Diet changes can slash blood fat levels
A study has indicated that dietary and lifestyle changes can significantly reduce elevated levels of triglycerides (a type of blood fat) which is associated with heart, blood vessel and other diseases.
Changes such as substituting healthy, unsaturated dietary fats for saturated ones, engaging in physical activity and losing excess weight can decrease triglycerides by 20 per cent to 50 per cent, according to the American Heart Association scientific statement.
"The good news is that high triglycerides can, in large part, be reduced through major lifestyle changes," said Michael Miller, chair of the statement committee and professor of medicine in epidemiology and public health and director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.
"In contrast to cholesterol, where lifestyle measures are important but may not be the solution, high triglycerides are often quite responsive to lifestyle measures that include weight loss if overweight, changes in diet and regular physical activity," added Miller.
Miller and co-authors analyzed more than 500 international studies from the past 30 years to formulate the scientific statement.
Recommended dietary changes for those outside the normal range of triglycerides include limiting:
- Added sugar to less than 5 per cent to 10 per cent of calories consumed - about 100 calories per day for women and 150 calories per day for men.
-Fructose from both processed foods and naturally occurring foods -less than 50 to 100 grams per day.
-Saturated fat to less than 7 per cent of total calories.
-Trans fat to- less than 1 percent of total calories; and
- Alcohol, especially if triglyceride levels are higher greater than 500 mg/dL.
The statement has been published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association .