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Triglycerides

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​​​​Triglycerides are a type of fat made by your body. They are called “storage fat”. When we eat more calories than our body needs, the body converts these extra calories into triglycerides. High triglyceride levels can raise the risk of heart disease and increase your risk of heart attack.

A safe target for triglycerides is: less than 1.7 mmol/L ("mmol/L" is the unit of measurement used to measure cholesterol and triglyceride levels in Canadian laboratories).

Improve Triglyceride Levels

Ways to reduce triglyceride levels:

  1. Reduce your intake of sugars, sweets, and refined, processed carbohydrates
  2. Reduce alcohol intake
  3. Eat foods containing omega-3 fats, like fish, more often. Aim to eat fatty fish 2-3 times a week
  4. Decrease the amount of total fat and trans fat that you eat

1. Reduce your intake of sugars, sweets, and refined, processed carbohydrates

A diet high in simple sugars and refined carbohydrates raises triglycerides.

Reduce:

  • candy
  • desserts
  • pastries
  • jams/jellies​/syrup
  • honey
  • white rice​​
  • soda pop
  • sweet drinks
  • juice
  • chocolate
  • crackers
  • foods made with white flour such as white bread
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2. Reduce alcohol intake

Drinking too much alcohol will increase triglyceride levels, especially if mixed with juices or regular soda pop.

Reduce:

  • beer
  • liqueurs
  • wine
  • champagne
  • gin
  • whisky​
  • rum
  • brandy
  • mixed drinks
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3. Eat foods containing omega-3 fats, like fish, more often

Aim to eat fatty fish 2-3 times a week. Fish high in Omega-3 can:

  • lower triglyceride levels
  • reduce blood clotting
  • prevent heart attacks
  • reduce the risk of irregular heartbeat

Fish:

  • salmon
  • trout
  • haddock
  • mackerel
  • tuna
  • flounder
  • halibut
  • bass
  • red snapper

Others sources of Omega-3 fats:

  • walnuts
  • spinach
  • flax seed oil
  • canola ​oil
  • ground flax seed
  • soy and soy-based products
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4. Decrease the amount of total fat and trans fat that you eat

A diet high in saturated and trans fat will thicken the blood and increase the chance of clotting.

Avoid:

  • fast foods
  • high fat cheese
  • fried foods
  • ​bacon
  • vegetable shortening
  • margarine
  • butter
  • croissants
  • chocolate
  • sausages
  • deli meats
  • mayonnai​se
  • ​convenience foods such as hot dogs, hamburger helpers, or macaroni and cheese
  • pastries, cookies, ice cream, desserts
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