Triglycerides are lipid (fat) molecules derived from glycerol and three fatty acids. It is the most common lipid in the body. What are their purpose?
When you eat food, the calories that are not needed right away are taken off to be stored. The transport vehicle that takes them to your adipose tissue are the triglycerides. What researched dietary strategies can you use to reduce your triglycerides?
Consuming a low simple carbohydrate diet – Consuming a diet low in simple carbohydrates was shown to decrease plasma triglyceride levels (among other markers) better than a higher carbohydrate diet1.
- High simple carbohydrate foods include:
- Added sugars and syrups
- Sugary cereals
- Baked goods, namely cakes and cookies
- Refined flours
Eat lower glycemic foods – According to a research article, participants who incorporated low-glycemic foods into their diet saw a reduction of 19% in their blood triglyceride numbers2. Eating high glycemic foods give your body a sudden spike of glucose. It can use some of the calories right away, but it will likely store the rest. Eating a lower glycemic food dulls the spike of glucose in your blood, and gives you a consistent blood sugar, decreasing the need to store extra glucose, thus decreasing the need for triglycerides.
There are many resources out there that give detailed lists of low glycemic foods. Some examples include:
- Fruits: cherry, grapefruit, pear, plums
- Vegetables: artichoke, asparagus, celery, onions, peppers
- Beans: black, chickpeas, lentil, kidney, pinto
If your triglycerides are still not budging after making dietary changes, it may be beneficial to ask your Naturopathic Doctor about alpha-lipoic acid supplementation. In a research study it was found that supplementation with ALA daily was effective in decreasing serum triglycerides in a group of 30 obese males and females with type-2 diabetes3.
- Riccardi G, Rivellese A, and Giacco R. Role of glycemic index and glycemic load in the healthy state, in prediabetes, and in diabetes. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2008; 87(suppl):269S-74S
- Tovar J., et al. A A diet based on multiple functional concepts improves cardiometabolic risk parameters in healthy subjects. Nutrition & Metabolism 2012 9:29.
- Okanović et al. Alpha-lipoic acid reduces body weight and regulates triglycerides in obese patients with diabetes mellitus. Mas Glas (Zenica) 2015; 12(2): 122-127.