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Bad habit No. 4: You only eat fried fish. Most fried fish has a lot of added oil -- the unhealthy type, saturated fat. That fat overpowers the type of fat found in fish, called omega-3 fatty acids, which helps keep triglycerides down.

Better habit: Help yourself to two servings of grilled or broiled fish a week.

Choose fatty fish such as salmon, freshwater trout, or tuna, which are especially rich in omega-3s, then grill or broil them. Look for recipes with flavors you like. If you’re still having trouble tempting your taste buds, take heart. Walnuts, flaxseed, soy products, and dark greens are good sources of triglyceride-lowering omega-3s.

Bad habit No. 5: You drink several glasses of alcohol a day.

Too much beer, wine, or spirits can drive up triglycerides.

Better habit: Set limits.

Have no more than one drink a day if you're a woman and two if you're a man. If your triglyceride levels aren’t lowering enough despite your efforts, your doctor may recommend skipping alcohol altogether.

Bad habit No. 6: You overeat.

Very large meals can send your triglyceride level into the danger zone. Spikes are dangerous because they can increase your risk of a heart attack.

Better habit: Divide your usual serving in half.

At home, cook the usual amount of food but serve only half. At restaurants, divide your meal into smaller portions. Eat slowly to give your body time to register when you're full. Help yourself to more only if you're still hungry. If you feel satisfied, pack away what's left to enjoy later.

Bad habit No. 7: You skip meals.

Maybe you're too busy to eat. Maybe you think you'll lose weight if you skip a meal. The problem: you're likely to get so hungry later that you'll grab anything, healthy or not. Or you overeat at the next meal, which causes triglyceride levels to jump.

Better habit: Eat sensible-sized meals three times a day.

Enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner while sticking to recommended serving sizes. Have healthy snacks like nuts, fruit, or carrot and celery sticks handy when hunger strikes.