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Dietitian Q/A

Because of the contents of some questions and the large number we receive, the MUSC Dietitians only answer selected questions. Although we discourage questions regarding personal health problems, scheduling an appointment with the outpatient dietitian to address these concerns is encouraged. Appointments can be made after a physician referral is received.

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 Question:  What type of foods can you eat that will help lower triglycerides?


Foods that are high in monounsaturated fats can help you lower your triglycerides. These foods are olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, nuts and avocadoes. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can also be helpful. These foods are fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), flaxseeds,  nuts (especially walnuts) and foods fortified with omega-3 fatty acids.

On the other hand, foods containing trans fats and cholesterol will raise your triglycerides. Trans fats are found in food with hydrogenated oils and cholesterol is found in meats, eggs, and full fat and low fat dairy products. It is recommended that you limit your cholesterol intake to 200mg a day. Foods that are sugary or highly refined can also raise your triglycerides. Aim instead for low sugar sweets and whole grain products. Finally, limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol is know to have a strong negative affect on triglyceride levels.

Also keep in mind that exercising and losing weight (if you need to) are an important part of reducing your triglycerides as well.

Answered: 03/04/2011

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