All the fat in the food we eat is in the form of triglycerides. Our liver also makes triglycerides if we eat more calories than we need, if we drink too much alcohol, or eat too many refined carbohydrates. An elevated level of triglycerides in the blood is often associated with high blood pressure, low HDL, and carrying excess fat in the belly area. This leads to a condition called insulin resistance, a situation which puts a person at high risk for coronary artery disease.
The most effective strategy to lower triglycerides and prevent insulin resistance is to exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise and resistance exercise have been shown to lower triglycerides and reduce insulin resistance.
Dietary strategies to lower triglycerides include:
- Limit saturated fat to 15 grams per day
- Increase fiber to 30 grams per day (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts)
- Add soy to your diet regularly
- Include food sources of omega 3 fatty acids regularly
- Limit foods with hydrogenated oils
- Limit foods made from white flour and white sugar
- Spread your food intake into small meals
- Decrease your intake of alcohol