What Are Triglycerides?
Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood. They are made up of three fatty acids and one glycerol molecule. Triglycerides are used by the body for energy storage. When you eat, your body converts any unused calories into triglycerides and stores them in your fat cells. When you need energy, your body releases triglycerides into your bloodstream, so they can be used for fuel. Triglycerides are also a major source of fuel for your heart and muscles.
What Are the Risks of High Triglycerides?
High triglyceride levels can be dangerous. They can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and other serious health problems. If you have high triglycerides, talk to your doctor about ways to lower them. Making lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, can help. A 7-day diet to lower triglycerides can help you maintain a healthy amount of blood triglycerides.
What Causes High Triglyceride Levels?
There are many different things that can cause high triglyceride levels. These include:
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese is one of the most common causes of high triglycerides.
- Diabetes: High blood sugar levels can lead to high triglycerides.
- Eating too much saturated fat, trans fat, and sugar: These foods can raise triglyceride levels.
- Drinking too much alcohol: Alcohol can raise triglyceride levels.
- Smoking: The same goes for cigarettes.
- Having certain medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as kidney disease and hypothyroidism, can lead to high triglycerides.
- Taking certain medications: Some medications, such as birth control pills and steroids, can raise triglyceride levels.
What Diet Is Best When You Want to Lower Triglycerides?
There are several dietary changes you can make to lower your triglycerides.
- Eat more fiber. Fiber helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides by binding to them and taking them out of the body. Good sources of fiber include oats, barley, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds.
- Eat more fish. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower triglycerides. Good sources of fish include salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, and sardines.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise can help lower triglycerides by improving the way your body handles fats.
Diet Plan: 7-Day Diet to Lower Triglycerides
The good news is that diet can play a big role in lowering triglyceride levels. A healthy diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein. Here’s a 7-day diet to lower triglycerides. This meal plan includes foods that are high in fiber, low in saturated fat, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries and flaxseed.
Lunch: Salad with grilled salmon.
Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with vegetables.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with whole wheat toast.
Lunch: Tuna salad with olive oil and vinegar.
Dinner: Grilled chicken with vegetables.
Breakfast: Banana smoothie with almond milk.
Lunch: Soup with beans and vegetables.
Dinner: Quinoa with vegetables and tofu.
Breakfast: Yogurt with berries and nuts.
Lunch: Grilled salmon salad with olive oil and vinegar.
Dinner: Vegetable stir-fry with tofu.
Breakfast: Omelet with vegetables.
Lunch: Lentil soup.
Dinner: Baked fish (such as tuna) with quinoa and vegetables.
Breakfast: Smoothie with avocado, spinach, and almond milk.
Lunch: Salad with grilled chicken.
Dinner: Brown rice with vegetables and tofu.
Breakfast: Oatmeal with fruit and nuts.
Lunch: Barley wrapped with tuna, lettuce and tomatoes.
Dinner: Butternut squash curry and cauliflower rice.
Add Healthy Snacks
Apart from the main meals in your 7-day diet to lower triglycerides, you can add snacks. Perfect options for snacks that lower triglycerides fast include:
- fresh fruits (apples, raspberries, oranges);
- nuts and seeds (almonds, pistachios, chia, sunflower seeds);
- vegetables (carrots, celery, cucumber, sweet potato);
- whole grain crackers.
You should also drink plenty of water every day. Water with lemon, green tea, and herbal teas are some of the best drinks for lowering triglycerides. Avoid sugary drinks, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages.
What Foods to Avoid?
There are certain foods that you should avoid on your 7-day diet to lower triglycerides. These include:
- Saturated fat: This type of fat is found in animal products such as butter, cheese, red meat, and processed meats. It is also found in some vegetable oils, such as palm and coconut oil.
- Trans fat: This type of fat is found in margarine, shortening, and some types of cooking oil. It is also often added to processed foods, such as cookies, crackers, and chips.
- Sugar: Sugar can be found in many processed foods, such as candy, cookies, cake, and soda.
- Alcohol: Alcohol can raise triglyceride levels. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
Other Ways to Lower Triglycerides
In addition to following this 7-day diet to lower triglycerides, there are other lifestyle changes you can make to lower triglycerides. These include:
- Exercising regularly: Exercise can help lower triglycerides by improving the way your body handles fats.
- Losing weight: If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can help lower triglyceride levels.
- Quitting smoking: Smoking can raise triglyceride levels. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health.
- Managing stress: Stress can raise triglyceride levels. Learning to manage stress can help lower them.
If you have high triglycerides, talk to your doctor about the best way to lower them. They may recommend medications in addition to lifestyle changes. Medications for high triglycerides include fish oil supplements, niacin, and statins.
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