Triglycerides are a type of fat present in the blood. Certain health conditions, medications, lifestyle and genetic factors can cause high blood triglycerides.
High triglycerides can be a risk factor for various health problems. Food choices are one of many factors that can impact triglyceride levels. Doctors may advise a person to change their diet to help lower their triglyceride levels. A diet high in saturated fats, added sugars, excessive alcohol, and refined carbohydrates can raise a person’s triglyceride levels. This article looks at what triglycerides are, healthy levels of triglycerides, foods that can lower triglycerides, and types of diets to lower triglycerides. It also outlines a 7-day meal plan to help lower triglycerides and looks at other ways to lower them.
What are triglycerides?
Triglycerides are a lipid, or type of fat, in the body. The body stores most of its fat as triglycerides, making it the most common type of fat. A doctor can measure triglyceride levels through a blood test. Triglycerides travel in the blood in round particles called lipoproteins. Triglycerides can be consumed directly from foods that contain fat, such as oil and butter. Additionally, when a person consumes more calories than necessary from other foods, such as carbohydrates, the excess energy is converted and stored as triglycerides.
Triglycerides are l one of the body’s main sources of energy. But a high level of triglycerides in the blood can increase the risk of:
– insulin resistance
– type 2 diabetes
– cardiovascular disease
Healthy triglyceride levels
There are two typical levels of fasting blood triglycerides. The first is less than 75 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) for children under 75 year. The second is less than 75 mg/dl for children over 10 years and adults. A doctor can diagnose high triglycerides (also called hypertriglyceridemia) in a person whose fasting blood triglyceride level is consistently at or above 150 mg/ dl. Some people may be genetically predisposed to high triglycerides. Doctors call this familial hypertriglyceridemia. Blood triglycerides are often higher in men than in women and tend to increase with age.
Foods that may help lower triglycerides
Eating the following foods to help manage their triglyceride levels:
– fatty fish, such as sardines and salmon
– all vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables, green beans, salads
– all fruits, especially especially citrus fruits and berries
– fiber-rich whole grains, such as quinoa, barley and brown rice
– beans, nuts and seeds, which contain fiber and healthy unsaturated fats.
You also need:
– limit alcohol consumption
– limit added sugars to 10 maximum % of their total daily calories
– limit carbohydrates ides at 50-50 % or less of their total daily calories
– limit dietary fat to 10-35 % of total daily calories
– choose unsaturated fats from vegetable oils, nuts and seeds rather than saturated and trans fats found in animal products and processed foods.
Types of diets that can lower triglycerides
We can make changes to their diet to lower their triglyceride levels. These changes may include:
A low carbohydrate diet
People whose daily calorie intake regularly contains more than 60% carbohydrates have a higher risk of having high triglycerides, especially if these carbohydrates come mainly from refined grains. If a person consumes more calories from carbohydrates than they need, their body stores the excess carbohydrates as fat.
Anyone looking to lower their triglycerides should avoid refined carbs, like baked goods, and try to eat more fiber-rich, unrefined carbs, like vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Try replacing high-sugar products with fruits such as berries, which can help reduce sugar cravings.
High fiber diet
If a person increases their dietary fiber intake, they can slow down the absorption of fat and sugar in the small intestine. This lowers triglyceride levels in the blood. Research suggests that adults who are overweight or obese can lower their triglyceride levels and improve their overall health by increasing their fiber intake.
You can consume more fiber by eating foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, legumes, cereals and fruits.
Fatty fish contain a heart-healthy type of fat, omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential polyunsaturated fatty acids that the body cannot manufacture and therefore must be consumed through the diet. A person should eat two servings of oily fish per week to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. Eating salmon twice a week can help lower blood triglycerides. Salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are examples of fatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids.
7-Day Meal Plan to Lower Triglycerides
Here is a sample meal plan to help lower triglycerides. It is important to note that this is only an example of what a person might eat, as everyone’s nutritional and caloric needs are different.
Breakfast: Oats with low-fat milk or vegetable milk, topped with berries and seeds.
Lunch: Vegetable and lentil soup with buckwheat crackers
Dinner: Tofu and squash curry with cauliflower rice.
Snack: A banana and almonds.
Breakfast: Salmon, wholemeal rye bread and a poached egg.
Lunch: Sardines with garden salad and oil-based dressing.
Dinner: Chicken and vegetable stir-fry with brown rice.
Snack: A boiled egg and fresh fruit.
Breakfast: Buckwheat pancakes with y light sourdough and berries.
Lunch: A spinach, avocado and tomato salad with black beans and quinoa.
Dinner: A vegetable and bean chili, served with kale.
Snack: Celery sticks and almond butter.
Breakfast: Whole grain cereal with low-fat milk or vegetable and fresh fruit.
Lunch: tuna salad, lettuce with tomatoes.
Dinner: Grilled salmon or mackerel with steamed vegetables and brown rice.
Breakfast: Poached eggs on whole grain toast.
Lunch: A tuna or chicken sandwich prepared with wholemeal bread, hummus and a garden salad.
Dinner: Grilled steak with vegetables steamed and mashed sweet potatoes.
Snack: Fruit salad and low-fat Greek yogurt.
Breakfast: Whole grain toast with avocado and a hard-boiled egg or smoked salmon.
Lunch: Chickpeas and quinoa on a green salad .
Dinner: Barley, vegetable and chicken soup with whole grain crackers.
Snack: A homemade smoothie made with low-fat Greek yogurt and berries.
Breakfast: Rolled oats with vegetable milk, topped with fresh fruit.
Lunch: Sardine salad served on a wholemeal bread roll , with a garden salad.
Dinner: Wholemeal pasta with a tomato-based sauce and drained red beans, with a garden salad.
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