Triglycerides are fats that are found in the blood, and which come from the food eaten. The body needs triglycerides for energy, but when triglyceride levels become too high, it can put one at an increased risk of heart disease. A simple blood test that measures cholesterol can check for triglyceride levels; if the levels are too high, the doctor may recommend a diet to lower triglycerides. This diet generally consists of eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while cutting back on or eliminating sugars and simple carbohydrates.
A doctor may be able to provide specific advice for a diet to lower triglycerides, or a great deal of information may be found by searching online. High triglycerides may be caused by poor diet, obesity, diabetes, or hypothyroidism, among other causes. The first step to beginning a diet to lower triglycerides is to cut back on alcohol, sugar, and white flour. Processed foods and sweets are often the highest in sugar and carbs, and it is best to avoid these as much as possible.
Fruits and vegetables are essential parts of a diet to lower triglycerides. It is important to eat a few servings of fruit every day, and to make vegetables part of every meal. Some people try altering their portion sizes by making a large vegetable dish for the main dish, and eating a small portion of meat or carbohydrates on the side. Fruits and vegetables are complex carbohydrates and are the most important part of a healthy diet.
In a diet to lower triglycerides, it is best to avoid red meat as much as possible, and to eat lean protein such as chicken or fish. Beans and soy products are also excellent sources of protein, and are a healthy choice for this diet. It is also often recommended that people with high triglycerides cut back on dairy products such as milk and eggs, or switch to a low-fat or skim milk instead.
Whole grains are an important part of a diet to lower triglycerides, so choose whole-grain breads and cereals. Whole grains are also an important source of fiber, which can help to lower triglycerides. Following a sensible eating plan is just one part of lowering triglycerides and improving overall health. It is important to get enough exercise, which is generally considered to be at least 20 to 30 minutes per day, and to get enough sleep. Staying hydrated is important as well, and one should try to drink approximately six to eight glasses of water per day.