To lower triglyceride levels, one should avoid foods rich in cholesterol, saturated fats, trans fat and calories, claims SF Gate. Other foods that should be avoided are simple carbohydrates and alcohol.
Triglycerides are stored fat consisting of fat and sugar molecules bound together. They are associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which is beneficial to the body. Any food that lowers high-density lipoprotein raises triglycerides.
A patient with a high triglyceride level should therefore avoid cholesterol and saturated fat, since they raise triglyceride levels, advises SF Gate. Such foods include poultry skin, lard, fatty red meat, butter, shellfish and high-fat dairy products.
Although small amounts of trans fat are found in animal fat and dairy products, large amounts of it are manufactured through the hydrogenation process, notes SF Gate. The foods that contain trans fat include shortening, hot dogs, lunch meat, margarine and snacks, such as chips, french fries and crackers. Desserts such as pies, cookies, cakes and doughnuts also contain trans fat.
Limiting the intake of calories reduces weight, thus lowering the triglyceride level, reports SF Gate. For a weekly loss of 1 pound, one should target a daily reduction of 500 calories in his diet. Regular exercise also burns calories, which eventually reduces triglycerides.
Triglyceride-lowering foods include whole-grain carbohydrates, low-fat meats and healthy fats, according to WebMD.
Foods to avoid include red meats, baked goods that are high in saturated fats and packaged foods that are high in trans fats.
While whole-grain carbohydrates are an improvement over white carbohydrates, such as white bread, sugar and fruit juices, WebMD recommends limiting them to a fourth of the meal by volume. Another fourth of the plate should include low-fat protein, while the remaining half consists of fruits and vegetables.
While protein is an essential nutrient, WebMD indicates that low-fat options, such as fish, chicken, lean meats and tofu, are good choices for lowering triglycerides. Fatty fish, walnuts, canola oil and flaxseed are healthy fats. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids and reduce triglyceride levels.
Any alcohol use increases triglycerides in some individuals, but others can safely enjoy one or two drinks per day. Women should limit their consumption to a single drink daily, while men should set a two-drink limit, according to WebMD. People having trouble with adapting to a triglyceride-friendly diet often benefit from a visit with a dietitian. The professional helps to develop a healthy eating plan to lower triglyceride levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.