To understand what foods to avoid for high triglycerides, first it is important to understand what triglycerides are and why high triglycerides levels are dangerous to your health.
Facts About High Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a form of fat found in the body, blood and in food. Our bodies use them for energy, so they are necessary for good health, but when triglycerides are high it increases the risk of heart disease and may indicate that you suffer from metabolic syndrome which raises the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
When the calories we eat are not used, the body converts them to triglycerides and stores them in fat cells where hormones regulate and release them. This supplies energy needed between meals. When we eat more calories than we need regularly this can lead to elevated triglycerides.
The National Cholesterol Education Program has set guidelines for triglyceride levels. These levels are based on fasting plasma triglyceride levels:
- Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL
- Borderline high: 150 to 199 mg/dL
- High: 200 to 499 mg/dL
- Very high: 500 mg/dL or higher
Foods to Avoid for High Triglycerides
Since triglycerides are found in the body, blood and in foods, for people diagnosed with high triglycerides foods that contain triglycerides or are converted to triglycerides easily should be avoided. This includes foods that contain saturated fat and trans fat. It's easy to see why these foods would be a problem, but there's more to it. Sugar and grains can also raise triglycerides. The Cleveland Clinic suggests daily sugar intake be limited to eight percent or less of total daily calories for people with elevated triglyceride levels.