How to Eat to Lower Triglycerides

Triglycerides are deposits of fat that your body stores. Some triglycerides get stored as fat cells, where an excess can lead to obesity. Others do not get stored, but instead remain in your blood. An excessive amount of triglycerides thickens the blood, increasing the chances of clotting and blockages that can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Triglyceride levels are affected by the foods you eat. In general, a diet designed to lower cholesterol levels will also help you lower triglycerides.


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    Cut back on the amount of sugar in your diet. Your body converts sugar to glucose, which it then converts to triglycerides. This includes all forms of sugar including corn syrup, honey and fruit juices.
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    Reduce the amount of carbohydrates in your diet, as carbohydrates help your body convert glucose to triglycerides.
    • Choose complex, high-fiber carbohydrates such as whole barley, buckwheat, lentils, oatmeal, brown rice and green leafy vegetables.
    • Avoid simple carbohydrates, like those found in white bread and pasta, baked goods, and most cold cereals.
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    Increase the amount of omega-3 fats in your diet.
    • Fish is the best source of omega-3s and you should eat it 2 to 3 times each week. The highest levels of omega-3s are found in mackerel, lake trout, herring, bluefin and albacore tuna, salmon and canned sardines.
    • Other sources of omega-3 include spinach, soybean and canola oil, mustard greens, flaxseed, wheat germ and walnuts.
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    Lower the amount of fat you eat. Calories from fat should be limited to 20 to 30 percent of your total daily caloric intake.
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    Include plenty of low-fat, high-protein foods in your diet, such as dried beans, low-fat milk and cheese, and white meat poultry with the skin removed.
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    Choose whole fresh fruit instead of juices. Fruit juices often have added sugar and do not have the high fiber content of whole fruit. Canned fruit is also all right to eat as long as it is canned in its own juice without added sugars.


  • A normal healthy adults triglyceride level should be under 150 mg/dl.
  • Although doctors agree that, for most people, moderate alcohol consumption is good for the heart, alcohol increases triglyceride levels in some people. People affected by alcohol in this way are called responders. To determine if you are a responder, avoid all alcohol for 2 to 3 weeks, then have your triglyceride levels checked again.


  • Triglyceride levels are typically elevated after eating a meal. If you are getting your triglyceride levels checked, you should avoid all food and drink for 12 hours before the test.
  • Smoking elevates triglyceride levels.
  • People with triglyceride levels higher than 500 mg/dl and people who are not able to get their triglycerides to healthy levels by eating a healthy diet may need to take prescription medications.

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Categories: Diet Programs