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Triglyceride Diet

Harvard Health Publications
Copyright 2006 Harvard Health Publications

Question:

What type of diet can lower triglyceride levels?

Answer:

A normal triglyceride level is less than 150 milligrams per deciliter. It's important that this blood test be performed in a fasting state; that is, no food or beverages other than water for approximately eight to 10 hours. As triglyceride levels rise, the risk of coronary heart disease also rises. This is especially true when HDL cholesterol levels are low. Very high levels of triglycerides can cause pancreatitis.

Decreased daily calorie intake to promote weight loss is the most important step you can take to lower triglycerides. Alcohol can also be a major contributor to high triglyceride, and you may need to eliminate alcohol completely. There are no special foods that you can eat to help lower triglyceride. Diets that are lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein and healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats tend to lower triglyceride more than high-carbohydrate diets. But most important is keeping the total calorie count low.

The B vitamin niacin in therapeutic doses lowers triglyceride levels. Even though you can purchase niacin without a prescription, I advise consulting with your health care provider before starting it.


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Harvard Health Publications Source: from the Harvard Health Publications Family Health Guide, Copyright © 2007 by President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.

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