Diet for high triglycerides: what to eat and foods to avoid

High triglycerides: diet, what to eat and foods to avoid

When it comes to high triglycerides it refers to a particular component of the bloodstream. More precisely to a class of lipids, mostly taken by the body via food. Only a small part is produced by the liver, while the rest is a consequence of diet followed.

Having high triglycerides can represent a very important cardiovascular risk factor. This is why it is good to know in detail their nature, the associated pathologies and the impact that it can have diet to lower triglycerides.

Triglycerides, what are they

As mentioned above, these are lipids present in the blood. Apart from the minimum quantity produced by liver, triglycerides are obtained from the metabolism of the foods consumed. The body transforms the food in fat to be used as an energy source, to be stored waiting for it to be used.

This mechanism is put in place to guarantee the body a source of sustenance even away from meals. However, abuse at the table represents, especially if repeated over time, a metabolic threat. Starting with weight gain, which can lead to obesity.

Source: Photo by Bokskapet from Pixabay

Normal values

To understand at what point a situation of well-being turns into a pathology, it is necessary to know i normal values, beyond which hypertriglyceridemia (high triglycerides) occurs. Below is a table with the main references:

Reference Values ​​of Triglycerides

Normal Values ​​(mg / dl) Limit Values ​​(mg / dl) Valori Alti (mg / dl) Very High Values ​​(mg / dl)
<150 150-199 200-499 >500

The verification of one’s values ​​is possible by carrying out blood tests, which must clearly foresee the measurement of the “Triglycerides” parameter.

High triglycerides or hypertriglyceridaemia

As you can read in the table above, we are talking about hypertriglyceridemia or high triglycerides when the value emerged from the blood analysis is greater than 150 mg / dl. Depending on how much this indicator exceeds this threshold, more or less incisive action will have to be taken.

The attending physician will be able to guide the patient towards the best path, which must necessarily include a modification to the daily diet. Hypothriglyceridemia or low triglycerides, which set off an alarm bell when close to or below 40 mg / dl, are of a completely different orientation.

Pathologies linked to high triglycerides

When it comes to the consequences of high triglycerides, special attention should be paid. This condition can be followed by various cardiovascular diseases, even potentially fatal: the reference is in particular toheart attack and tostroke, which can be favored by the deterioration of the health of the arteries and other blood vessels.

The effects on blood pressure should also not be underestimated (tendency tohypertension), to the development of the condition known as fat liver, to the manifestation of high levels of glycemia even on an empty stomach and also with the increase in the values ​​of bad LDL cholesterol.


The onset of high triglycerides can be caused by pathologies and wrong behaviors. An unhealthy lifestyle is among the risk factors main. Below are those that are considered the cause hypertriglyceridemia:

  • Bad eating habits – Unhealthy and high-calorie diet, especially associated with a sedentary lifestyle, abuse of alcoholic beverages;
  • Obesity;
  • Kidney failure;
  • Nephrotic syndrome – affects the glomeruli and involves excessive excretion of protein in the urine;
  • Diabetes Mellitus (if not properly treated);
  • Corticosteroid / estrogen drugs.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

High triglycerides do not lead to symptoms particular, unless they are rather high values. In this case we are talking about a manifestation over 1000 mg / dl. Symptoms in these cases will include severe abdominal pain, eye disorders (retinal lipemia, excess serum lipids in ocular veins and arteries), acute pancreatitis and xanthoma (the skin degenerates and takes on a yellowish color).

As mentioned above, the diagnosis of high triglycerides is done following blood tests. For the sake of completeness, these tests should also include the assessment of total, HDL and LDL cholesterol levels.

Diet for high triglycerides: what to eat and what not to eat

A key role in the management of high triglycerides can play it there diet. With the exception of those conditions deriving from underlying pathologies, for which the attending physician will be the most suitable reference, nutrition will be fundamental.

Anyone suffering from high triglycerides will need to pay special attention to both foods to avoid that to the recommended foods.

High triglycerides, what to eat

What to eat to lower triglycerides? There are several recommended foods, keeping in mind not to overdo the quantities taken.

Cereals and whole grains and rice

Even in the form of pasta or bread, these products help the body to maintain a sense of satiety for longer, to perform digestive functions optimally and to contain blood sugar levels. Excellent contribution of fibre, useful for lowering high triglycerides.

Vegetable, useful against high triglycerides
Unsplash Vegetable

Fruits and vegetables

Lots of vegetables as a source of dietary fiber, which will help reduce excess triglycerides. Yes also to fresh fruit, although it is recommended to avoid consuming bananas, figs, persimmons, grapes and mandarins.


Green light also to fish, especially when it comes to sardines, herring, salmon and mackerel. The fish mentioned have meats rich in omega-3 fatty acids, believed to be effective in reducing triglycerides.


How to forget i legumes, excellent source of vegetable proteins and among the main alternatives to red meat and aged cheeses.

What not to eat, the foods to avoid

How to behave on the opposite side, that is: what not to eat in case of high triglycerides? First, we need to reduce the intake of as much as possible simple sugars. It is also necessary to strongly limit or better still eliminate those foods which promote the increase of LDL cholesterol (fat food, fried, alcoholic, aged cheeses, red meats).

In case of particularly high levels of triglycerides it is recommended to further reduce, in any case by relying on your doctor, thecarbohydrate intake. You may need to limit your intake to whole grains or rice only, avoiding bread and pasta altogether.

Diet to lower high triglycerides, useful tips

Follow the diet to lower high triglycerides can be particularly challenging, especially for those used to eating in an unregulated or excessive way. Help can come from the couple, sharing the “challenge” with the partner.

Finally, it is good not to forget the ability ofphysical exercise to “consume” the triglycerides present in the body, so as to be a possible cause of hypotrigsiceridemia. On the other hand, it can be an excellent ally for lowering high triglycerides. However, it must be considered that this is not a way to escape a healthy diet, a “supportive therapy” that can make the recovery process faster.

Source: GreenStyle by

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