When people have their blood checked for cholesterol levels, the lab checks triglyceride levels as well. A type of fat in the blood, triglycerides in high levels can increase a person's risk of heart disease the same way low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol does. Less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is considered a normal level.
Eat lower-calorie foods than usual. Excess calories are converted into triglycerides and stored as fat.
Instead of eating saturated fat such as butter and foods containing trans fat, also known as partially-hydrogenated oil, it's better to eat monounsaturated fats. These are found in olive, peanut and canola oils.
Eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce triglycerides. These include mackerel, salmon, halibut, herring and tuna. Clams, oysters and crabs also lower triglycerides. A daily fish oil capsule is a good idea for people who don't care for seafood.
Soy also lowers triglycerides, as noted by a study published in the August 2008 issue of "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition."
A daily clove of garlic significantly reduced triglyceride levels in two studies cited in nutrition expert Jean Carper's 1994 book "Food--Your Miracle Medicine."
Foods to Avoid
Avoiding certain foods can reduce triglycerides as well. These include foods high in cholesterol, such as red meat, egg yolks and whole milk products. Eating sugary foods and those made of white flour also increase triglycerides. Alcohol is another culprit.