceride readings. The elevated triglycerides, a condition known as hypertriglyceridemia, remain in the blood and increase the risk of heart disease. Low-fat diets help control triglyceride levels. Vinegar could lower triglyceride levels, and certain oils, such as olive oil, have heart-healthy benefits.
Vinegar reduces triglyceride levels while lowering body weight and body fat mass in obese patients, according to researchers at the Mitzkan Group Corporation in Aichi, Japan. During a 12-week period, study subjects, who were categorized as obese, were given either vinegar each day or a placebo. The volunteers who consumed the vinegar had significantly lower triglyceride levels, body weight, fat mass and waist circumference than the subjects taking the placebo. Researchers concluded that daily intake of vinegar might help prevent metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity, according to an August 2009 issue of “Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry.” Metabolic syndrome can lead to increased risk for heart disease due to factors such as elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure and a large waist circumference.
Olive Oil Heart Health
Research is ongoing, however, the federal Food and Drug Administration says the evidence suggests about 2 tbsp. of olive oil a day might reduce the risk of heart disease because of the monounsaturated fat content. These healthy fats help improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The FDA recommends using olive oil as a replacement for a similar amount of saturated fat. Peanut and canola oils also contain monounsaturated fats.
Using Olive Oil
Substitute olive oil for vegetable or other oils that contain saturated fats. Use olive oil in cooking or food preparation in place of saturated fats, such as butter. Soak up olive oil on bread or use it on a baked potato. Choose extra virgin or virgin olive oils, which go through the least processing. Extra virgin and virgin olive oils qualify as natural products, because the process simply includes washing, spinning, filtering and pouring. Standard olive oil goes through more processing and loses some nutrients. Other additives might be part of standard olive oils.
Salads and Meals
Mix olive oil with vinegar as a salad dressing, MayoClinic.com recommends in a heart-healthy diet plan. Season your meals with vinegar instead of salt. Many diets include apple cider vinegar on salads and foods because it can help break down fats during digestion and help avoid weight gain. Weight loss plays an important role in lowering triglycerides. However, evidence on apple cider vinegar’s effectiveness in weight loss is inconclusive.
- American Heart Association: Triglycerides; May 2010
- “Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry”: Vinegar Intake Reduces Body Weight...; T. Kondo, et al; August 2009
- Food and Drug Administration: FDA Allows Qualified Health Claim to Decrease Risk of Coronary Heart Disease; November 2004
- Olive Oil Source: Product Grade Definitions