Does liberally salting your food help you pump more iron in the gym? Registered Dietitian, Debbie James, investigates the claims!
In my recent blood test, my triglycerides were borderline high. How do I get my triglycerides down to acceptable levels?
– Anthony C.
Triglycerides in the blood are basically free-floating fats that are not bound to cholesterol. A lab value showing hypertriglyceridemia is an indication of increased risk for stroke, heart attack, and heart disease, or maybe a sign of other medical conditions. Dietary factors that increase triglyceride levels include alcohol, excess carbohydrate, sugars, and calories.
Here are tips for lowering blood triglycerides:
- Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates – Limit starchy foods, sugary drinks, and caloric sweeteners. Avoid added sugars and desserts. Choose whole grains over white flour products. Consider limiting calories from carbohydrates to 60% of all calories.
- Choose healthier fats – Reduce saturated and trans-fat. Eat the lowest-fat dairy and animal proteins available. Instead of cheese or eggs, choose plant proteins. Snack on nuts and seeds versus fried pork skins. Instead of fatty meats containing saturated fat, choose fish with omega-3 unsaturated fat. Opt for oil-based dressing and sauces over cream-based ones.
- Limit alcohol – Consume fewer alcoholic beverages.
- Exercise regularly – A healthy minimum for physical activity is 150 minutes (30 mins x 5 times) of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
- Lose weight – If you are overweight, losing just 5% body weight can lower triglycerides.
- Foods to Avoid If You Have High Triglycerides. Web MD. https://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/ss/slideshow-triglyceride-foods-to-avoid
- Triglycerides: Frequently Asked Questions. American Heart Association. www.my.americanheart.org/idc/groups/ahamah-public/@wcm/@sop/@smd/documents/downloadable/ucm_425988.pdf
- Triglycerides: Why Do They Matter? The Mayo Clinic, 9.13.2018 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/triglycerides/art-20048186
– Debbie J., MS, RD
This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.
Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.