You can use diet and lifestyle
changes to lower triglyceride levels. These changes may be especially good at
lowering borderline-high levels (150 to 199 mg/dL) back to normal levels (less
than 150 mg/dL).
Diet and lifestyle changes include:
- Staying at a healthy weight.
- Limiting fat and
- Being more active.
- Limiting alcohol.
You may also take medicines to lower triglyceride levels.
Medicines may be used if you have risk factors for
coronary artery disease (CAD). In this case, your
doctor may first want to lower your
LDL ("bad") cholesterol level and raise your
HDL ("good") cholesterol level before adding medicine
to lower your triglycerides.
For more information on target
levels and treatment for high cholesterol, see the topic
Interactive Tool: Are You at Risk for a Heart Attack?
to calculate your risk of a heart attack based on your cholesterol levels and
Diet and lifestyle changes are the first steps you will take to lower
Diet and lifestyle
Adding fish oils (omega-3 fatty acids)
to your diet may lower triglyceride levels. You can add fish oil by eating fish
at least 2 times a week or by taking supplements. Oily fish with lots of
omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, tuna, and mackerel.
want to try
Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) and the
Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet. TLC is a
combination of diet and lifestyle changes that can lower your cholesterol. The
following information can help you get started with the TLC diet:
To reduce carbohydrate in your diet, you may want to
learn about the
amount of carbohydrate in various foods.
Alcohol has a particularly strong effect on triglycerides. Regular,
excessive use of alcohol or even a one-time drinking binge can cause a
significant increase in triglycerides.
Binge drinking can cause a spike in your triglycerides that may trigger
pancreatitis. Your doctor will want you either to stop
or to limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
Before you increase
your activity, check with your doctor to be sure it is safe. You may also want
to talk with a dietitian to design a nutrition program that is right for you.
Your doctor will also look for anything else that might be
causing your high triglycerides, such as
hypothyroidism, poorly controlled
diabetes, kidney disease, or medicines. Your doctor
may adjust or stop any medicines that might raise your triglyceride