Sample Diets for Lowering Triglycerides

By Megan Smith

Some triglycerides are healthy, as they provide the body with energy. Too many triglycerides in the blood, however, can increase your risk of heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you have been eating more calories than you have been burning off, chances are that triglycerides are building up in your bloodstream. Your doctor can perform a simple blood test---a triglyceride level higher than 150mg per dL may be cause for concern. A balanced diet and exercise can help lower triglycerides, making you healthier and reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Breakfast

In general, eliminate breakfast foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fats, sugar and refined carbohydrates, such as danishes, processed cereals, bacon, sausage, biscuits and most muffins and bagels.

Instead, eat a bowl of oatmeal with a handful of nuts and raisins, along with a handful of your favorite fruit---bananas, apples, grapes, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are all great choices. Also, instead of eating white toast in the morning, stick with whole-grain toast with a small slather of light butter or olive oil on top.

Lunch

Stay away from processed lunch meats and cheeses, which contain a high amount of saturated fat, preservatives and salt. Avoid eating refined carbohydrates, canned soups with lots of added salt, baked goods like croissants, and any other foods that contain high amounts of saturated fat and trans fats.

For lunch, enjoy a wrap made with avocado, sprouts, hummus or a bean spread, lettuce, tomatoes and any of your favorite veggies on a whole-wheat wrap. And instead of eating protein derived from meat, eat foods that are rich in protein but are not derived from animals, like tofu, tempeh, avocado, beans and chickpeas, as they all have less saturated fat.

Dinner

For dinner, avoid red meat as much as possible, especially ground beef and fatty cuts of meat like ribs, pot roast and pork chops. Bake, broil or steam foods whenever possible, and avoid cooking with butter, lard or shortening. If necessary, cook with a small amount of heart-healthy olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.

For example, broil or bake a fish fillet like salmon, albacore tuna or mackerel in the oven. Instead of dousing the fish in a heavy sauce, drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the fish, then use fresh herbs and spices like oregano, basil, red pepper and chives to flavor the fish. Serve alongside 1/2 cup of brown rice and a generous portion of steamed vegetables, which may include broccoli, green peppers, green beans or corn. Squeeze a small amount of lemon juice on the fish and vegetables for additional flavor.