Like cholesterol, triglycerides are fat-like substances found in the blood.
And as with cholesterol, an elevated triglyceride level in the bloodstream is believed to put you at risk for heart disease.
High triglycerides are often accompanied by low levels of HDL cholesterol, the type that is good for the heart. For that reason alone, it is a good idea to have your triglycerides checked.
Before you have your triglycerides tested, you do need to fast before the test. Eight hours is usually recommended.
Because triglycerides are a kind of fat, the amount present in the blood is affected by how much fat you have eaten recently.
After a meal containing fat is eaten, the blood triglyceride
level goes up and stays up for several hours.
The blood triglyceride level rises in proportion to the amount of fat eaten.
So if you eat a hearty, high-fat breakfast right before your test, it may give a false impression of your true triglyceride level.
The triglyceride level in people who have just eaten is more than 20 percent higher than among those who have fasted 8 hours before the test.
Those on triglycerides-lowering diets are also advised to cut back on saturated fat and cholesterol in hopes of keeping
the blood cholesterol level under control.
It isn’t known, by the way, if fish works equally well for everyone with high triglycerides. As you know, fish fills the bill beautifully on this count, too. The omega-three fatty acid in fish has a strong triglyceride-lowering effect in test animals. You have a strong case for making fish part of a triglyceride-lowering diet.
Like the blood cholesterol level, triglycerides are sensitive to not just one nutrient, but many. Some people who have high triglycerides are sensitive to alcohol, others to sugars, and still, others benefit most from losing extra pounds.
In short, there is no one diet for high triglycerides; rather, the ideal approach is a personalized one based on what works best for you.*