How to Lower Triglyceride Levels With Foods

Have you been told that your triglyceride level is too high? Unfortunately, many people focus only on their cholesterol and ignore this equally important number. An elevated triglyceride level is associated with heart disease and is an independent risk factor for stroke, according to a study conducted in 2001. High triglyceride levels also increases the risk of pancreatitis, a sometimes fatal inflammatory condition of the pancreas. Obviously, this is one number you don’t want to ignore. The good news is that elevated triglyceride levels can often be treated with diet and lifestyle changes. If you’re ready to change the way you eat, here are some ways to lower triglyceride levels through better food choices.

Lower triglycerides with better food choices: Punt the sugar

A high carb, sugar-rich diet can trigger elevated triglycerides. Start by assessing what you drink with meals and between meals. If you’re guzzling down sugar sweetened beverages and large amounts of fruit juice, opt for unsweetened tea instead. Soft drinks are a particularly bad choice for people with elevated triglycerides. Most soft drinks contain high fructose corn syrup which can wreck havoc with triglyceride levels, not to mention heart disease risk.

Lower triglycerides with better food choices: Cut back on alcohol

Alcohol raises triglyceride levels, although some people appear to be more susceptible to its effects than others. Sometimes as little as one alcoholic drink a day can cause triglyceride levels to rise. Although red wine raises triglyceride levels in some people, it also elevates HDL’s (the good cholesterol) and may protect against heart disease. For this reason, you may want to continue drinking a glass of red wine each day if your triglycerides aren’t adversely affected.

Lower triglycerides with better food choices: Eat more fatty fish

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as salmon and sardines can lower triglyceride levels and can even cut the risk of stroke and heart disease. Although you can get the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids by eating fatty fish several times a week, fish oil supplements are an option if you ‘re not a fish eater. Flaxseed is also a good vegetarian source of omega-3’s.Most studies have shown that two to three grams of fish oil per day are needed to lower elevated triglyceride levels. Ask your doctor about the possibility of adding fish oil supplements to your diet.  

Lower triglycerides with better food choices: Eat more whole grains

A diet high in refined carbohydrates increases triglyceride levels, while fiber-rich food choices such as whole grain breads and cereals help to reduce it. Replace white bread with whole grain and choose oatmeal, wheat bran, and whole grain cereals for breakfast instead of boxed cereals. Eliminate white rice and substitute brown rice, quinoa, or barley instead. Eat more cauliflower and fewer potatoes. These simple changes can have a marked impact on triglyceride levels if done consistently.

Lower triglycerides with better food choices: Skip sweet desserts

Sugar sweetened desserts such as ice cream, cookies, cakes, and pies can be difficult to pass up, but the high sugar content can send triglyceride levels soaring. Instead of eating a piece of apple pie, have a fresh apple instead. The fiber and pectin keep the natural fructose sugars from being absorbed too quickly.

Give these simple dietary changes a try. If your triglyceride levels are still high after changing your diet, you may need medications.