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Diet To Lower Triglycerides: Why It's Good For You

Nov 28, 2007
A high level of triglyceride reading means that you have too much "bad" fats in your body. High triglyceride levels are bad for the heart and dietitians have long recommended certain foods to lower triglycerides and promote better health and stronger hearts.

Triglycerides 101

Triglyceride is body fat which when combined with cholesterol forms plasma lipids in the body. High levels of triglyceride in the body equates to high levels of bad cholesterol and low levels of good cholesterol.

Considered normal triglyceride level is less than 150 mg/dL; borderline to high level is from 150 to 199 mg/dL; high level is from 200 to 499 mg/dL; and very high level is 500 mg/dL or higher.

Factors that may affect the amount of triglyceride in the body

Factors that affect the presence of high triglycerides in the body include age, medications, illness, heredity and excessive intake of fatty foods. You may not be able to fully control the first four factors but you can control excessive intake of fatty foods through diets that lower triglycerides.

The Age Factor

Triglycerides in your body increase as you age. Triglyceride levels would be different for a person when he is in his teens, middle age and old age.

The Disease Factor

Certain illnesses that can increase the level of triglycerides are diabetes, kidney and liver diseases. Hyperthyroidism can also affect the amount of triglycerides in the body.

Medication Factor

Medicines such as steroids and birth control pills can increase the amount of triglyceride in the body. Diuretics or water pills can also induce high triglyceride level in the body.

Genes and Heredity Factor

If high triglyceride levels run in the family, family members will tend to inherit it.

Food That You Eat

Fatty foods remain a major contributor in increasing the level of triglycerides in your body. A nutritious diet that is low in fat is a factor that you can fully control to lower your triglyceride levels.

Diet to Lower Triglycerides

* Maintain ideal weight by controlling calorie intake.

You should be aware of your ideal BMI (BODY MASS INDEX) which uses your height and weight to indicate if your weight falls within a healthy range.

Monitor the amount and type of your food intake so that you maintain a healthy BMI and weight.

* Start eating low-fat foods and avoid high-fat foods.

Examples of low-fat foods are dried beans, peas and lentils; whole grain breads, cereals and pasta; egg whites, without the egg yolk; skim and non-fat milk; cheese such as parmesan and ricotta; low-fat cottage cheese and yogurt. There are also low-fat meats like fish, poultry meat (with skin removed), and lean meats from sirloin and flank.

* Reduce saturated fats in the foods you eat.

Avoid taking too much of saturated products present in oils like coconut oil, and palm and palm kernel oil; margarines and products made from these oils; coffee creamers; shortening, lards and butter. You should also refrain from eating fried pork skins and chitterling from pig intestines; red meats with fat; and poultry with fat and skin.

* Refrain from eating sugars and sugar in different forms.

Sugar is transformed into triglyceride when detected by the liver. The more sugar found in the blood stream, the more triglyceride is formed. Refrain from eating foods packed with sugar such as jam, jelly, soft drinks, fruit drinks, cookies, cakes and candies.

* Limit intake of alcohol which increases the level of triglycerides in the blood.

Alcohol such as beer, wines and hard liquor can increase the level of triglycerides in the blood directly. Calories from alcohol can also trigger the formation of triglycerides in the body.
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