Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood. Certain health conditions, medications, lifestyle habits, and genetics are possible causes of high blood triglycerides.
High triglyceride levels can be a risk factor for various health conditions. Food choices are one of many factors that can affect triglyceride levels. Doctors may advise a person to change their diet in order to help lower triglyceride levels. A diet high in saturated fats, added sugars, excess alcohol and refined carbohydrates can increase a person’s triglyceride levels.
This article looks at what triglycerides are, healthy triglyceride levels, foods that can lower triglycerides, and types of diets to lower triglycerides. He also describes a 7-day diet plan to help lower triglycerides and looks at other ways to lower them.
Triglycerides are a lipid, or type of fat, in the body. The body stores most of its fat as a triglyceride, making it the most common type of fat. A doctor can measure triglyceride levels with a blood test.
Triglycerides travel through the bloodstream in round particles called lipoproteins. People can consume triglycerides directly through fat-containing foods, such as oil and butter. Moreover, when people consume more calories than they need from other foods, such as carbohydrates, the excess energy is converted and stored as triglycerides.
Triglycerides are one of the main sources of energy in the body. But high blood triglyceride levels can increase a person’s risk for:
A doctor can diagnose someone with high triglycerides (also known as hypertriglyceridemia) if their fasting blood triglyceride levels are persistent.
According to a 2011 paper by the American Heart Association (AHA), people should focus on eating the following foods to help manage their triglyceride levels:
- oily fish, such as sardines and salmon
- all vegetables, especially leafy greens, green beans and zucchini
- all fruits, especially citrus fruits and berries
- low-fat or fat-free dairy products, such as cheese, yogurt and milk
- high-fiber cereals, such as quinoa, barley, and brown rice
- beans, nuts and seeds, which contain healthy, unsaturated fiber and fats
AHA also advises people to:
- limit alcohol consumption
- limit added sugars to no more than 10% of their daily calories
- keep carbs at 50-60% or less of their daily calories
- limit dietary fat to 25-35% of their total daily calories
- Choose unsaturated fats from vegetable oils, nuts and seeds over saturated and trans fats found in animal products and processed foods
A person can make changes to his diet to reduce triglyceride levels. These changes may include:
Low carb diet
People whose daily calories contain more than 60% carbohydrates are at higher risk for having high triglycerides, especially if those carbohydrates come mainly from refined grains. If a person eats more calories from carbohydrates than they require, his body will store excess carbohydrates as fat.
A person looking to lower triglycerides should avoid refined carbohydrates, such as baked goods, and try to eat more high-fiber unrefined carbohydrates, such as vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Try replacing high-sugar products with fruits such as berries, which can help reduce cravings for sugar.
High fiber diet
If a person increases their dietary fiber intake, it can slow down the absorption of fat and sugar in the small intestine. it
A person can consume more fiber by eating foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fruits.
Oily fish contain a type of heart-healthy fat called omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential unsaturated fatty acids that the body cannot make, so they should be consumed through the diet.
According to the AHA, a person should eat two servings of oily fish a week to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke.
Research has found that a vegetarian diet can help lower levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and cholesterol with high-density lipoprotein (HDL). But reviews of studies published in 2015,
Although some research shows potential health benefits from a vegetarian diet, this does not mean that all vegetarian diets are healthy. A well-planned diet, nutritious-vegetarian or otherwise-plays a role in maintaining a healthy body.
Here is an example of a diet plan to help lower triglycerides. It is important to note that this is just one example of what one can eat, as everyone’s nutritional and caloric needs are different.
- Breakfast: Old-fashioned oatmeal with low-fat milk or vegetable milk, topped with berries and seeds.
- Lunch: Vegetable soup and lentils with cereal crackers.
- Dinner: Zucchini tofu and curry with cauliflower rice.
- Snack: A banana and almonds.
The second day
- Breakfast: Salmon, rye bread with grain and a boiled egg.
- Lunch: Sardines in a cereal wrap with a garden side salad and oil-based sauce.
- Dinner: Fry the chicken and vegetables with brown rice.
- Snack: A boiled egg and fresh fruit.
- Breakfast: Buckwheat pancakes with low fat yogurt and berries.
- Lunch: A salad with spinach, avocado and tomatoes with black beans and quinoa.
- Dinner: Chili with vegetables and beans with a side of kale.
- Snack: Celery sticks and almond butter.
The fourth day
- Breakfast: Whole grains with low fat or vegetable milk and fresh fruit.
- Lunch: Finish the barley with tuna, lettuce and tomatoes.
- Dinner: Grilled salmon or mackerel with boiled vegetables and brown rice.
- Snack: Nuts.
- Breakfast: Boiled eggs in wheat toast.
- Lunch: A tuna or chicken sandwich made with whole grain bread, hummus and a garden side salad.
- Dinner: Grilled steak with boiled vegetables and sweet potato puree.
- Snack: Fruit salad and low-fat Greek yogurt.
- Breakfast: Whole wheat toast with avocado and a hard boiled egg or smoked salmon.
- Lunch: Chives and quinoa over green salad.
- Dinner: Barley, vegetable and chicken soup with cereal crackers.
- Snack: A home-made smoothie with low-fat Greek yogurt and berries.
- Breakfast: Oatmeal wrapped in low fat or vegetable milk, topped with fresh fruit.
- Lunch: The sardine salad is served on a whole grain bread roll, with a salad on the garden side.
- Dinner: Whole grain pasta with a tomato-based sauce and dried red beans, and a garden side salad.
- Snack: Strawberry
In addition to modifying his diet, a person can do the following:
2014 research suggests that regular aerobic exercise
The US Department of Health and Human Services’s physical activity guidelines recommend that a person take at least
A 2019 study showed that people with heart disease who exercised for
Various supplements can help lower triglycerides. A person should discuss the use of supplements with his doctor to avoid interactions with other medications. Such as supplements and vitamins
The following supplements may affect triglyceride levels:
- Curcumin. or
Review 2017it was found that curcumin supplements can cause a significant drop in triglycerides and bad cholesterol, or LDL.
- Fish oil. These supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which
studieshave found reduction of triglycerides and other risk factors for heart disease.
explorativefrom 2014 suggests that fenugreek seeds may help lower blood triglycerides.
An animal studysuggests that this herbal supplement may be just as effective as prescription drugs in lowering triglyceride levels.
- Garlic extract. Different
animal studieshave found that garlic extract can help lower triglyceride levels due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Triglycerides are a type of lipid, or fat, in the blood.
Low carb and high fiber diets that include oily fish can help lower triglycerides. Other ways to lower triglycerides include limiting your intake of added sugar, limiting your alcohol intake, keeping carbs at 50-60% or less of your total daily calories, and limiting your intake of saturated and trans fats. Regular exercise and certain supplements can also help control triglyceride levels.