Diet Tips to Reduce High Triglycerides

Diet Tips to Reduce High Triglycerides

•By Chris Iliades | Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH

High triglycerides can have just as much of an impact on your heart as other heart disease risks, such as high cholesterol. Studies show that as more Americans have become overweight over the past 30 years, high triglycerides have become a problem for about one in five people.

"Research suggests that high triglycerides may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Knowing your triglyceride level is as important as knowing your good and bad cholesterol numbers," says Danya L. Dinwoodey, MD, a cardiologist at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. “In many cases, high triglycerides and low 'good' cholesterol numbers go together, and these risks may run in families.”

A healthy diet to lower triglycerides is an important part of getting your triglycerides under control. As a matter of fact, according to the American Heart Association,healthy choices in diet and exercise are even more important than medication to lower triglycerides for most people.

Healthy or High: Understanding Triglyceride Numbers

"You want to keep your triglyceride number under 150. The higher your number goes, the more you are at risk," says Dr. Dinwoodey. Here are the numbers you should know:

•Normal triglycerides are less than 150 mg/dL.

•Borderline triglycerides are between 150 and 199 mg/dL.

•Over 200 mg/dL is too high.

•Over 500 mg/dL is very high.

"High triglycerides are associated with obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, and thyroid disease. The first thing your doctor will do is try to correct any of these problems. Over the long term, the most important thing you need to do is make lifestyle modifications to keep triglycerides in check," says Dinwoodey.

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