Diet for high triglycerides: what to eat, foods to avoid, sample menu
Diet for high triglycerides: what to eat, foods to avoid, sample menu. In this article, we list the foods to avoid with high triglycerides, the 7-day Indian diet to lower triglycerides, as well as; What foods should I avoid if I have triglycerides? What should I eat for dinner if my triglycerides are high? Answers to the questions and high triglyceride diet menu, recipes that lower triglycerides and cholesterol, Which foods affect triglycerides the most? We’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions.
High triglycerides and diet: causes, symptoms and remedies
A diet for high triglycerides can help you prevent dyslipidemia and bring your blood parameters back to normal.
We often hear about high triglycerides, or hypertriglyceridemia. This is a condition in which triglyceride values in the blood are above normal. We know that it is important to keep them under control. But what are they in detail, and why is having high triglycerides detrimental to health?
There are many factors that influence blood triglyceride values. First among them is diet.
What foods can help you fight high triglycerides? What should you avoid instead? We suggest an example of a weekly menu useful in preventing, or solving, high blood triglycerides.
High triglycerides and diet
The condition whereby triglycerides in the blood are above normal is known as hypertriglyceridemia. This is a particular dyslipidemia involving triglycerides (neutral esters of glycerol, triacylglycerols). But what exactly are they? And what are these molecules used for?
Triglycerides are real energy reserves. They consist of a glycerol molecule, to which three “tails” of fatty acids are bound. It is precisely by dissolving these bonds that triglycerides release energy, which is useful for cellular metabolism.
The blood carries these molecules to our organs (the blood is used to transport triglycerides). So having triglycerides in the blood is a “normal” condition. But past a certain limit it increases the risk of developing heart disease, stroke or, in severe cases, pancreatitis.
Here are the values for which we speak of mild, or severe, hypertriglyceridemia:
Normal <175 mg/dl (of plasma, fasting).
Mild hypertriglyceridemia 175-885 mg/dl.
Severe hypertriglyceridemia >885 mg/dl.
Knowing blood composition is important in order to get an indication of our health status. This is because, just like cholesterol, excess triglycerides are also a risk for cardiovascular disease. Especially when associated with other clinical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, or hypertension.
Diet for high triglycerides: what it is, how it works and what it is for
The diet for high triglycerides aims primarily to educate people about a healthy eating style that is preventive to the development of dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease. It can therefore be undertaken by those with high triglyceride values, whether there is a family history of hypertriglyceridemia, or simply as a preventive measure.
What does hypertriglyceridemia involve? To take a hint, excess fat can accumulate along the walls of vessels (arteries) and create real blockages (atherosclerotic plaques). This slows down blood flow causing different amounts of damage depending on the importance of the obstruction:
Diet for high triglycerides: the importance of nutrition
Here’s where nutrition plays a key role in reducing dyslipidemia and cardiovascular risk.
Your food choices are important in keeping your circulatory system healthy. The famous saying “prevention is better than cure” could not be more apt as in this case.
The diet for high triglycerides can be undertaken with precisely this in mind, by people in good health. No one is immune from rising triglycerides. And an unbalanced diet, added to other risk factors, such as sedentary lifestyle, cigarette smoking, alcohol, family history, or other medical conditions, could give rise to a rise in blood triglycerides.
Differences with other diets
There are numerous clinical trials attesting to the effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet, from which the Melarossa diet is inspired, in preventing the risk of cardiovascular disease, high triglycerides and hypercholesterolemia. The diet in question is therefore based on the principles of the Mediterranean diet, with a special focus on those functional foods, and therefore with nutraceutical value, precisely aimed at reducing cardiovascular risk.
There are some foods, in fact, that can help the cardiovascular system. Others, however, should be avoided. The diet for high triglycerides puts the focus precisely on these food choices, trying to combine foods that are functional for cardiovascular risk prevention as much as possible.
The difference with other diets for dyslipidemia, such as the diet for high cholesterol, is really minimal. The diet for high triglycerides is very varied, making ample room for white meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and vegetable oils, while limiting intake of red meat, alcohol, simple sugars, and saturated fats.
Slimming down with the diet for high triglycerides
The main goal of the diet for high triglycerides is undoubtedly to normalize triglyceridemia. But being low in fats and simple sugars is certainly an advantage if your goal is to reach a healthy weight.
Although it is not the main goal, it can also be followed by those who want to lose weight. In fact, overweight and obesity are strong risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease. Often these conditions are associated with dyslipidemia, so it is important to take action with a dietary plan aimed at reducing both conditions.
A diet for high triglycerides, at the same time low in calories relative to individual needs, is certainly an excellent way to reduce extra pounds without creating imbalances in the lipid profile.
Remember, too, that healthy weight loss does not require a drastic reduction in calories. On the contrary, an ad hoc slimming diet should not exceed a reduction of more than 500 calories from one’s daily requirements.
To give a practical example, a 5’6″ woman with a moderately active lifestyle and a daily requirement of 2000 kcal, who needs to lose weight, should start a slimming diet that is not below 1500 kcal. But why do we explain this? It has to do with the lipid profile!
Rapid weight loss, in fact, mobilizes fat reserves within cells (triglycerides) and at the level of the cell membrane (cholesterol). The “load” of lipids poured into the blood may be such that it aggravates dyslipidemia. This simplistic explanation actually hides a dense metabolic network, involving important organs, such as the liver.
This is why when starting a diet it is important not to rush! The best results are achieved with a personalized diet plan tailored to you and gradual weight loss. Only then can you benefit from lasting weight loss.
What to eat and what to avoid?
Recommended foods and benefits
Recommended foods undoubtedly include fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean meats and fish rich in omega 3. For its nutraceutical value, olive oil remains the condiment par excellence, along with flaxseed oil. But what foods should be included in the diet for high triglycerides?
- Legumes, rich in fiber (beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, green beans).
- Lean meats, a source of noble protein (chicken, turkey, loin, sirloin, bresaola).
- Fish rich in omega 3 (salmon, tuna, cod, hake, mackerel, sole, sea bass).
- Low-fat dairy products as a source of calcium (low-fat cottage cheese, spreadable cheese, skim milk).
- Dried fruits, such as walnuts, almonds, peanuts, rich in omega 3.
- “Good” fats: olive oil, flaxseed oil, avocado.
Not only is soy a food rich in fiber, protein, and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). It contains particular phytoestrogen molecules, isoflavones. These tend to raise good cholesterol, HDL, and lower bad cholesterol, LDL.
Fruits and vegetables in season
- Citrus fruits, rich in antioxidant vitamin C.
- Dark leafy vegetables (spinach, turnip greens, chard, chicory).
- Fresh fruits (apples, pears, bananas).
- Crucifers (cabbage, cauliflower).
- Fiber-rich vegetables (celery, asparagus, fennel, zucchini).
Whole grains and pseudocereals (pasta, bread, crackers and breadsticks).
- Brown rice.
- Fermented red rice.
Whole grains are rich in fiber that reduces the absorption of fat and sugar in the intestines.
In particular, barley and oats are rich in beta-glucans, soluble fibers that help improve the lipid profile. While fermented red rice (from Monascus purpureus) contains monacolin K, a natural molecule that helps lower cholesterol and total triglycerides.
Foods allowed but in moderation
In this group we include those foods that are not in themselves harmful to our bodies. But whose excessive consumption can still lead to alterations in the lipid profile. That is why you can consume them within the diet for high triglycerides, but in moderation. What foods are we talking about?
It is considered an ally food for the heart because it is rich in antioxidant polyphenols, particularly Resveratrol. In fairness, however, it must be said that it is still an alcoholic beverage. That is why it is occasionally indulged in.
You can get the same amount of Resveratrol from blueberry juice (100%), or red beet juice, without making your body suffer the effects of alcohol.
White pasta, or baked goods such as bread, pizza and flatbreads made with white flours are not really the best choice for keeping blood triglyceride levels at bay.
While this diet does not include cakes and cookies on the menu because they are high in sugar and fat (butter or margarine), it does allow the occasional consumption of pasta, or bread.
The whole-wheat version is certainly preferred, but occasionally (1 or 2 times a week) one can “indulge” in the refined version, as long as it is combined with fiber-rich foods. An example? Vegetable soup with white pasta (size as desired).
We have highlighted the benefits of fish, rich in omega 3, in helping to counteract dyslipidemia. However, we cannot make the same argument for canned, oiled or salted fish. Choose fresh seafood, straight from the fish counter!
This food is often a subject of debate. Eggs are rich in proteins with great biological value (sources of essential amino acids), vitamins, minerals, but also cholesterol. For this reason, many people think that eggs should not be included in a diet to combat dyslipidemia.
It may surprise you, but eggs can even improve your lipid profile. They contain Lecithin, a molecule involved in the production of an enzyme that transports cholesterol. That is, it helps (indirectly) cleanse the blood of bad cholesterol without changing HDL (good cholesterol) values.
However, a healthy diet respects the directions of the Mediterranean diet. That is why even the diet for high triglycerides grants moderate consumption of eggs, 1 or 2 times a week.
Omega 3 supplements
Numerous studies recognize that omega 3 consumption is a great benefit in reducing dyslipidemia. In particular, the dosage of 2.5 g of omega 3 per day has been found to be good and sufficient to improve the lipid profile (triglycerides and cholesterol).
The only flaw, however, is that, in nature, these polyunsaturated fatty acids are contained in “fatty” and caloric foods. It is therefore difficult to achieve this dosage without “unbalancing” the diet. This is why many nutritionists suggest the use of omega-3 supplements.
Supplements are a food–by legal definition–and therefore subject to controls to protect consumer safety. Their use is therefore to be considered safe in the doses suggested by the package insert. Overdosing not only does not speed up the normal recovery of blood values, but could even make it worse.
Diet for high triglycerides: forbidden foods
Some foods are considered harmful to health in any healthy diet regimen. This is the case with foods high in saturated fat, alcohol, or simple sugars. The diet for high triglycerides also abolishes these types of foods.
These foods contribute to negative changes in the lipid profile and are therefore to be avoided. Here are what foods we are talking about:
- Alcoholic and sweetened beverages.
- Snacks, sweets, cakes, cookies.
- Jams, jams, honey, maple syrup and simple sugars.
- Animal fats, such as butter and lard, mixed vegetable oils, or margarines.
- Fatty cuts of meat, cured meats (bacon, mortadella, coppa) and sausages (sausage, cotechino).
- Milk and dairy products: whole milk, condensed milk, cream, ice cream, whole cheese.
- Sauces: mayonnaise, ketchup, béarnaise sauce, cheese sauce.
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