A partially blocked artery and high triglycerides


Lower Triglycerides With Simple Dietary Changes

When considering how to lower triglycerides, a low carbohydrate diet emerges as a compelling strategy backed by scientific research. This blog post delves into the mechanisms of high triglycerides, their health implications, and how dietary choices, particularly a low carbohydrate regimen, can significantly impact these levels.


Understanding Triglycerides and Their Impact on Health

Triglycerides are a type of lipid or fat that circulates in your blood and is stored in fat cells. They play a crucial role in metabolism as an energy source, but when their levels become too high, they can pose significant health risks.


What Are Triglycerides?

Triglycerides are created in your body from the fats you eat or are produced by the liver. They serve as a vital energy source between meals. However, if you consume more calories than you need, particularly from high-carbohydrate foods, your body converts these excess calories into triglycerides, storing them in fat cells. High levels of triglycerides are linked to an increased risk of several diseases, including heart disease and pancreatitis.


An image depicting high triglycerides in the artery
High triglycerides contribute to hardening of the arteries o artery wall thickening, which increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease.


Causes of High Triglycerides

Several factors can contribute to high triglyceride levels:

  1. Dietary Choices: Diets high in carbohydrates, especially sugars and refined carbs, can raise triglyceride levels.
  2. Obesity: Carrying excess weight, particularly around the waist, is associated with high triglycerides.
  3. Physical Inactivity: A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to high triglycerides and related health problems.
  4. Smoking and Alcohol: Tobacco and excessive alcohol use can significantly increase triglyceride levels.
  5. Genetic Factors: Some people are genetically predisposed to high triglycerides, regardless of lifestyle.
  6. Medical Conditions: Diseases like type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, and hypothyroidism can elevate triglyceride levels.


Effects of High Triglycerides

High triglycerides can have several adverse effects on health:

  1. Cardiovascular Disease: They are a risk factor for developing heart disease as they contribute to the hardening of the arteries or thickening of the arterial walls.
  2. Pancreatitis: Extremely high triglyceride levels can lead to inflammation of the pancreas, which can be severe and life-threatening.
  3. Liver Damage: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can be exacerbated by high triglycerides, leading to liver inflammation and damage.
  4. Increased Risk of Stroke: High triglycerides may increase the risk of clot formation, which can lead to strokes.


High levels of triglycerides are linked to an increased risk of several diseases, including heart disease and pancreatitis.


The Importance of Proactive Management

Proactively managing triglyceride levels is crucial not only for maintaining good health but also for preventing severe health complications. This proactive approach involves understanding the risk factors and implementing lifestyle changes that can significantly influence triglyceride levels.


An image of a cardiovascular system depicting heart disease.
Proactively managing triglyceride levels is crucial for preventing severe health complications like heart disease.


Steps to Proactively Manage Triglycerides

Managing triglyceride levels effectively involves several actionable steps that one can take to ensure they remain within a healthy range:

  1. Dietary Adjustments: As diet plays a crucial role in triglyceride levels, reducing the intake of sugars and refined carbohydrates and increasing the consumption of fiber-rich foods and healthy fats can have a profound effect.
  2. Regular Exercise: Physical activity helps boost high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol, which helps remove triglycerides from the blood. Engaging in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week is recommended.
  3. Weight Management: Losing 5-10% of body weight can lead to a significant reduction in triglycerides. Weight loss strategies include calorie reduction, increased physical activity, and behavioral changes.
  4. Limiting Alcohol Intake: Alcohol has a potent effect on triglyceride levels, even in small amounts for some people. Reducing or eliminating alcohol can help lower triglycerides.
  5. Regular Health Screenings: Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider can help monitor triglyceride levels and other important health indicators. Early detection of elevated triglycerides can lead to quicker management and prevention of associated health issues.
  6. Educational Empowerment: Understanding the factors that affect triglyceride levels and the potential health outcomes associated with high triglycerides can motivate individuals to adhere to lifestyle changes and treatments prescribed by healthcare professionals.


The Role of Low Carbohydrate Diets in Lowering Triglycerides


Understanding the Dietary Approach

Switching to a low carbohydrate diet involves reducing the intake of sugars and starches, replacing them with protein and healthy fats. This dietary shift can help control insulin levels, promote fat burning, and reduce fat storage, all of which are beneficial in managing triglyceride levels.


Evidence from Recent Studies


Study Insights from JMIR Cardio

The study titled “User Engagement, Acceptability, and Clinical Markers in a Digital Health Program for Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease” revealed that participants on a low-carbohydrate diet not only lost weight but also showed significant reductions in waist circumference and triglyceride levels. This evidence underscores the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets in improving metabolic health markers.


Findings from Frontiers in Microbiology

Another study, “Different fat-to-fiber ratios by changing wheat inclusion level impact energy metabolism and microbial structure of broilers,” showed that animals fed a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet had markedly lower serum triglyceride levels. This suggests that a similar dietary strategy could be effective for humans, particularly in adjusting gut microbial structures in ways that favor metabolic health.


Research from DiVA Portal

The study “Effects of a low-carbohydrate high polyunsaturated fat diet or a healthy Nordic diet versus usual care on liver fat content and cardiometabolic risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes” compared the effects of a low-carbohydrate diet with a Nordic diet. Findings demonstrated that both diets were effective in reducing liver fat content and lowering triglycerides, highlighting the versatility and effectiveness of low-carbohydrate approaches in managing cardiometabolic risks.


Participants on a low-carbohydrate diet not only lost weight but also showed significant reductions in waist circumference and triglyceride levels.


Practical Tips for Starting a Low Carbohydrate Diet

Adopting a low carbohydrate diet to manage and lower triglycerides involves more than just cutting back on certain foods. It requires a comprehensive understanding of nutritional content and a strategic approach to meal planning. Here are some detailed tips and strategies to help you successfully implement and sustain a low carbohydrate lifestyle.


Understanding Food Choices

  1. Read Nutrition Labels: Start by reading labels to understand the carbohydrate content of foods. Aim to choose items with low net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) to help maintain your daily carb limit.
  2. Focus on Whole Foods: Base your diet around whole, unprocessed foods such as meats, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, and above-ground vegetables like leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables.
  3. Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks: Eliminate sugary sodas, juices, sports drinks, and sweets. Opt for water, sparkling water, or unsweetened tea and coffee instead.


Meal Planning and Preparation

  1. Plan Your Meals in Advance: Planning your meals can help you avoid the temptation of high-carb options. Prepare a weekly meal plan that includes a variety of proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats.
  2. Cook at Home: Cooking at home gives you full control over the ingredients and helps you stick to your low carb goals. Experiment with low-carb recipes that use herbs and spices for flavor instead of sugary sauces or marinades.
  3. Prepare Snacks: Have low-carb snacks on hand, such as nuts, cheese, olives, or cut vegetables with hummus, to curb hunger and prevent impulsive eating of high-carb foods.


A food prep tray containing a ketogenic meal of eggs, bacon and avocado
Backed by recent research, low carb diet  helps in controlling triglycerides and contributes broadly to metabolic and cardiovascular health.


Adjusting Macronutrient Ratios

  1. Increase Healthy Fats: Incorporate healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, and fatty fish into your diet. These fats will help you feel full and satisfied, reducing the overall carbohydrate intake.
  2. Choose High-Quality Proteins: Focus on high-quality protein sources like grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, wild-caught fish, and eggs. These foods are not only low in carbohydrates but also provide essential nutrients.
  3. Moderate Protein Intake: While it’s important to include protein in your diet, excessive protein can sometimes be converted into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis, which might affect your triglyceride levels. Aim for a moderate intake based on your body weight and activity level.


Monitoring and Adjusting Your Diet

  1. Track Your Intake: Use a food diary app or a journal to monitor your carbohydrate intake to ensure you are staying within your target range.
  2. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body reacts to different foods and adjust your diet accordingly. Some people may need to lower their carbohydrate intake further to see significant changes in their triglyceride levels.
  3. Regular Health Check-ups: Keep in regular contact with a healthcare provider to monitor your health markers and adjust your diet plan based on professional advice.


A frying pan containing a keto meal of garlic chicken and zucchini.
Cooking at home gives you full control over the ingredients and helps you stick to your low carb goals.


Staying Motivated and Informed

  1. Join Support Groups: Connect with others who are also following a low carbohydrate diet. Support groups, whether online or in person, can provide encouragement, tips, and recipes that can help on your journey.
  2. Educate Yourself: Continuously educate yourself about nutritional science and updates in low carbohydrate diets to keep your meal plans effective and interesting.


Final Thoughts

Understanding how to lower triglycerides through dietary changes, especially by adopting a low carbohydrate diet, offers a viable and effective strategy for managing and improving your health. Backed by recent research, this approach not only helps in controlling triglycerides but also contributes broadly to metabolic and cardiovascular health.

This comprehensive review has highlighted the critical role of diet in managing triglycerides, providing you with the knowledge and tools necessary to embark on a healthier lifestyle journey. For those seeking to enhance their health consciousness, integrating these dietary practices promises substantial benefits.



  • Different fat-to-fiber ratios by changing wheat inclusion level impact energy metabolism and microbial structure of broilers. Frontiers
  • User Engagement, Acceptability, and Clinical Markers in a Digital Health Program for Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. JMIR Cardio
  • Effects of a low-carbohydrate high polyunsaturated fat diet… Digitala Vetenskapliga Arkivet
  • Effect of a ketogenic diet versus Mediterranean diet on glycated hemoglobin in individuals with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus… PubMed
  • Adipose Tissue: Physiology to Metabolic Dysfunction. NIH

By powerflax.net

Laurie Tsemak is the founder and co-owner of PowerFlax Holdings Inc. and Red Square Bakery. Laurie and her husband, Mark have spent 34 years in the wholesale and retail baking field, focusing on innovative product development to serve health-conscious customers and forward-thinking commercial bakeries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *