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Cholesterol & Triglycerides Health Center

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Triglyceride-Friendly Meals

Super Suppers to Tackle Triglycerides

Keep it simple at night to make choices easy to follow.

Chicken Dinner

3 oz skinless grilled or broiled chicken (breast or dark meat)

1 baked sweet potato, served with 1 tsp trans-fat-free margarine

1 cup steamed broccoli with red pepper rings

1/2 cup light ice cream, frozen yogurt, low-fat or nonfat pudding, with 1 tsp chopped pistachios

 

Pasta Night

1 cup whole-wheat pasta or spaghetti squash

1 can of Italian diced tomatoes

1 cup or more of sauteed zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, peppers, or onions – veggies you like best

Add 3.5 oz. ground turkey breast, tofu, or crumbled meat substitute

Add basil, oregano, or rosemary, whichever flavor you prefer that night

1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, dry grated, reduced fat

Wine: 1 glass for women, 2 for men (Skip the alcohol if your triglycerides are over 200 mg/dL)

 

Easy Fish

4 oz grilled or sauteed salmon or tuna steaks

Or grilled or broiled shrimp kabobs

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup steamed asparagus with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup wheat couscous with mushroom broth and sliced scallions

1 cup roasted tomatoes

 

Vegetarian Night for Meat Lovers

1 (8 inch) corn tortillas

1/3 cup refried beans (fat-free or vegetarian)

2 Tbsp salsa

1 oz low-fat or fat-free Mexican cheese

1/2 cup slices of avocado

2 oz crumbled veggie sausage or meat substitute

Beer: 1 glass for women, 2 for men (no alcohol if your triglycerides are over 200 mg/dL)

Putting Together Your Own Meals

Fit in with your favorite meals by following these basics to lower your triglycerides.

  • Plan for a “moderate” amount of whole-grain carbohydrates. Use portion sizes on packages as a guide. Another way to estimate a healthy amount is to visually divide your plate into 4 equal parts. Fill half of it with fruits and vegetables, and fill a quarter of it with a whole grain. Fill the last quarter with a low-fat protein.
  • Limit “white” carbs and sugars. Keep foods made with white flour, desserts, candy, juices, and fruit drinks to a minimum.
  • Serve healthy fats because they can help lower your triglyceride levels. They are the unsaturated fats, especially omega-3s found in fatty fish, flaxseed, canola oil, and walnuts.
  • Don’t keep around tempting, unhealthy fats -- saturated fats found in red meat and baked goods and trans fats found in some packaged foods. If a food label says hydrogenated oil, don’t even open the bag.
  • Choose low-fat proteins, including chicken, fish, seafood, lean meats, and tofu.
  • Pour low or nonfat milk and choose low or nonfat dairy -- yogurt, cottage cheese, and cheese.
  • Limit how much alcohol you have each day. That’s 1 drink if you’re female and 2 if you are male. But even a small amount of alcohol may raise triglycerides in some people, so ask your doctor what’s right for you.

Having trouble adapting to low-triglyceride meals? See your doctor or a dietitian for help. Together you can put together a healthy meal plan that will lower your triglyceride levels and help you lose weight if you need to.

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WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on November 12, 2012

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Is Your Cholesterol Level Heart Healthy?
What is your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) level?

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or
Answer:
Desirable
0-199
Borderline
200-239
High
240+

Your level is currently

Congratulations! Your total cholesterol level is in the Desirable range, and your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is optimal.

Congratulations! Your total cholesterol level is in the Desirable range, and your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is near optimal.

Your total cholesterol level is in the Desirable range, but your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is borderline high. If your LDL goes higher, your total cholesterol level could become Borderline High. Consider reducing the amount of foods you eat with saturated fats and increasing physical activity. If you get more exercise, your level of "good" HDL cholesterol may increase, which could also help to keep your levels of LDL and total cholesterol in check.

Your total cholesterol level is in the Desirable range, but your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is High. This may mean that your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol, is too low. It is best to have a high level of "good" HDL and a low level of "bad" LDL. The HDL helps keep your LDL level in check. Ask your doctor for your HDL level. If your HDL is low, increasing your physical activity can increase it, which may help reduce your LDL level.

Your total cholesterol level is in the Desirable range, but your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is Very High. This may mean that your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol, is too low. It is best to have a high level of "good" HDL and a low level of "bad" LDL because the HDL helps keep your LDL level in check. Ask your doctor for your HDL level. If your HDL is low, increasing your physical activity can increase it, which may help reduce your LDL level.

Your total cholesterol level is Borderline High, but fortunately your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is optimal. This could mean you have a high level of high-density lipoprotein, or "good" HDL cholesterol, which protects against heart disease. Or you could have other non-measured increases in LDL-like particles that can increase heart disease. Your LDL level also could be optimal if you are taking a statin medication. Please check with your doctor to get your complete lipid profile and see if you may need additional treatment. In the meantime, find more information on WebMD's Cholesterol Health Center.

Your total cholesterol level is Borderline High, but fortunately your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is near optimal. This could mean you have a high level of high-density lipoprotein, or "good" HDL cholesterol, which protects against heart disease. Or you could have other non-measured increases in LDL-like particles that can increase heart disease. Your LDL level also could be optimal if you are taking a statin medication. Please check with your doctor to get your complete lipid profile and see if you may need additional treatment. In the meantime, find more information on WebMD's Cholesterol Health Center.

Your total cholesterol level is Borderline High. Your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is Borderline High, too. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels!

Your total cholesterol level is Borderline High. Your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is High. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels!

Your total cholesterol level is Borderline High. But your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is Very High. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels!

Your total cholesterol is High, but your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is optimal. This could mean you have a high level of high-density lipoprotein, or "good" HDL cholesterol, which protects against heart disease. Or you could have elevated secondary lipids, such as non-HDL particles that increase the risk of heart disease. Your LDL level also could be optimal if you are taking a statin medication. Please check with your doctor to get your complete lipid profile and see if you may need additional treatment. In the meantime, find more information on WebMD's Cholesterol Health Center.

Your total cholesterol is High, but your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is near optimal. This could mean you have a high level of high-density lipoprotein, or "good" HDL cholesterol, which protects against heart disease. Or you could have elevated secondary lipids, such as non-HDL particles that increase the risk of heart disease. Your LDL level also could be optimal if you are taking a statin medication. Please check with your doctor to get your complete lipid profile and see if you may need additional treatment. In the meantime, find more information on WebMD's Cholesterol Health Center.

Your total cholesterol level is High. Your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is Borderline High. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels!

Your total cholesterol level is High. Your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is High, too. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels! If you are struggling to bring down your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, your doctor may prescribe medication, such as statins. Following medication, dietary, and exercise instructions should result in improvements.

Your total cholesterol level is High, and your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is Very High. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels! If you are struggling to bring down your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, your doctor may prescribe statins or other cholesterol-lowering medications.

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