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How to lower triglycerides (and not die trying)

diet to lower triglycerides

One of the great problems of the twenty-first century in the Western world is the abuse of high-fat foods accompanied by low sports activity. Triglycerides are the order of the day and it is increasingly common to have high cholesterol in a routine blood test.

Therefore, it is essential to have reliable information about some tips on how to lower triglycerides, which will not stray far from meeting the 2 main requirements: healthier eating and exercise practice.

However, if we focus on the foods that offer the best response in terms of lowering the level of fats (or at least not incorporating it), we will hit the target in a faster and more effective way.

What are triglycerides?

The concept of triglycerides refers to a specific group of fats (ester derived from glycerol and three fatty acids) that are part of the main constituent of body fat in animals.

However, not all triglycerides are the same or cause the same damage to health. Those are found Saturated and the Unsaturated.

Saturated ones usually have a higher melting point and are most likely solids at room temperature. These do not interest us.

Unsaturated are those with a lower melting point and can probably be in liquid conditions at room temperature. Some of them may be positive for the body.

Triglyceride level in the body

The National Cholesterol Education Program has created an informative table on how to interpret the data of this value in a blood test.

Although the data is usually measured in mg/L, there are also some tables that give the value in mmol/L

Cholesterol level (mg/L) Interpretation
  Normal/adequate level
150-199 Slightly above optimalq
200-499 Level that poses a health risk
>500 Very high risk of disease

To further adjust the value and make it general for the population, the American Heart Association sets a recommended value below 100 mg/dL (1.1 mmol/L). The lower the better.

This test is credited as valid as long as the blood test is evaluated with a fasting period of more than 8 hours. This is because there are usually peaks of triglycerides after eating.

Following the table, levels above 150 are considered as hypertriglyceridemia. From here you have to consider how to lower triglycerides.

Problems associated with hypertriglyceridemia

Triglycerides are transported by our orgnaism attached to two lipoproteins: those known as chylomicrons (QM) and those low-density lipoproteins (VLDL).

Chylomicrons come from food and are therefore of exogenous origin.

So, when based on the diet we have we accumulate an excess concentration of triglycerides in the blood (150 mg / L onwards), we suffer a problem of hypertriglyceridemia. This, together with a sedentary lifestyle, will make this fat not be used as a source of energy for the muscles and we will gain weight.

Diseases caused by hypertriglyceridemia

From here, we enter the list of risks associated with an excess of fat in the bloodstream and seriously consider how to lower trigerines.

  • Triglycerides can build up in the arteries and lead to diseases such as atheroma plates, which hinder blood circulation.
  • From 200 mg/L of cholesterol, there is a proportional increase in thrombosis, myocardial infarction and stroke.

A serious problem of this disease, just like high voltage, is that it does not give initial symptoms, so we can only realize the problem through blood tests or when the disease is already in an advanced state.

Other consequences of increased plasma triglycerides are:

Cardiovascular diseases

Of the total triglycerides, one part forms LDL cholesterol, known as low-density or bad cholesterol.

This ands the cause of the well-known plaque of atheroma or reduction of flexibility and arterial volume, so that the blood has difficulty moving forward and raises blood pressure.

Blockages of these arterial or thrombosis may arise, further increasing the risk of other associated cardiovascular diseases.

Fatty liver (hepatic steatosis)

The liver is the organ that is responsible for regulating the concentration of triglycerides in the body. Faced with an excess, it accumulates in this organ and causes the diseases of fatty liver. However, it is not associated with alcohol consumption but with diet, and therefore is not considered non-alcoholic (NAFLD).

This accumulation of fat causes inflammation, pain in the affected area, malaise, continuous heaviness after eating food and finally fibrosis, cirrhosis or hepatocarcinomas.


The pancreas is also an indispensable organ for regulating endocrine function and hormonal secretion. It is the factory of insulin, glucagon and exocrine that intervene intimately in the process of digestion and regulation of blood sugars.

Regularly having elevated triglycerides causes what is known as acute pancreatitis, causing nausea, abdominal pain, fatty stools and weight loss. Normally, this disease is usually eliminated when we start a diet rich in fiber and vegetables and reduce cholesterol levels.

How to lower triglycerides

Given all this and the problems associated with high levels of fat in the body, we must seriously consider how to lower triglycerides.

There is no magic pill that allows us to follow our usual lifestyle and lower blood cholesterol levels quickly.

The process is slow and requires healthy eating and the practice of sports activity.

However, we want to give you some tips on how to lower triglycerides, associated with a much healthier diet, with fat reduction, and a list of “forbidden foods”.

From the first moment we have to think about how to lower the trliglicoerides, reducing all those foods rich in saturated fat.

Such foods are usually of animal origin, such as butter, fatty meats, cream, whole dairy, etc.

However, not everything that comes from the plant world must necessarily be good, since palm or coconut oil also contain high levels of saturated fat.

On the other hand, we can continue to take foods rich in monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil or those foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, like avocado.

We can also help ourselves with food supplements rich in this beneficial oil.

Within this type of food, we find the oily fish, that have a lot to say about how to lower triglycerides:

  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Tuna
  • Nice
  • Swordfish
  • Salmon
  • Anchovies and herring
  • Horse mackerel

Seeds and nuts also contain high levels of healthy fats, such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios. For example, nuts, in small daily amounts (30 grams) they offer many healthy properties.

Scientific studies have shown how diets high in omega 3 fatty acids reduce the likelihood of cardiovascular disease and triglyceridemia problems.

Foods we should avoid to reduce triglycerides

Eliminate all kinds of simple sugars (white sugar and brown sugar). Replace with sweeteners.

  • Sugary drinks, unnatural juices, tea soft drinks.
  • Sweets and pastries (pastries, cakes, chocolate, candies, etc.)
  • Jams high in added sugars, jellies and syrups

We will completely eliminate alcohol and any type of distillate from our diet. We will lower the wine and beer to a very low dose.

Avoid fruits that contain high levels of sugar. Dates, grapes, figs, kiwis, etc.

You have to control and weigh the carbohydrates ingested (bread, pasta, cereals, potatoes, rice, etc.). If we can, replace with whole foods, whose offer in the supermarket is getting bigger every day.

Orn tips on how to lower triglycerides is to use these carbohydrates as a companion to the main course (vegetables, white meats, white fish, etc.).

Fiber is our ally, so we must increase its intake.

How to lower triglycerides by decreasing fats

The main problem is fats and camouflaged sugars, which are present in many processed foods that we can buy in the supermarket.

To do this, we have to be attentive to the information collected on the label, where by obligation you have to declare the content of total fat and saturated fat.

You have to avoid reading the main face of the label, where words like “light”, “bio”, “low in fat”, etc. are reflected.

A healthy diet should incorporate at least 5 servings of vegetables, as they provide fiber, vegetable protein and low fat content.

Of course, sport and active life does a lot, since on the one hand with the diet we will reduce the entry of new fat and with exercise we will burn the existing one.

Without a doubt, this is the winning combination.

Diet to lower triglycerides

Next, we are going to show you a possible diet to lower triglycerides.

To view the image, you need to click to enlarge

Recommendations for breakfast

  • Coffee or infusion with skimmed milk
  • 2 rice pancakes
  • Toasted bread with olive oil, tomato, tc.


  • Skimmed liquid yogurt
  • 3 nuts
  • Glass of orange juice
  • Cereal bar

To eat

  • Salads of all kinds of vegetables
  • Chicken, veal, rabbit, pork accompanied by vegetables
  • White fish, cuttlefish, squid, etc. accompanied by vegetables
  • Fruit for dessert

For snacks

  • Coffee or infusion
  • Yogurt
  • Piece of fruit

For dinner

  • Salad
  • Cauliflower or cooked broccoli
  • Slice of bread with turkey or ham
  • Vegetable puree or cream
  • Hake or grilled white fish
  • Skimmed cheese

FoodsDaily consumptionModerate consumptionSporadic consumption
Fruits, legumes and vegetablesAllOlives, avocados, chipsPotato chips, coconut
CerealsBread, cereals, corn, pasta, whole grain biscuitsCereals with sugar, pasta with eggIndustrial pastries, muffins, ensaimadas
NutsNuts, pipes, prunes, etc., of natural originPipes, chestnuts, hazelnuts, peanutsPipes with salt, salted peanuts, etc.
Fish and seafoodWhite and blue fishSalted cod, sardines, squid, prawns, prawnsRoe, fried fish, mojama
Red meat Veal, cow, beef, pork, Serrano hamSausages, bacon, sausages, pâtés, organ meats
Meats Rabbit, chicken, turkeyDuck and goose
Fats and oilsOlive oilSeed oilsButter, margarine, butter
DessertsJams, honey, sugar, of natural originCandies, syrup, flan, homemade biscuitsChocolates and cakes
BeveragesWater, natural juices, infusions, coffeeDrinks and soft drinks without added sugarSugary drinks
Spices and saucesPepper, mustard, vinegar, stir-friesMayonnaise and béchamelSauces with animal fats, butter
Eggs and dairy productsSkimmed milk, yogurt, egg whiteSemi-skimmed milks and yoghurtsWhole milk, cream, cream, cured cheese

Summary on how to reduce triglycerides

  • Varied diet high in fiber, vegetables and fruits
  • Drastically reduce alcohol consumption
  • Avoid the consumption of sugars, cakes, sweets and industrial pastries.
  • Reduce the consumption of red meats, eggs, whole milk and dairy products.
  • Replace coconut and palm oils with olive oil, with a higher content of unsaturated fats.
  • Introduce white fish and blue fish into the diet (rich in ormega 3).
  • Practice at least 30 minutes a day of sport.

About Andrew Parkinson

Andrew Parkinson is a highly accomplished pharmacist with a passion for improving healthcare. With a wealth of experience in both community and clinical pharmacy settings, he's known for his dedication to patient well-being. Mr. Parkinson actively engages in medication management, offering personalized solutions and promoting better health outcomes. He has also played a pivotal role in educating patients on proper medication usage and potential interactions. Andrew's commitment to advancing the field of pharmacy and ensuring safe and effective drug therapies has garnered him recognition as a trusted and invaluable healthcare professional, making a positive impact on countless lives.

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