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Research shows that certain foods and diets have an amazing ability to reduce triglycerides naturally. A study of more than 1.5 million healthy adults provided evidence that a Mediterranean diet or triglyceride diet can result in a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular mortality, a lower incidence of cancer and cancer mortality, and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
When dealing with high triglycerides, diet is extremely important. Is there actually a high triglycerides diet? The diet to lower triglycerides is really the Mediterranean diet. It’s modeled after the eating patterns in regions of Southern Europe that surround the Mediterranean Sea, and specifically the Greek island of Crete. In these regions, the rates of heart disease are relatively low. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, legumes, and healthy fats. Unfortunately, many Americans struggle in knowing how to implement foods to lower triglycerides.
So if your doctor has warned you about higher-than-desirable triglyceride levels, try the delicious diet decribed below to reduce triglycerides naturally.
How a “Triglyceride Diet” Can Reduce Triglycerides Naturally
Research from the University of Michigan Health System helps control triglycerides as it creates, for the first time, a triglyceride diet using American foods. The end result is that those women in the study using the approach were able to follow this Mediterranean-style diet and stick to it much better than those who did not.
What is the method? Use this triglycerides diet food list:
- One or more servings (or exchanges) a day of dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, peas, and spinach.
- At least one exchange per day of garlic, onions, and leeks.
- One tablespoon or more per day of green herbs, such as basil, cilantro, peppermint, and sage.
- One or more servings a day of red vegetables, such as tomatoes, tomato sauce, and salsa.
- One or more servings a day of yellow or orange vegetables, such as carrots, red bell peppers, and pumpkin.
- One or more servings a day of other vegetables, such as artichokes, cucumber, green beans, and sugar snap peas.
- One or more servings a day of vitamin C fruits, such as oranges, mangoes, and strawberries.
- One or more servings a day of other fruits, such as apples, bananas, and grapes.
- Between 8 and 10 servings (or exchanges) each day of high monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) foods, such as olive or hazelnut oil, avocados, and most nuts and seeds.
- Limits on fats that are low in MUFA, such as corn oil, margarine, tahini, pine nuts, and sesame seeds.
Benefits of a Triglyceride Diet
Follow this suggested triglycerides diet and get your exchanges from each of the categories shown above on a daily basis. The almost certain result will be a reduction in triglycerides. It will also make a huge difference in your overall cardiovascular health and vitality and energy in general.
Use the exchange approach described here to help you implement this delicious and healing high triglyceride diet. Click here to read about how eating cranberries can lower triglycerides—and cholesterol, too.
FYI AT A GLANCE: WHICH FOODS ARE MEDITERRANEAN-STYLE DIET STAPLES?
A Mediterranean-stye diet is known for its triglycerides-lowering effects. Along with the tips provided above, see also the book Change Your Diet, Change Your Life, which offers the following summary.
“The countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea each have their own traditional foods. Thus, there is no single Mediterranean diet. For this reason, we refer to the dietary patterns in this diverse region as a Mediterranean-style diet.
“The following selections characterize a Mediterranean-style diet:
- Whole and minimally processed foods are selected over highly processed foods.
- Olive oil is the main source of fat in recipes. Extra-virgin olive oil is the most beneficial form.
- Legumes, such as beans and lentils, are eaten a few times each week.
- Cheese and yogurt are more commonly consumed than fluid milk.
- Both cooked vegetables and salads are eaten daily.
- Fruit, including all-natural fruit juices, are consumed daily.
- Tree nuts and peanuts are commonly consumed.
- Fish and shellfish are eaten a few times each week.
- Wine is consumed, in moderation, with meals.
- Red meats, including beef, pork, and lamb, are eaten just a few times per month.
- Consumption of sweets and sugary drinks is minimal.
The book also notes that Mediterranean-style diets are associated with improved cardiovascular health as well as reduced risk of stroke. “When researchers reviewed 50 studies conducted in the United States, Australia, and Greece, they found a link between a Mediterranean-style diet and protection against metabolic syndrome, a cluster of health problems including high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, abnormal blood cholesterol and triglycerides, and excess abdominal fat.
In addition, a Mediterranean-style diet has been linked with a lower incidence of specific heart conditions, including sudden cardiac death (triggered by a dangerously fast heartbeat).
Newer research links the Mediterranean-style diet with protection against age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in older Americans. Furthermore, preliminary research suggests the Mediterranean diet may help reduce the risk of breast cancer.”
Change Your Diet, Change Your Life is published by the editors of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter in conjunction with The Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Tufts University.
Originally published in 2012, this article is regularly updated.