Using diet to lower triglycerides can reduce your risk of heart disease. Recent studies have shown that this is the most significant factor in strokes and heart attacks. In fact, your triglyceride levels are more important than your total cholesterol levels. So why is using a diet to lower triglycerides important?
A recent study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that high triglyceride levels make you two to three times more susceptible to heart attack and stroke, even if your overall cholesterol levels are low. Medications used to lower triglyceride levels have serious side effects. It is recommended that you attempt a natural approach to lowering triglyceride levels, particularly by making changes in your diet. By naturally lowering triglycerides, you can cut your risk of heart disease in half.
What are Healthy Triglyceride Levels?
Everyone should know how to lower triglycerides. Triglyceride levels should be below 150mg/dl. Triglyceride levels above 200mg/dl are considered high and can consequently put you at serious risk for heart complications. Levels between 200mg/dl and 15mg/dl are considered borderline and should be addressed as well.
Although eating a low-fat diet is important for your health, the main culprit in high triglycerides is not fat; it’s sugars. Reducing or eliminating foods that are considered to be high on the glycemic food index can reduce your triglyceride levels, reducing your risk to heart related conditions.
Which Foods Should You Choose?
There are certain foods you should avoid in all food groups, and you can find an entire list of these foods and where they are listed on the glycemic food index on-line. Foods that should be avoided in the meat group include hot dogs, turkey sausage, fish sticks, and pepperoni. Also, avoid vegetables such as beets, corn, sweet pickles, and pumpkin, or fruits such as coconut, raisins, dried fruit, and persimmons.
You will also need to be careful about certain breads and cereals, such as crackers, chips, waffles, English muffins, and cakes. Finally, other big diet culprits to watch out for are starchy foods, such as potatoes, taco shells, pretzels, and granola. Don’t forget to try and limit your consumption of frozen yogurt, ice cream, sorbet, and whole fat dairy products as well.
So what should you eat? Thankfully, there are plenty of healthy foods that can help to lower triglycerides. In the meat group, you can enjoy tofu, tuna, fish, and skinless chicken, or in the vegetable group you can eat things like artichokes, asparagus, okra, snow peas, and zucchini. Cherries, kiwi, and watermelon are good fruits to choose, and whole wheat breads, multi-grain breads, or unsweetened bran cereals are also ideal. Additionally, you can help yourself to oats, beans, and brown rice, which give you many great cooking options.
Once you have been on your diet to lower triglycerides for a while and your levels are lowered, it may be okay to incorporate some of the other foods into your diet in limited amounts.