Low triglyceride diet and exercise

Originally Published: May 22, 1998
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What are triglycerides and how do you get the count down from diet or exercise, or what foods to avoid?

Dear Reader,

Triglycerides are the chief form of fat in the diet and the major storage form of fat in the body. Triglycerides are composed of a molecule of glycerol with three fatty acids attached. Triglycerides, or fat in food, provide the body with calories to bu rn for energy (about 60% of our energy needs at rest), and body fat acts as a shock absorber and as an insulator.

In order to cut down on triglycerides in the diet, you need to eat less fat, especially saturated fat. Saturated fat includes butter and other animal fats, as well as palm and coconut oil. To reduce fat overall, try the following:

  1. Choose lean meat and low-fat dairy products, such as low-fat cheese, skim milk, and margarine instead of butter.
  2. Reduce saturated fat to less than 10% of your recommended daily energy intake, with your total fat intake being less than 30%.
  3. Reduce cholesterol to less than 300 mg a day.
  4. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  5. Reduce fried foods to only a few servings per week. (Some alternatives to frying foods are grilling, broiling, steaming, and baking.)
  6. Watch out for the invisible fats which are found in many products. (Foods such as salad dressings, baked desserts, creamy soups, and chocolate are high in hidden fat.)

Fat stored in the body also provides us with a fabulous energy source and sometimes more weight than we want! Therefore, by exercising you will burn triglycerides, lowering their count and reducing your weight. Aerobic exercise will be most beneficial to you because endurance activities of low to moderate intensity and of long duration rely on fat to provide most of the energy. The exercise that you choose to do must be for at least 20 minutes or longer. This is because after 20 minutes, your body star ts to burn more stored fat instead of glycogen for energy. Fat is also burned only when ample oxygen is present, so don’t work out so hard that you have difficulty breathing. Some suggestions of this type of exercise are slow jogging, walking, step a erobics, cycling, and hiking.

If you want to cut down on your triglycerides, try making some of these changes.

Good luck,