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A Healthy Diet to Keep High Triglycerides at Bay

written by: Anurag Ghosh • edited by: DaniellaNicole • updated: 5/17/2011

A simple lipid panel test can help you test whether your triglycerides levels are normal or high. If high, then it's time you switch to low-fat healthy foods to combat this unhealthy condition. Here are some healthy tips that can help you keep these fatty molecules at bay.

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    Triglycerides are a form of fat present in the blood plasma of the body. These fatty molecules are created in the body from carbohydrates or proteins. The calories not used immediately by tissues get converted into triglyceride globules and transported through blood with the help of lipoproteins. High triglyceride levels in the body increases the risk of heart disease. Therefore, it is very important to opt for healthy diet to lower triglycerides.

     

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    How to Determine Your Triglyceride Levels?

    A lipid panel test is best way to test high levels of these fatty molecules. It is also used to test the HDL and LDL cholesterol levels (good and bad cholesterol levels). The American Heart Association recommends this test for people over the age of 20.

    According to the guidelines set by The National Cholesterol Education Program, high triglycerides are measured as 200 to 499 milligrams per deciliter whereas "very high" mean more than 500 milligrams per deciliter. Normal levels imply less than 150 mg/dL.

    High levels of triglycerides is generally seen by experts as one of the key risk factors of heart disease along with high cholesterol and LDL (low density lipoprotein). They are also responsible for elevating the ill-effects of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

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    Causes

    High triglycerides are caused due to various reasons, including:

    • Consuming a lot of alcohol

    • Obesity

    • Burning less calories than the amount of calories acculumated while eating
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    How to Lower Triglycerides?

    • The first step to lower triglyceride levels is to have a low-caloric diet. Women should reduce calorie intake to 1,200-1,500 calories per day. The calorie intake for men should reduce to 1,500-1,800 calories per day.

    • A low-fat diet can be a better option to lower triglycerides. You can choose low-fat protein sources such as legumes like lentils, split peas and beans as well as fish and poultry (chicken or turkey). Fish such as mackerel, salmon, albacore tuna and lake trout are known to be good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce the risks of blood clots, high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels.

    • Your diet should also have at least 35 grams of dietary fiber per day. Apples, green leafy vegetables and bananas are good sources of dietary fiber. Oatmeal is also another great option to add to your fiber-rich diet.

    • Nuts, such as pecans and hazelnuts, are also known to have great benefits to lower cholesterol and triglycerides. A study published in the 2007 edition of European Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that frequent consumption of hazelnuts is linked with favorable plasma lipid profiles. Eating moderate amount of nuts every day aid in reducing the risks of coronary heart disease.

    • Your healthy diet to lower triglycerides should also contain complex carbohydrates such as carrots, potatoes, cereal, corn, spinach, broccoli, green beans. It should also consist of complex carbohydrates. About 50 percent of your daily calorie-intake should come from grains, fruits and vegetables.
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    References

    “Triglycerides" (American Heart Association)" http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4778

    “Effects of hazelnut-enriched diet on plasma cholesterol and lipoprotein profiles in hypercholesterolemic adult men" (NCBI) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16969381?dopt=Abstract

    “Triglycerides and Lowering Triglyceride Levels (WebMD)" http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/triglycerides-lowering-triglyceride-levels

    “Low-calorie Diet (Health Key)" http://www.healthkey.com/a-z/hw-ug1774,0,5182173.healthwisestory

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