Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Elevated Triglycerides Diet

It is important to follow a healthy diet at home if you have high triglycerides.

Strategies for a healthy diet include:

  • Limit total fat intake to 20 to 25% of your total calories:
    • Less than 7% of the day's total calories from saturated fat
    • Up to 10% of the day's total calories from polyunsaturated fat
    • Up to 20% of the day's total calories from monounsaturated fat
  • No more than 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day
  • Do not overeat. Follow a diet that meets the number of calories recommended by your doctor or dietician.
  • No more than 6 grams of salt per day: your doctor may advise you to restrict your intake of salt to 2 grams per day if you have congestive heart failure or high blood pressure.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Eat more complex carbohydrates, such as starch and fiber. Whole grains and brown rice are good sources of fiber. Other sources include:
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Bran
    • Barley
    • Oats
    • Legumes
  • Do not take iron supplements unless directed to do so by your doctor.
  • Avoid fad diets.
  • Talk to your doctor about taking B vitamins. Some people may benefit from these supplements.

Key Dietary Recommendations for Chronic Disease Prevention
Energy (calories)to maintain BMI < 25
Total fats< or = to 30% of total daily calories
Saturated fats< 7% of total daily calories
Polyunsaturated fats< 10% of total daily calories
Monounsaturated fats< 13% of total daily calories
Cholesterol< or = to 300 mg per day
Dietary fiber25-30 grams per day
Fiber type3:1 insoluble to soluble fiber
Sodium< or = to 1,500 mg per day
Calcium 9-24 yrs1,200-1,500 mg per day
Calcium 25-50 yrs1,000 mg per day
Calcium 51-65 yrs1,200 mg per day
Calcium >65 yrs1,500 mg per day
Vitamin D 9-50 yrs200 IU per day
Vitamin D 51-70 yrs400 IU per day
Vitamin D >70 yrs600 IU per day
Folic acid400 micrograms (ug) per day
Fruits & vegetables5-7 servings per day
Alcohol (men)< or = to 2 drinks per day
Alcohol (women)< or = to 1 drink per day

Continue to Elevated Triglycerides Outlook

Last Updated: Sep 30, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Elevated Triglycerides References
  1. Breuer HW. Hypertriglyceridemia: a review of clinical relevance and treatment options: focus on cerivastatin. Curr Med Res Opin. 2001;17(1):60-73. [11464448]
  2. James JS. New guidelines for avoiding heart disease by managing high cholesterol, triglycerides, or related problems in HIV. AIDS Treat News. 2003 Sep 12;(394):8. [14669731]
  3. Kwiterovich PO Jr. The metabolic pathways of high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, and triglycerides: a current review. Am J Cardiol. 2000 Dec 21;86(12A):5L-10L. [1137485]
  4. Rapp RJ. Hypertriglyceridemia: a review beyond low-density lipoprotein. Cardiol Rev. 2002 May-Jun;10(3):163-72. [12047794]
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