If your triglyceride level tops 200 milligrams per deciliter, your doctor may recommend altering your diet to reduce your triglycerides to a healthy range. This is for a good reason: having a high triglyceride level may make you more susceptible to heart disease. By cutting certain foods out of your diet, you can take a proactive step towards better heart health.
Consuming a diet high in simple sugars, such as table sugar, can increase your triglyceride levels. To keep your levels in check, avoid candy, cookies and ice creams that contain high amounts of sugar. Instead, opt for low-sugar versions of your favorite desserts.
By cutting out beverages that are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, you can help to decrease your triglyceride levels. In fact, a study published in the October 2011 issue of "The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism" found that consuming beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup increased triglyceride levels after only two weeks.
Although fruit juice contains important vitamins and minerals, if your triglyceride levels are high, choose whole fruit over fruit juice. Whole fruit contains more fiber and less sugar. For example, orange juice contains 2.5 times more sugar than an orange.
According to MayoClinic.com, even small portions of alcohol can have a big effect on your triglyceride levels. Avoiding alcohol can decrease your sugar and caloric intake and help reduce your levels to a healthy range.
By eating fish instead of red meat, you can increase your consumption of heart-healthy fats called omega-3 fatty acids. These fats can have a potent effect on your triglyceride levels. So skip the steak and go for the salmon.
Whole-fat milk, cheese and yogurt contain high levels of saturated fat that may negatively affect your cardiac health and triglyceride levels. Replacing whole-fat dairy with low-fat or fat-free dairy can help to keep your triglyceride levels within a healthy range.
Refined grains, such as white bread, white flour and white rice, contain high levels of simple sugars that can negatively impact your triglyceride levels. Choose whole-wheat breads and pastas, brown rice and oatmeal instead. These little changes can make a big difference.
This type of fat has a negative effect on your cardiac health, aside from raising your triglyceride levels. Luckily, it is becoming harder and to harder to find. To cut it out of your diet, skip the baked goods and fried foods.
Like fruit juice, dried fruits pack in high levels of sugar. When fruits are dried, they are a more concentrated source of sugar, which can cause a rise in your triglyceride levels. Steer clear of dried figs, dried dates and raisins.
The American Heart Association recommends decreasing your intake of cholesterol if you have high triglyceride levels. Some examples of foods with high levels of cholesterol include fried foods, ice cream and baked goods.
- MedlinePlus: Triglyceride Level
- The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism: Consumption of Fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup Increase Postprandial Triglycerides, LDL-Cholesterol, and Apolipoprotein-B in Young Men and Women
- Time Magazine: Calorie Counter: Fruit vs. Fruit Juice
- Mayo Clinic: Triglycerides: Why Do They Matter?
- Nutrition and Health: Fish Oil and the Management of Hypertriglyceridemia
- American Heart Associations: Trans Fats
- Palo Alto Medical Foundation: Dietary Guidelines for Reducing Triglycerides
Lauren Elizabeth is a health and fitness professional based in upstate New York. She earned her master's degree in nutrition communications. Elizabeth has written for nonprofit organizations and universities, focusing on nutrition, physical health and mental health.