Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. If your triglycerides are elevated, cutting back on your carbohydrate and alcohol intake may improve your levels. If you are overweight, losing weight along with exercise can also reduce your triglycerides. Genetics may play a role, so if you live a healthy lifestyle, ask your health care provider about available medications.
Triglycerides are Dangerous
Triglycerides, along with cholesterol, make up part of the plasma lipids in your blood. Triglycerides form when your body converts excess calories in your diet from carbohydrates or fats. If your triglycerides are elevated, you are at higher risk for heart disease and it may be a sign of untreated diabetes. You should keep your triglycerides below 150 mg/dL.
Amount of Carbs Controls Amount of Triglycerides
A 2009 study published in “The Journal of Nutrition” found that participants with elevated triglycerides who reduced their carbohydrate intake to between 20 and 25 percent of their calories reduced their triglyceride levels by almost 39 percent in just six weeks.
A study published in the May 2011 “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” found that participants who consumed less than 20 grams of carbohydrates daily and followed a 1,200 to 1,500 calorie diet, also reduced their triglyceride levels by approximately 42 percent after 2 weeks.
Both studies severely restricted carbohydrates.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health suggests a more modest approach: limiting your carbohydrate intake to around 50 percent of your calories daily. This translates to between two and four servings or between 30 and 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal. Check with your health care provider or registered dietitian to determine your individual needs.