Foods that Lower Triglycerides

Almost one in five adults has high triglycerides. Help lower your unhealthy cholesterol numbers the natural way by eating the right foods and making the right choices. Our healthy swaps will get you started.

By Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., CDN


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Food Swaps to Lower Triglycerides
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Food Swaps to Lower Triglycerides

    Got high triglycerides (a bad form of cholesterol)? The culprit is likely consistently overeating or eating too much sugar, saturated fat, or refined carbohydrate, such as white bread.

    You can naturally lower your triglycerides by making the following simple food swaps. They'll help you get your triglycerides under control and help you maintain a healthy weight.

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Better Breakfast Bread Choice

    Instead of: Bagel with cream cheese

    Choose: Whole wheat English muffin with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter

    Why make the switch: The English muffin breakfast has fewer calories (helping you keep your weight in check). The peanut butter has good fats, which replace the bad fats you'd get from the cream cheese.

3/11
Better Breakfast Egg Choice

    Instead of: Cheese omelet

    Choose: Egg-white omelet with spinach, onions, peppers (or any vegetables you like), with or without one slice of whole wheat toast

    Why make the switch: Skipping the yolks and the cheese lowers the saturated fat and the sodium in this breakfast.

4/11
Better Breakfast Cereal

    Instead of: Sugar-frosted, honey-dipped, or chocolate cereal

    Choose: 100-percent whole grain cereals, such as shredded wheat, Total, Kashi, or oatmeal; fat-free milk; and 1 tablespoon of chopped almonds

    Why make the switch: Whole grain cereals help manage triglycerides and blood sugars.

    Tip: Eating fewer carbohydrates in general and focusing on healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grain breads and brown rice, can help lower triglycerides by as much as 28 percent.

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Better Drink Choice

    Instead of: Soda or fruit drinks

    Choose: Flavored seltzers, diet sodas, fat-free milk or low-fat soymilk, tea

    Why make the switch: Sweetened drinks contribute to weight gain, which can raise your triglyceride levels.

    FYI: Women, if your waist measures 35 inches or more (or men, 40 inches or more), you are at risk for developing high triglycerides.

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Better Sandwich Choice

    Instead of: Roast beef on rye with mayo

    Choose: Turkey breast on whole grain bread with lettuce, tomato, and mustard

    Why make the switch: Swapping sandwiches saves you 12 grams of fat and 214 calories, both significant factors in your triglyceride levels.

7/11
Better Afternoon Snack Choice

    Instead of: Cookies

    Choose: One handful of unsalted nuts (about 10-12 nuts) with a cup of tea, fat-free milk, or water

    Why make the switch: Nuts are high in healthy fats and heart-healthy compounds like vitamin E and resveratrol.

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Better Crunchy Snack Choice

    Instead of: Potato chips

    Choose: 10 Soy Crisps crackers or carrots with 2-3 tablespoons hummus

    Why make the switch: Soy Crisps have heart-healthy fiber and are low in fat. Carrots and hummus have fiber and contain healthful beta-carotene.

9/11
Better Pasta Dinner Choice

    Instead of: Spaghetti and meatballs

    Choose: Whole grain pasta primavera with broccoli, onions, carrots, and peas lightly sauteed with garlic and olive oil

    Why make the switch: Meatballs have saturated fat and sodium. Whole grains and vegetables add fiber and heart-healthy compounds.

10/11
Better Mexican Food Dinner Choice

    Instead of: Cheese and beef burrito with refried beans

    Choose: Vegetable burrito (whole wheat) with black beans (no lard or butter), 2 tablespoons of guacamole

    Why make the switch: Cheese and beef are high in saturated fat. Lower the fat content by adding vegetables and beans. Guacamole comes from avocados, a heart-healthy food.

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