Triglyceride Test (cont.)
Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Triglyceride test facts*
- What are triglycerides?
- How are triglyceride levels measured?
- What are normal triglyceride levels, and what do high triglyceride levels mean?
- How can I lower my triglyceride levels?
- Changes in diet
- Lower Triglycerides - Slideshow
- High Cholesterol - Quiz
- Cholesterol Levels - Slideshow
Changes in diet
The following dietary changes may be helpful in lowering triglycerides.
- Decreasing your intake of sugar: If you have a sweet tooth, try to set limits on how often and how much sugar you consume. You can cut your intake in half to begin with, and continue cutting back from there. Remember to read the labels to check for sugar content in both food and beverages.
- Changing from white to brown: If you eat white rice, bread, and pasta, switch to whole wheat products. It may take a little while to get used to the difference in taste, but it's worth the effort for the benefits to your health. There are a variety of whole wheat products on the market, so experiment until you find the one that you like best.
- Switching fats: Limit or avoid foods with saturated and trans fats. These include fried foods, lard, butter, whole milk, ice cream, commercial baked goods, meats, and cheese. Read the nutrition labels to determine whether these unhealthy fats are present.
Switch to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The best sources of these fats are olive oil, canola oil, nuts, and fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, lake trout, sardines, herring, and albacore tuna. Learning to interpret food labels will help you understand the kinds of fat in the food you buy and consume.
- TLC Diet Daily Food Guide: This is a tip sheet, organized according to food groups, is a guide to choosing a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. The chart lists the number of servings recommended for each day plus examples of typical serving sizes. Click on individual food groups for more information.
Medically reviewed by Rambod Rouhbakhsh, MD, MBA, FAAFP; American Board of Family Medicine
Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Cholesterol Education Program.
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