Triglycerides, a type of artery--clogging fat in your bloodstream, puts you at risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Your diet affects your triglyceride levels. Honey and all types of sugar may raise your triglycerides, but some evidence suggests that cinnamon could lower your triglycerides. Ask your doctor whether you can safely use cinnamon as a home remedy to lower triglycerides.
Healthy Triglyceride Levels
If your triglycerides measure higher than 200 milligrams per deciliter -- milligrams per deciliter of blood -- you face a high risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Your risk increases markedly if your triglycerides top 500 milligrams per deciliter. To protect your heart, aim to lower triglycerides to 150 milligrams per deciliter. Ideally your triglycerides will measure less than 100 milligrams per deciliter, according to the American Heart Association. In April, 2011, the AHA lowered its recommendations of triglycerides based on a review of about 500 studies. Based on the review, the AHA also says you can lower your triglycerides by 50 percent through diet and exercise.
Honey and Triglycerides
Some foods in your diet naturally contain triglycerides. Examples include beef, chicken, cheese and butter. But your body also converts some substances – sugar and alcohol most easily -- to triglycerides. Honey, a type of sugar, is easily converted to triglycerides in the body. Your triglyceride-lowering diet should limit sugar and added sugars to 5 to 10 percent of your daily calories. On a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, this amounts to 100 to 200 calories. One tablespoon of honey contains 267 calories, all of them from sugar.
Cinnamon and Triglycerides
Cinnamon may help lower your triglycerides, according to several studies. One of them, published in "Diabetes Care," a publication of the American Diabetes association, found that 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon daily, taken internally, helped persons with type 2 diabetes lower their triglycerides. Alam Khan and other researchers at NWFP University in Pakistan added cinnamon to the diets of 15 men and women with type 2 diabetes. Another 15 participants received placebos. At the end of the 40--day study, participants whose diets included cinnamon saw reductions in their triglycerides of 23 to 30 percent, according to the December 2003 report. Cinnamon also helped participants lower their low-density lipoprotein -- LDL cholesterol -- by 7 to 27 percent and their fasting blood glucose levels by 18 to 29 percent. The placebo group's numbers did not change significantly.
You may find cinnamon, an appealing spice, unpalatable if you take it plain. Cinnamon is available in capsule form at most drugstores and health food stores. Or, add ground cinnamon to your morning coffee or oatmeal. Food and lifestyle changes can also help lower your triglycerides. Limit saturated fat to 16 grams a day and trans fat, found mostly in margarine and shortening, to 2 grams. You should also exercise moderately at least 150 minutes per week, according to the AHA.
Is This an Emergency?
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: High Blood Cholesterol: What You Need To Know
- Circulation: Triglycerides and Cardiovascular Disease: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association
- United States Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database: Sugar
- Diabetes Care: Cinnamon Improves Glucose and Lipids of People With Type 2 Diabetes