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Heart Health

How To Cut Your Triglycerides in Half…Without Pills – Part 2*

written by Vin Kutty

comments 283 comments

fish oil triglyceride

Triglycerides and processed foods
Image: Adam Fields

Read Part 1 here.

Sure, drugs like Lovaza, Niacin and Statins will reduce triglycerides.

Most people see about a 30% reduction if you follow recommended dosage for Lovaza. Your mileage may vary. If your triglycerides were at 300, Lovaza can get you to 200. But that’s still high.

How I cut my Triglycerides by more than half!

This is a personal journey. Your results will certainly vary.

Very high triglycerides run in my family. There are 12-year-olds with 1200 Triglycerides. I wasn’t quite that unlucky.

triglyceride levels
My triglyceride once came in at a scary 666 and stayed between 600 and 700 for 20 years.

Once I turned 40, this started to worry me a little. That was 4 years ago. A couple of years of research and experiments on myself resulted in a 400 point drop in triglycerides.

There is no reason why you can’t expect similar results too!

The triglyceride drop didn’t happen overnight.

Step 1: Quitting soda and orange juice (daily staples).

Result: TG dropped to about 400 and stayed there. This change in diet made a huge impact.

Step 2: I started taking 4,000 mg Omega-3 and exercising vigorously daily.

Result: TG dropped to 250. I was a little disappointed. I was hoping Omega-3 alone would be a magic bullet that fixed the problem for good. Nope. Not for me. Sure, fish oil and daily exercise dropped my triglycerides by over 30%, but that still wasn’t enough.

250 was a lot less scary than 666, but 250 is still high.

Individual results may vary.

Step 3: I stopped eating wheat, flour and all grains.

Result: TG dropped to 150. And it will stay there as long as I don’t indulge in pastries, beer, wine or fruits.

These three steps did not happen quickly. The whole period took a few years. It took me a few weeks to actually give up Sprite and orange juice. Taking fish oil supplements was the easy part. Still, neither of those changes really affected what I ate.

Giving up wheat and grains was a big change. No more pizza, pasta, bread, breakfast cereals, bagels, cookies and croissants.

You may not need to take such drastic dietary measures. But if you belong to the 25% of population who are sugar-sensitive, folks with an elevated insulin response to sugars and carbohydrates, well, then, you may need to consider a drastic diet change.

Talk to your doctor and find out if you have an elevated insulin response to carbs. If you do, well, Lovaza or fish oil alone may not cut it.

This method for reducing triglycerides is not new. It has worked for others, like Dr. David Diamond, a neuroscientist from the University of South Florida. Please watch his YouTube lecture – it is worth your time. I promise.

The Triglyceride Diet:

What to eat and avoid:

What to avoid:

  • sodas
  • juices
  • grains
  • breads
  • pasta
  • cereals
  • flour (baked goods)
  • bagels
  • cookies
  • desserts
  • candy
  • potatoes
  • tortillas

It doesn’t matter if the above are natural, organic, whole-grain, steel-cut, multi-grain, sun-dried, super-earthy, extra-crunchy or warm and cuddly. They will all raise your triglycerides and your risk for poor heart health.

Aren’t whole grains supposed to be good for you?

whole grains and triglycerides
‘Healthy whole grains’ are fine ONLY if you are part of the population that has a ‘blunt’ response to starches. In other words, there is no spike in insulin after a donut and bagel breakfast. Only 2 or 3 out of 10 people fall in this lucky group.

Makes you wonder why everyone is pushing whole grains like it’s the next best thing since sliced bread mom and apple pie.

Whole grains are not for everyone. If you’re reading this, chances are it’s not for you.

There are several studies that show people who switched from white, refined flour to whole grains significantly improved their risk for heart health and diabetes. True. If you have a high triglyceride problem, this is like switching from unfiltered cigarettes to filtered cigarettes. Scary analogy, but you get my point…

What’s OK to eat:

  • vegetables (steamed or sautéed in olive oil)
  • meats (preferably grass-fed and pastured)
  • seafood
  • eggs
  • fruits (moderate amounts, with a focus on dark berries)
  • nuts
  • generous amounts of olive oil

Go ahead and add dark chocolate and cheese if you want some snack variety. And may be coconut oil if you want something new.

Why it’s Important to Limit Starch (Carbs)

By now, you get the connection between carbs and triglycerides.

OK, so what?


  1. High triglycerides allow your liver to make more VLDL (very low density lipoprotein.) Not good.
  2. VLDL makes your LDL (bad) cholesterol smaller. Smaller the LDL size, nastier they are. Not good at all.
  3. Small LDL is the beast that causes plaque formation in your artery wall. Yikes.

Meats and fats are not evil. Hard to believe? Read the science for yourself here.

Replacement of saturated fat by carbohydrates, particularly refined carbohydrates and added sugars, increases levels of triglyceride and small LDL particles and reduces high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, effects that are of particular concern in the context of the increased prevalence of obesity and insulin resistance.
Current Atherosclerosis Reports

It’s sugar and starch that spike your triglycerides and THAT’S what you need to watch out for!

Different Ways to View the Triglyceride Diet:

1. Eat only whole foods found naturally in nature.
A tomato is a whole food. Ketchup isn’t.
An orange is a whole food. Orange juice isn’t.
Peanuts are whole food. Peanut butter isn’t.
Beef is a whole food. Jerky isn’t.

You get the idea.

2. Eat only foods sold around the outer walls of your grocery store.
Avoid all the aisles along the middle of your grocery where processed foods are. No, it’s not a coincidence that the stuff that’s good for you are farthest away from the front door. These are low-profit items. The juicy profits are in packaged and processed foods in the middle of the grocery store. But that’s a rant for another day.
grocery store floor plan

Image: Dr. Ken Berry

3. Do not eat anything that comes out of a box, can or a bag.
Just about every processed food is packaged this way. Nothing healthy ever came in a printed box!

4. Only eat foods that will go bad in a few days or weeks.

Talk to Your Doctor!

Find out how your insulin levels react to starches. Find out if you should take statins, Lovaza or Niacin.

Here’s a chart from the Harvard Heart Letter that outlines medical options for triglycerides.

Triglyceride lowering medication

Sure, these drugs work. But remember, you may not be addressing the root cause of the problem. Drugs usually just hide the symptoms. Someone once told me that if Tylenol gets rid of headaches, a headache does not mean you have Tylenol-deficiency.

Address the root cause and the problem will go away for good.

The answer is in the Produce section, not the Pharmacy.

* Clinical research suggests the omega-3 dosage needed to help maintain healthy triglycerides is 2000-3000 mg per day when used as part of healthy diet and exercise regimen. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.



Join the conversation

  1. Good blog post. I have cut down the amount of meat lately due to the link with stomach cancer. However, it seems to be mostly due to grilling the meat and HCAs (the black soot on your meat). Might have to look into the science more. Thanks.

    • @NM – while there is a connection between processed meats and esophageal and gastric cancer, we still don’t conclusively know if the increased risk is due to the processing or charring of the meat or the meat itself. Some of what I’ve read suggests it is the charring. Besides losing a few nutrients, there is a lot we don’t know about the effects of overcooking meats. The more our diets stray from our hunter-gatherer origins, the riskier our foods become.
      – Vin Kutty

  2. I have spent hours reading your articles and surely they are very informative and the best I have come across. I need unbiased recommendation on which fish oil brand is best for the money apart from omegavia and not made in China. I know its hard to tell as you say because there is no labeling where the oil is coming from. I have heard of Norwegian oils and alaskan oils are the best. Please suggest some brands best for the bucks. Thanks and thanks for earlier responses.

    • Hi Andy – there are a few brands that I really like. Listed here: However, the ‘Made in China’ thing is hard to tell…you will have to call up each manufacturer. And you should always consider Nordic Naturals when you’re shopping for Omega-3 supplements. The quality is good and it’s certainly not made in China. But the reason why I did not include them in my list of favorites is that their concentration is usually around 60%. I prefer much stronger oils.

      Thanks for the kind words.
      _ Vin

  3. Hello,
    In my research to lower mine and my husbands LDl and trig I found info about the COQ10 enzyme being a important component. What is your opinion about taking that along with high omega 3 fish oil supplements?

    • Hi Annie – yes, there is some research that show CoQ10 can lower LDL cholesterol a little bit. Not much, but a little. I would not take it for the sole purpose of lowering LDL. It’s a good antioxidant and provides a little extra energy for your heart muscles. If you are taking a statin, it is a must. Otherwise, you’ll be able to control LDL better by reducing sugar and carbohydrate content of your diet.
      – Vin Kutty

  4. What to eat to lower triglycerides when I mostly eat at panera bread or restaurants. Is the Atkins diet recommended. Thank you

    • Hi Rina – yes, the Atkins diet is very effective for lowering triglycerides. It will drop your triglycerides quickly and you will also lose a lot of weight even though your calorie intake may be roughly the same as before. But Atkins is not for everyone and I have no idea if it is right for you. I suggest you try it for a month or two but then after that, you’ll want to add more safe starches like vegetables and some fruits. Before you try Atkins, read this book: Don’t go into Atkins without having all the facts. Read the book.

      And if you eat mostly at Panera and restaurants, in another 5-10 years, triglycerides will not be your only concern. By eating out a lot, you’re probably consuming a lot of refined carbs and pro-inflammatory Omega-6 oils. That’s a dietary time-bomb. But at least you’re asking the right questions. Glad you are.

      – Vin Kutty

      PS: the only thing I allow myself to eat at Panera is their chicken salad without the dressing. It was awful. I’d rather skip a meal.

    • Hi Sylvia – Omega-6 by itself are not bad. In fact, they are necessary. We can die if we don’t get enough. The problem is that we get too much of it. Our bodies function ideally when we get roughly equal parts Omega-3 and Omega-6. But our modern American diet provides 10 to 20 times more Omega-6 than Omega-3. This has never happened before in the history of humanity. The problem starts with what happens to the main Omega-6, Linoleic Acid after it is consumed. It can eventually be broken down into Arachidonic Acid, which is the key chemical that gives rise to several other inflammatory molecules. Most over-the-counter pain medications like Aleve, aspirin etc work by blocking Arachidonic Acid’s ability to produce these inflammatory substances. This imbalance does not just control pain – it controls several other key health factors. All of which is made worse by the addition of sugar to the diet. Now if you think if a donut – sugar and flour fried in Omega-6 rich vegetable oil – may be almost as dangerous as cigarettes if eaten in large quantities on a daily basis.

      Are you sorry you asked?
      – Vin Kutty

  5. Hello!

    Your info is great! I just got info that my TG is too high, near 300. So, I need the info you list. However, unless I missed it, I don’t see dairy products (except for the cheese you mention once). I am a big milk drinker, and love my cheeses and cottage cheese with fruit. So, are diary products good, bad or the ugly?


    • Hi Mike – milk has a lot of lactose. Lactose is a sugar and can drive up triglycerides. So milk is a no-no.

      Non-milk dairy is a gray area – a lot of people have dairy allergies without knowing it. But some people do fine with cheese, yogurt and cream. Dairy fat is a great source of pre-formed Vitamin A and there is emerging evidence that more dairy fat is associated with less obesity and metabolic risk – see this Sounds counter-intuitive but the mechanics makes sense.

      One-quarter of my morning cup of espresso is pasture-raised heavy whipping cream. I don’t hold back on dairy fat. I also regularly cook with ghee and butter – both from cows fed exclusively on grass. None of my dairy comes from traditional grain-fed cows.

      – Vin Kutty

  6. my tg level for the last 10 years has been over 600. it was 2840 last year. i have been taking Rosuvas F10 (India)- rosuvastatin 10 mg and febofibrates 160mg combined dose once at night. i want to avoid medicines. please advise what to do. i am worried.

    • Hi Bimal – your condition is probably a combination of genetic predisposition and a high-starch diet.

      You need to completely eliminate all sugar from your diet. The next step is to remove all wheat and rice from your diet. Your diet should consist exclusively of vegetables, meats, poultry, eggs, seafood, nuts, beans, lentils, and a very small amount of fruits. How low your triglycerides drop will depend on how strictly you adhere to this diet.

      – Vin Kutty

  7. Hello I’m Gonzalo from tx and I am 30 years of age…well I just had my blood wrk done and the results showed I had my tg at 413 and my doctor said I should b from way lower….is there u way I can do this without med…

    • Hi Gonzalo – yes, stop drinking soda, juice, and milk. Stop eating sugars, candy and all foods that contain grains, especially wheat. No pizza, bread, donuts, bagels, cookies, tortilas etc. You dont need meds.

      – Vin Kutty

        • Hi Rafi – if you have high triglycerides or high blood sugar or high blood pressure, you need to start thinking of wheat, rice and other grains as harmful. So instead of wheat, you need to start eating vegetables, tubers, and some fruits for your carbohydrate needs. Please read the 200+ comments (questions and answers) above.

          If you find it inconceivable or shocking to avoid wheat, I’d say it’s time for you to break out of that mental prison. Millions of people have replaced grains with vegetables and improved their health.

    • Hi Gonzalo – replacing your dinner with a protein shake is only OK for a day or two. It is a bad idea if you do it regularly. Eat a variety of vegetables and meats, cooked in olive oil.

      – Vin Kutty

  8. Well thanks for the advice….well I have been watching my weight and also started exercise….Im also eating like I should…and I do have me one free day out of the week is that okay…what would you think…

    • Hi Peggy – virtually everyone gets benefits from Omega-3, including diabetics. If your question is ‘will fish oil pills cure diabetes?’ then the answer is NO. Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar and starch. The solution is to stop eating sugar and starch and start eating more healthy fats and proteins.

      – Vin Kutty

  9. My Tri’s were 80 in 2006
    Now there 260
    My Cholestrol has gonme down from 190 to 170
    I’m not doing anything different ….
    I’m taking Atentol beta Blocker since 2006 ?? could this be the problem … No one seems to give me the right Answer

    6 ft 190 Was 6 feet 180 back then nd a bit more belly weight…. 48 yrars old
    Just your opinion Please

      • Hi Chris – no, Omega-3,6,9 does not impact cholesterol levels. Even just plain Omega-3 will not budge your cholesterol numbers that much. That is not what Omegas do.

    • Hi I’m Annie and I’m so upset because I eat healthy no cookies or junk . I don’t know how to get my triglycerides down they were a little over 300 last year in October and now today they are 298 I don’t eat fried foods I don’t know what I’m doing I don’t eat processed foods I don’t know how low my checklist rides I don’t eat fast food restaurants I don’t eat fried foods I was eating frosted mini wheat‘s for breakfast and I cut that down I have organic Cheerios with sliced bananas and all bran cereal mixed together with some milk please tell me what I’m doing wrong. My family don’t have it my doctor says It’s probably in my family not unless it’s on my grandparents side of us I’ve never seen them so I don’t know I just wish somebody could give me something I was I eat is chicken breast Tipton eggs and Panko and baked and then I have some Thai sweet potato with a frozen corn or peas no more canned I don’t need anything processed in the box I don’t know what I’m doing wrong I have for sure I’m supposed to take twice a day but I have only been taking it once once I stopExercising because of this pandemic so I don’t go to the gym anymore but I’ve always been battling with a high triglycerides I remember years ago they were 500 and now they stay around the 300 to 298 I don’t know how to get them down lower does anybody have any advice or help

      • Hi Annie – it’s great that you do not eat cookies, junk, and other processed foods. It does not have to be junk or soda…any processed carbs or processed starches will increase your triglycerides. Fried foods do not increase triglycerides, unless it is fried starch like donuts or fries. It’s carbs and starch that is causing your high triglycerides. Period. Of course, exercise will help a lot, but the root cause is excess carbs.

        Organic Cheerios is very good at increasing triglycerides – it is processed carbs that the body turns into sugar and that is stored as triglycerides.
        Bananas are high in sugar (even though it is a fruit). Same as above.
        Bran cereal will also increase your triglycerides. Same as above.
        Milk will increase your triglycerides – lactose in milk is a sugar. Same as above.
        Frozen corn will increase your triglycerides for the same reasons as above.

        You thought you were doing all the right things, but you simply switched out one source of carbs for another.

        Change your breakfast to eggs, berries, and a handful of nuts. Berries have very little carbs.

        Change your lunch and dinner to mostly green veggies with a little meat or seafood. A little chicken is OK.

        Simple rule: eat stuff that was alive last week. Mostly veggies with a little meat, seafood, chicken, nuts, and berries. Be generous with olive oil. If you don’t eat fish, take fish oil supplements. If you make all of the dietary changes above, your triglyceride level will come down to about 100. Add exercise and it will get below 100, where it should be.

  10. Hello, last one year my TG level is above 400, last time when i checked my vitamin D level is only 7 as per my doctor this could be the reason for high TG level and started the ingection for vitaminD. can you please advice.

    • Hi Subodh – Vitamin D level of 7 is extremely low. I suggest getting a lot of mid-day sunshine and/or supplementing with Vitamin D3 pills. Normalizing D3 levels will help a little bit, but I suspect that you’ll still have high triglyceride levels. Follow dietary advice given in these two blogs, starting with complete elimination of sugar and all things sweet.

    • Hi Sam – no, not all brands shown here are enteric coated. Minami and OmegaBrite are not enteric coated. The Vitacost product is OK – it is just OK – no third-party testing, no idea of the source of oil, no idea if it contains chinese ingredients. It is mid-grade in strength, so it’s better than many entry-level fish oils you see at Walmart and other drug stores. If your budget is tight, the Vitacost product will suffice.

  11. Dear Vin,

    I am 37 years old male.
    In the last 2 months, by changing lifestyle (reduced meal portion, exercise, eating healthy), I managed to:
    – Cut my triglycerides level by 33% (from 480 to 315).
    – Lost 15 lbs.
    – Waist size dropped by 4 (from 36 to 32).

    However, my HDL also dropped from 38 to 32.

    My questions are:
    1. Why my HDL also dropped even though I exercise regularly (140 bpm for 30 minutes)?
    2. Will my triglyceride drop further? Is 2 months too early to see the final result of my lifestyle change? What’s the best product/way to lower my triglyceride further (315 is still high)?

    Thank you so much.

    • Hi Cyn – I don’t eat either because I don’t eat legumes and I like my meat grass-fed and full fat. But if you weren’t odd like me, you could eat both foods – neither spike blood sugar, so they’re not going to goose triglyceride levels.

  12. Hi Vin. I am 27 years of age and just got bloodwork done for a health screening. My triglyceride levels came back at 1350. I am 6’2 200lbs so I’m by no means obese. Just slightly overweight. I eat a lot of pizza, pasta, and don’t care for veggies. It sounds like I need to cut out carbs completely if I want to see those levels decrease. Is it okay to indulge in a few slices of pizza once a week? Also, any suggestions for types of food I should be eating? I love meat, are there any that are better than others? Thanks!

    • Hi Andy – you need to talk to your primary care doctor about getting you a referral to a lipidologist – they are doctors who specialize in blood lipid disorders. Do this quickly. You may need to get some genetic testing done as well, which your lipid doctor will probably do. It is highly unlikely that your triglyceride levels are just due to high sugar/carb consumption. It feels like there is a strong genetic component to this. You are probably also highly intolerant to carbs. If my triglyceride level was over 1000, I would not go within a mile of a pizza, let alone a few slices a week! I would also go on a low carb version of a Paleo diet – strictly meat and veggies. I’d also start on a good exercise program. Please re-read this blog a couple of more times!

  13. Hi,

    I have been very particular about exercise and diet because of health realted disease history in my family !! I get my Lipid profile checked every 6 months and for past 5 years (I am 36) it was 108 for TG & LDL was slightly high & HDL was low. I am eating 500 mg Krill Oil caps (1 a day) flax seeds and omega 3 rich food (salmon / tuna). However after all this also This time my TG came to 210 which is almost 100 units higher and LDL is going up and HDL is coming down. I do not drink a lot of soda’s and stik to 1 glass of wine or 1 whisky daily !! whats going on…Do i need to stop eating grains / rice completely ??

    • Hi Nitin – it’s great that you’re eating salmon and tuna. And exercising. Other than that, there is little in your comment that’s helping you with your triglycerides. I suggest you read this:

      Should you stop eating grains and rice? Well, it looks like you have a lot to gain and very little to lose from not eating grains. There is nothing in grains that you cannot get from vegetables.

      One 500 mg krill oil pill is not enough. Try 4 or 6 or 8. At 8 pills a day, you’ll notice your triglyceride dropping (and your wallet flattening) significantly. Don’t fall for krill oil marketing that tells you ‘just one small pill a day.’

      How much soda is ‘not a lot’? If it is more than 1 per month, that’s probably too much. Alcohol won’t help you TG either.

      Get your LDL particle NUMBER measured via NMR LipoProfile. Regular LDL number from lipid tests are not very telling. LDL number goes up with starch/carb consumption and down with fat consumption. If you’re fat-phobic like most people, you’re pushing a rock up hill.

  14. In April my total Cholesterol was 325. HDL 48. VLDL 77.6. LDL 199.4 and TG 388. My doctor put me on 10 Mg Lipitor and I went on what I thought was a very strict diet. After 2 months I went back to see why I had bad foot pain and the doc checked my levels which had dropped total Cholesterol 181. HDL 44. VLDL 42. LDL 95 and TG 210. I decided to get off the Lipitor because of the muscle pain from the meds. I’m sure I will have to get back on something but shouldn’t I take CoQ10 with a statin? I do drink a lot of soft drinks but other than that I eat healthy. My doc told me to eat whole grains and I see now that prob wasn’t a good idea. Any suggestions what I should take to keep my levels low that isn’t going to have bad side effects?

    • Hi Angela – soft drinks and whole grains will both increase cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides a lot. When people find out about high cholesterol and go on ‘strict’ diets, they usually begin eating a lot of whole grains and cut down on fat, both of which are bad ideas and will only increase your cholesterol and triglycerides. I wish doctors would stop telling their patients to eat more whole grains. Stop the soft drinks and grains. Eat vegetables, meats, seafood, eggs, nuts and if you tolerate it, beans and dairy. The kind of cholesterol found in meats and eggs are a different form than what your body prefers – food cholesterol mostly just passes thru your body. Yes, 100 mg CoQ10 twice a day with meals will help with some statin side effects.

  15. Dear Vin,
    What are your thoughts on Stevia (like Sweet Leaf brand found at health food stores?)

    Also, what is your opinion on eating one “Light Flat Out flatbread” once or twice a week? This flatbread has 8 Net Carbs and O Sugars. Is a slice of this ok?

    Thank you so much!!

    • Hi Carol – Stevia and other sweeteners MAY be better than artificial sweeteners if you do not have diabetes or insulin resistance. When you eat something sweet, your brain thinks you are eating sugar and it tells your body to crank out insulin to process the sugar. Your body does not know that you are fooling it. My opinion is that calories are somewhat irrelevant. If your insulin levels go up, all sorts of bad stuff happens. I don’t eat Stevia for this reason.

      Wheat contains several toxins besides gluten. It is disastrous to your gut lining. I don’t eat wheat and have not eaten wheat for several years. Gluten from one slice sticks around in your body for months. I would not go near the stuff.

    • Carol – I just went to the Light Flat Out flatbread website to check out the ingredients: Here are the first 5 ingredients: WATER, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, OAT FIBER, WHEAT GLUTEN, SOYBEAN OIL – it has about 20 other processing aids. Besides water, the top 5 ingredients contain 2 of my top 3 foods-to-avoid: wheat and soybean oil. Wheat because of gluten and its fantastic ability to spike blood glucose and insulin; soybean oil because it is full of inflammatory Omega-6 fats. Oh as it that wasn’t enough, they’ve actually added gluten to the ingredients! If you could add high fructose corn syrup to this, it has the potential to become the perfect example of what to avoid, right next to a donut. Sorry – you asked for my opinion. Now you have it!

  16. I am 44, 5.11 and about 185 lbs. I am only about 10 lbs over, I had high triglycerides in the past. My blood sugar and blood pressure have been raising this year. Triglycerides were around a 1000 in my last blood test about a week ago. I’ve never been diagnosed as a diabetic or with high blood pressure also when my weight is around 170Lbs the levels are kind of normal, but there is no way for me to know about triglycerides level unless I have a blood test . What should I do to lower my triglycerides

    • Hi Mauricio – your numbers should not be ignored. Talk to your doctor right away about how to handle this. Having said that, please read Part 1 and 2 of this blog several times. Everything you need to know about how to manage triglycerides is in these two blogs. Without knowing your diet, I will suggest that you stop all soda, juice, sweetened beverages, sweets and refined grains immediately. Your enemy is sugar and carbohydrates, not fat. Please don’t ignore this – triglyceride level of 1000 is dangerous.

  17. Hello Vin,
    Thanks for your writing. Enjoyed them and an determined to put for my use.

    I am 36 year old, 5’8″ and 160 lbs. An year ago, my blood test showed LDL of 113, HDL of 22 and Triglycerides of 293. In the last one year switched from rice to wheat (indian rotis), added apples and almonds to daily diet. Lost 5 lbs in one year. I’m moderately physically active.

    Last week I did blood test again and results showed LDL of 87, HDL of 28 and Triglycerides of 277. While all the numbers improved relatively, still HDL and Triglycerides are a concern.

    Starting now, I’m planning to make following changes:
    1. Quit wheat completely; replace wheat rotis with Fish, chicken or lentils and vegetables for dinner
    2. Replace dairy milk in protein milk shake (breakfast) with Coconut milk (hoping coconut milk to boost my HDLs)
    3. Replace lunch (sandwhiches, burgers) with salads topped with beans and chicken strips
    4. Thrice a week 20 mins cardio at 150 heart rate.

    I’ll check in with updates after 3 months with a blood test.

    Appreciate any advise here to improve my cholesterol profile.


    • Hi GD – I suspect your diet is really off kilter if you’re telling me that you switched from rice to wheat and that you added apples and almonds. So many red flags! I suggest you get yourself a dietitian or nutrition coach. Although many of the changes you are embracing are in the right direction. I suspect you are still highly fat-phobic. I don’t see any mention of healthy fats like olive oil. Yes, coconut milk helps, but you need lots of healthy fats. Fat is not your enemy – sugar and refined carbohydrates (like the stuff in your rotis) are. And don’t be afraid of red meat – the evidence against it is paper thin.

      Your low HDL and high triglycerides is very worrisome. I don’t care much about total cholesterol or LDL, but I do care a lot about HDL and TG. Your are way off. Your triglycerides are probably a result of high grain diet.

      Focus on blood sugar – you may not know it yet, but I suspect you are pre-diabetic. Eat meats, seafood, veggies, eggs nuts and some fruits. Get rid of everything else. Do this for a couple of months and get a blood test. Let us know how it turns out.

  18. Thanks Vin.
    My blood sugar is 95 both years

    I’m not fat phobic. I deliberately ate very less of oil, eggs and meats because I was educated that whole grain products are good and fats and meats are bad.

    Since last two days all that changed. Quit all grain products.

    Am now eating pasture eggs, pasture fed chicken, salmon, olive oil for cooking, coconut milk, vegetables, greens and nuts and fruits.

    Will post results in 3 months.

    • Hi Vin,

      As promised i did my blood screening this morning – right around 3 months after i posted above note. Followed exactly the healthy eating style as mentioned in my above note.

      Good News first.

      My triglycerides is now 124 – big improvement from 277 which was three months ago
      I weight 146 pounds now – lost 14 pounds in 3 months.

      Not so good News:
      My HDL is now 30 which is only two points improvement from 3 months ago which was 28.
      My LDL has gone up to 102 from 87
      Total Cholsterol has gone down to 156 from 170 – good news

      Now my primary goal is to boost my HDL without negatively impacting anything else.

      Looking forward to hearing from you.

      Thank You


      • Hi GD – thanks for sharing the very good news.

        This is quite nice. Your LDL may/may not be an issue. Your doctor will have to run a VAP or NMR test to determine the LDL particle size/number before you know your real risk.

        HDL is a bit trickier and it is hard to nudge up. Exercise and increased healthy fat consumption will both help. I suspect that anything that improves your HDL will also help the other numbers…at least it did with me.

        Thanks again for sharing.

  19. Hello Vin,
    Found your article and it was very interesting. 2 months ago I had my blood test done and it showed my TG at 802 and HDL at 19. Since then we started working with a trainer who is also a nutritionist and he has completely changed my diet around. I am of Italian heritage and pasta, rice and bread was a daily staple in our diet. I ate cereal in the mornings and added sugar to the milk and drank sprite every day. He had us eliminate all Carbs including most fruits except for vegetables and increase proteins and good fats and to eat every 3 hours to increase out metabolism. I am also taking 4 a day of Omapure Pharmaceutical Grade Omega-3 Pills. I’m also drinking about 6-7 bottles of water a day. I had my blood-work re-checked after 6 weeks and my TG is now 143 and HDL is up 7 points and I lost 35 lbs. Didn’t expect it to go down that quick but I’m not complaining.
    My question is could I have had a sensitivity to sugar all my life and not known it or is it just years of eating sugar that finally caught up to me?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Rob – kudos for taking charge of your health! And also to your trainer/nutritionist. You did all the right things. And your numbers show it.

      Yes, my guess is that you have some genetic issue relating to sugar/carb sensitivity – no way to know for sure without a test. A lot of people eat the way you did and their TG is not at 802. Do any of your relatives have this issue? If so, then you have a partial answer. The other thing is, just about everything you ate in the past, was setting you up for bad numbers and possibly (eventually?) diabetes and Alzheimers etc. Blood sugar has a lot to do with future chronic illnesses, so watch your blood sugar carefully. It may save your life.

      Thanks for sharing.

  20. My TG goes from 325 to 824 without drugs. I am not over weight and my
    cholesterol is low. HDL is low. Do I do s0mething different? I don’t want my cholesterol to go any lower.

    • Hi Bill – I am not overweight either and as you read in the blog above, my TG was close to 700. My issue was genetic – I simply don’t handle sugar and carbs well. My guess is that you’re in the same boat. TG of 824 is not to be ignored!

      Low/high cholesterol is meaningless since it is a combination of numbers that you want high and low. Low HDL is more troublesome.

      I suggest you work with a specialist like to find a way to get this under control using diet instead of drugs. You really CAN eat a lot of delicious foods and still lower your TG – sometimes you just need some guidance.

  21. Hello Mr.Vin ,
    Thank you for your effort to answer people ,
    My story started I went to hospital for general check up I found out that My triglycerides shows 16 mmol/L and Cholesterol 11.2 mmol/L , By the way I am 32 years old and not over weight I was shocked and surprised , I started to take Lipitor 40 mg and doing a big diet + Exercising for 30 minutes each day ,

    After 5 days from my previous test I went again and double check I found that the Triglycerides is getting lower which is 7.54 mmol/L and cholesterol 12.9 become higher .
    My first test was on 17th of September 2013 and the second one was in 22nd of September 2013 ,

    I read that I can reduce my TG and CHOL by taking Omega 3 4 grams a day I have a several questions :

    1) Could I stop taking the Lipitor even I started to take 40 mg a day, And switch to Omega 3 +diet +exercising which is more healthy and natural and is it risky to stop it since I started on 18th of September 2013 ?
    2) Am using Aqua Marine Fish oil 550 mg by Vitabiotics which made bu UK its 60% Omega-3 , I took 6 capsules a day for a while until I make TG lower or normal , is it risky?
    3) Am I going to use the drug for ever if am not allowed to stop it ?
    4) Some studies show that High Cholestrol is not Risky is it truth ?
    5) TG can be lowered in a week if I took 3 – 4 grams of Omega 3
    I dont want to take drug for the rest of my life please I need an urgent reply because seriously I dont know what to do , and thnx again

  22. I am 33 and my blood level of cholesterol is 400, I weighed 205 pounds before my journey of getting fit and losing weight. However I haven’t had blood work in years. I recently lost 25 to 30 pounds and watching my diet, confused as to why is it still so high! I also know this runs in my family but I do not want to take medication for this at all. Please help and/or advise as to what to do. Thank you

    • Hi Geegee33 – I would suggest that you work with your doctor to find out what’s the root cause of your high cholesterol. You may need an integrative MD – you can find one here: or

      Regular doctors will simply give you a statin and send you home. This will only glaze over the issue. A good one will get to the root of the problem, which could be genetic, thyroid issues, infection, too much sugar and carbs etc.

      Whenever people say ‘watching my diet,’ I assume they are cutting out fat and red meat. Both of which could be a disaster. You need to be cutting out sugar and processed foods and refined grains.
      More here:

  23. Hi Vin ,

    I went thru both the blogs and I find it very useful specially what to eat and what not to.

    I am 35 yr old 5’5’’ height and weight was 138 lbs. My TG was 325 in March this year. Certainly I panicked and reduced my daily intake (I am a huge fan of rice) and restricted my diet by eating low fat food(low fat milk and not eating fried food, ghee, butter cheese, no potato) also followed South beach diet for one week.
    Also my walk was around 50 minutes daily due to work commute(which was not earlier).Last week I did my blood test and TG came down to 173 and HDL is at 32.Reduction in the TG levels is largely attributed to my walks and diet I believe.
    However, I have below questions –
    1. I do eat salt more. Does intake of salt have any role in increasing/decreasing TG/CHL levels ?
    2. Which is less harmful? rice or wheat ? Being an indian vegetarian I have do not much options (thought I eat eggs)
    3. Do you recommend Vascepa for me as I think it is for very high levels of TG? Or shall I take any fish oil ? Mine is borderline high.


    • Hi Amol – going on the South Beach diet and STAYING ON IT would have been a good idea. You would have done well on it.

      Switching to low-fat foods is a bad idea. You may want to re-read the blogs again. Exercise is wonderful. Salt does not affect triglycerides or cholesterol levels much, but sugar and carbs do. Rice is less harmful than wheat – wheat has gluten and that’s all kinds of bad for your intestines.

      Glad you eat eggs but being a vegetarian is a choice…that’s OK if it’s working well for you, but based on your numbers, I am not convinced it is. And avoiding grains would be a really good choice too.

      Vascepa or no Vascepa is up to your doctor. I am a nutritionist, so I cannot counsel you on Rx drugs. But Vascepa will also work on borderline triglycerides.

  24. Hello Sir,
    Thank you. very useful information.
    I am a 29 year old male with a triglyceride level of 224 . I already switched from white rice to brown rice and staying away from fries which I guess is recommended and started to maintain a exercise routine(3 to 4 days). My BMI is 25.7 so I am trying to lose 7 to 10 pounds.
    I would like to know what omega 3 fish oil you recommend which is available over the counter also whats the allowed limit for alcohol ? I love BEER, usually take one a day 🙂


    • Hi AJ – going from white rice to brown rice will only help a tiny little bit. All grains will jack up your triglycerides. Focus on health and your weight will normalize to where it needs to be. But if you focus on weight, you will always go wrong.

      Aim for 1000 mg of Omega-3 per day. Beer = liquid wheat. 1 beer a day may be fine now, but in another 10 years, it will catch up with you. If you must have alcohol, go with red wine.

  25. Thank you for such an informative site. My husband has very high triglycerides (900). He has had a previous heart attack. Thankfully it was more of a warning than anything else and was not serious. That doesn’t mean we are ignoring the fact that he has a problem. We have started raising our own beef and pork and just had our first beef butchered and in our freezer a week ago. We never have been soda drinkers, so that isn’t a problem. But we did enjoy the Crystal Light lemonade and peach tea. After reading your site and watching the videos, we are cutting out the grains, potatoes and all the other good things that we enjoy (sigh….). What I was wondering is: Do you know of a website that has low triglyceride menus? I pack him a lunch every day, but of course it consisted of a sandwich (made on Sandwich Thins bread), a piece of fruit and a couple of fiber bars. He works a very physical job and needs a good lunch to get him through and trying to figure out something to take the place of the lunch I normally make for him is proving to be a little daunting.

    Again, thank you so much for such an informative site.


    • Hi Denette – triglycerides of 900 plus a heart attack is not a good situation to be in. The good news is that you are making solid progress. Choose real foods over food products. Food products have printed packaging and bar codes. I would not go near crystal light, sandwich thin bread or fiber bars – they will keep his triglycerides high and cause several other issues.

      Try these websites for low-triglyceride recipes: (my favorite)

      Some of these sites have dessert recipes too, but ignore them for now.

      • Hi Vin!

        Thank you so much for the websites. There are some really terrific recipes there. I have purchased several cook books since my first post to you. I just picked up the Nom Nom Paleo cookbook yesterday. Having these tools has made it very easy to convert to the Paleo lifestyle. And here comes the good news……..With the Tricor my husbands doctor put him on and the Paleo way of eating, we have been able to get Steve’s triglyceride levels down from 900 to 178!!!! That has been in 2 months time. We are trying to convince the doctor to let him stop taking the Tricor, but we aren’t having much luck with that. But I wanted to share the good news with you since I feel you had a large part in pointing us in the right direction. Thank you!!


        • WOW!! 900 to 178! That’s fantastic! Really glad to hear this, Denette.

          Any changes in his blood sugar, insulin, HDL?

  26. Your article says to avoid grains – does this imply that chappatis are out too? If that’s the case, please give me an example of what a typical dinner plate should be. What about couscous and wheat noodles?

    • Hi Sonya – I wouldn’t go near a chappati (wheat flat bread) or anything else made with wheat, if you paid me! But that’s just me. You may not have high triglycerides and you may not have non-celiac gluten sensitivity (both of which apply to me) so your diet could be different from mine. But keep this in mind: two slices of whole wheat bread (of any kind) will jack up your blood sugar (and triglycerides) more than two tablespoons of white sugar. My dinner plate looks like this: half to two-thirds would be fresh, green and colorful vegetables, cooked generously with coconut oil, olive oil or pastured butter/ghee. The rest would be protein (grass-fed meats, wild fish, eggs, poultry) also cooked generously in the oils cooked above. Fruits, nuts and dark chocolate are my desserts.

  27. Hi Vin,
    Thank youfor taking your time to answer all these questions!
    I have a different issue than those posted here:
    My TG number has dropped from 77 to 45 over the last year.
    My Total Chos. is 153 down from 168 last year
    My husband and I eat much as you do but had an issue with artificial sweetners, which have completely removed over the last 3 months.
    Could that be why my numbers dropped so much?
    I am 5’7 and 138 lbs and moderately active.

    • Hi Janet – there may be a medical issue that’s not popping out at me. Even if it did, I’m neither qualified nor authorized to tell you what to do about it. I think it’s worth going to an integrative MD to check things out, just in case. But having said that, here is what I’ll say. I wish I had your triglyceride number. But I do not want your cholesterol number. Your chol number is within standard testing deviation, so I’m not sure it’s changed that much. If you go to a regular doctor, he/she might be overjoyed at your numbers and send you home. Personally, I like my cholesterol number a little higher.

      I’m not aware of artificial sweeteners doing this.

  28. I do not consume alcohol or smoke, generally eat in. I do not eat the packaged stuff / Junk food. I do not work out, low physical activity and eat wheat daily with vegetables and pulses. I do not eat rice. I do eat meat/chicken/fish twice a month. Around half a cup of skimmed milk without sugar daily.

    Few Questions –
    Q1. I understand that carbs produce glucose which eventually gives us energy. Is it really advisable to eliminate carbs completely ?
    Q2. You have advised on eating nuts. Can you share few examples on which nuts are you talking about ?
    Q3. I eat boiled eggs along with the yolk. Is it advisable to eat the yolk too ? ( It does have K2 but does it add to TG?).
    Q4. Are lentils/pulses good for health or do I stop eating pulses? Also are sunflower seeds good for health ?
    Q5. Should I start consuming Omega 3 , I am certainly interested in the Omegavia EPA 500 , do you ship your products to India ?

    • Hi Ritz – you don’t need to completely cut out carbs – that would be a bad idea. What is a bad idea is to get all your carbs from grains. You should aim for getting it almost exclusively from vegetables and fruits. Yes, you should eat the whole egg, including the yolk – that’s where the nutrients are. A handful of nuts like cashews, pistachios are fine – peanuts are not nuts – they are legumes and legumes are OK for some people but not for others. 1000 mg of Omega-3 per day is probably a good idea. No, we do not ship to India.

  29. Thank you Mr Kutty,
    I will follow your advice.
    Just one input , when you visit google ( and type omegavia , the second drop down suggestion is “omegavia in India” indicating that this is probably the second highest searched combination under omegavia in India. Probably your sales and marketing team can re-look at India as a potential market. The website administrator of this site can also check the number of hits from India region. Thanks again !

  30. Vin,
    I appreciate your quick response to my email. In one of my previous emails, I said that I was coming to buy from your company. I believe from the information I (we) received from wifes insurance co. (retired AT&T) they may cover lovaza staring 2014. If so, great, but if not I will buy from you. I like your information very much. I will probably switch to the other prescripton, because of only epa that seems to be of better value for lipid profile.

    Thanks Again,

  31. Thank you for this great blog, Vin! I am determined to never go on a statin drug after reading all side-effects. My problem is I’m addicted to sugar and grains, but once I get off of them I don’t crave too much..BUT I think my body goes into some bizzare withdrawal because once I eliminate the grains I get horrible and painful constipation with ‘roids. This had happened to me twice, and both times it was so painful I got back on grains. Do you have a remedy for me to get completely off of grains, safely?

    • Hi Marianne – glad you like the blog.

      Since you’re addicted (your word), I must admit to having no expertise in helping others deal with it…I imagine it is to sugar/sweets and wheat. I know no one who is addicted to rice. So depending on whether you’re a cold-turkey or gradual reduction kinda person, you’ll want to find a way to pull the trigger somehow. Ugh. I wish I were more helpful. I know it will take a couple of weeks of misery with sugar. Wheat is a little different from what I hear. But if you’re struggling with constipation from grain withdrawal, could it be that you are/were getting most of your fiber from whole grains? If so, start ramping up veggies as you taper off grains. Increase prebiotics – onion, garlic, leeks, inulin, FOS and may be even some unmodified potato starch.

      I’m NOT a cold-turkey kinda person. I dont even remember getting off sugar, wheat, rice etc. because I did it so slowly. May be that could be an approach? Good luck.

    • Hi Ritz – I have no clue what brands are available in India. Sorry.

      But I do know that Indians eat an extraordinary amount of grains and Omega-6-rich vegetable seed oils – both cause a lot of misery and chronic diseases.

  32. Hi Vin

    It was so nice to read your article. I am 40 and 2 months back (November, 2013) I tested my lipid profile. My TC was 189, LDL 117, HDL 32 and TG 200. Doctor here did not suggest any medicine but told me to change my dietary habit and exercise regularly. However, I have been exercising 3-4 times a week at least an hour each day since the last two years. My possible problem about raised triglycerides could be because of the parties in that whole week until a day before my blood test (around 36 hrs before). I drank alcohol more than in moderation for 5 continuous days that ended just 36 hrs prior to the blood test. Does that affect blood test? I have now switched my diet to veggies , fruits, nuts and chicken with little rice during lunch and dinner. Do you have any other suggestions? Shall I be under medication to lower triglyceride? I have limited my alcohol and am drinking once or twice in a week that too in moderation. Thank you.

    • Hi Brish – alcohol can affect lipids. A diet of mostly veggies, meats, nuts and eggs (as described in the blog) will lower your TG. Exercise will too. But avoid grains and go easy on fruits.

  33. (Latest result recorded in SAMSO)
    Value Date
    (HDL) High Density Lipoprotein (mg/dL) 40 04/21/2014
    (LDL) Low Density Lipoprotein (mg/dL) 147 04/21/2014
    (TGL) Triglycerides (mg/dL) 118 04/21/2014
    TOTAL CHOLESTEROL 211 04/21/2014

    Blood Pressure
    (Latest result recorded in SAMSO)
    Value Date
    Systolic/Diastolic (mm/Hg) 157/97 1/17/2014

    Diabetes Monitoring (Fasting)
    (Latest result recorded in SAMSO)
    Hemoglobin A1C History
    (Recorded in SAMSO within last 2 years)
    Service Value Date

    BMI History
    (Recorded in SAMSO within last 2 years)
    Height Weight BMI Value Date
    cm in kg lb kg/m2
    174 69 91 201 30.1 1/7/2014

  34. I’m 45, have TG of 220, LDL 230, HDL 38. Normal BP and blood sugar.
    I have been a regular athlete and jog 20 minute 2 – 3 times a week. Recently have completed half marathon in 2.05 hrs. Occasional drinker and smoker. Little bit overconfident due to regular sports, so was in habit of over eating some time. But now changing the diet like avoid oily food and shifted to oat BF and intake of full fruit for lunch.
    Please advice how to improve the lipids.

    • Hi Sanjay – I suggest you read parts 1 and 2 of this article again and again. I think you missed the point. Avoiding oily foods and eating more starch, rice, grains, sugars is what’s causing your lipid problems. Drinking and smoking does not help – start there first. It’s almost pointless tackling your diet while still smoking. Your diet should consist of fresh, under-cooked veggies and protein.

      • Dear Vin,
        Thanks for taking time out to look after my health problem. I am once again going thru the article properly. I have stopped completely smoking for the past fortnight. Drinks is almost 3/4 times in a month. Also Food habits is been taken care as you suggested. I difficult initially, but will get used to very soon. One thing I would like to confirm, is cholesterol and TG runs thru hereditary .

  35. Tried the diet without the fish oil pills. My triglycerides went from 461 to 147 in a week!!!! I’m an admitted sugar addict and I’ve had high triglycerides for most of my adult life.

  36. I came across your article roughly 4 months ago. I thoroughly enjoyed it as well as the other articles. My triglycerides have been around 276 around the last two years. I seem to have a family history with my dad once having his higher than 2500+! For nearly 3 months I decided to cut out all sugar and nearly all carbohydrates(<50/day). During this time, I lost 20 lbs. I'm 6'0" and went from 215 to 195lbs. I was eager to have my values reevaluated and had my levels checked two days ago. My triglycerides have rocketed up to 496! I must admit, two days prior, I had many alcoholic drinks over the span of two days. I did fast prior to giving a sample. Could an episode of binge drinking two days prior to the test elevate my triglycerides this much? Any ideas why my values would double when nearly taking all the appropriate steps? Thanks for any input,

    • Hi Mark – the three months of sugar-free, low-carb diet should have slashed your triglyceride levels. I know alcohol can dramatically increase TG levels…and given what you’ve shared, I suspect the binge drinking had a hand in it. Our triglycerides spike after each meal, but that goes away when you fast. It cant be that since this was done while fasting. So your guess is mine as well – must have been the alcohol. Get it tested again without much/any alcohol for a while and see if there is a difference. In the meantime, you need to talk to your doctor about the almost 500 TG levels. This puts you at a pretty high risk.

      • Just thought I’d follow up: I just had my levels checked again this past Friday. My TGL was down to 186 from 496; a 300 point drop! This is the lowest it has been in 10+ years. This tells me two things: The diet worked and alcohol has an immediate and semi-long lasting effect on me. I’m guessing that value would be even lower if I distanced myself from alcohol. Thanks again for the article and the reply.

        • Hi Mark – thanks for sharing – this is great info for other readers here. Glad you were able to track down the root cause of the triglyceride spike.

  37. This post is very nice! Are you suffered in Triglyceride. Then avoid some food. Stop the soft drinks and grains. Eat vegetables, meats, seafood, eggs, nuts and if you tolerate it, beans and dairy. High triglycerides allow your liver to make more very low density lipoprotein. It’s not good.

  38. I recently checked my blood profile and found my triglycerides very high at 346. Cholesterol levels are all well within normal limits. This last week based on your blog, I have completely cut out all sugar and rice and wheat. I used to be a total sugar addict. Hopefully I should see some results soon. My question is being a vegetarian, is it okay to have some cheese or paneer occasionally? Also what are the ideal proteins that I can have? I am now eating mung beans, black eyed peas and chick peas. Is that okay? I am also on 2000 mg fish oil. Would love any input from you to improve my numbers. Thanks.

    • Hi KM – kudos for the diet change! Yes, cheese is perfectly fine. So are eggs if you like them. Fermented dairy like yogurt is also a good source of protein if you tolerate it. Beans and peas are OK but not as good as eggs and dairy. You may also want to consider some protein powders. I also suggest increasing fresh vegetable consumption. Get your blood tested again in a month or two – I bet you will notice a dramatic drop in triglycerides. Make sure you are getting 3000 mg of Omega-3…this is not the same as 3000 mg of fish oil.

      • Thanks Vin for your prompt reply. Quick question. Do I understand it right – milk is not ok but yogurt is? And what quantities of yogurt can I have? I am very partial to yoghurt so I am thrilled to hear that it is on the ok list. Thanks again.

        • Hi KM – yes, yogurt is OK because most of the milk sugar (lactose) has been fermented out, so yogurt is generally very low in sugar…that is if you make it at home and don’t buy sweetened, processed yogurt.

          • Hi Vin. Yippee! I got my blood tested end November and the TG’s are down to 180. I have added a small quantity of rice back into my diet but the major part of it is still veggies and eggs. Thanks for all your advice. Really appreciate your dedication. Hopefully the numbers should come down further. Thanks again.

            • Hi KM – so in just 3 months, you dropped your triglycerides from 346 to 180. Wow! That’s great. I’m not surprised but this once again shows that cutting out sugar and grains will do wonders. Good job!

  39. Hi,

    Could you please recommend a vegetarian/eggitarian diet for someone who is both diabetic and has a triglyceride count of 600 – both recently diagnosed. Very low good cholesterol, high bad cholesterol as well.

    • Hi LP – it’s very simple (at least from my perspective): eliminate sugar and grains. Eat mostly vegetables, legumes, eggs, nuts and a very small amount of fruits (as dessert.) Cut out rice, wheat, grains, juices, sweets etc. Like I said, easier said than done.

  40. I start my journey today with trying to lower my triglycerides. My immediate changes are going to be to cut out grains, fast food, and soda. I’m 6’2, 235 pounds. I need to drop weight, obviously. My triglycerides are sitting at 349. I haven’t been to see my Doctor yet to see what he recommends, but I did receive the results of my blood panel and knew it was time to act. I will see the doc in two weeks to get some advice.

    For now, I’m going to stick to a certain diet. Please let me know if you see any major flaws. Beans twice a day with a little lean hamburger meat mixed in with lots if onions, diced tomatoes, and jalapeños mixed in. For snacks, almonds, pistachios, apples or bananas. During the week, I’ll also make a few trips to Chipotle for a veggie salad or grass fed steak or chicken salad.. With black beans, guacamole, onions/peppers and poco for the dressing. I’m not sure what type of fish oil I’ll get. I’ll take your suggestion and head to to find it tomorrow.

    Please let me know if this diet sounds ok. I know you’re not the biggest advocate of beans, but this will allow me to somewhat painlessly make the switch in diet… And cheaply.

    Also, are sunflower seeds I’m to eat? I’ve eaten a ton of those all my life. And yes, all of my other lab numbers came back ok.

    And by the way, what you do on here is absolutely amazing. The way you help people is truly inspiring.

    • Hi Murph – sounds like a chili + chipotle diet. I don’t see anything wrong with this diet for a few days/weeks, but if this is all you eat, you’re likely to run into some deficiencies and possible legume-related issues. Beans are so-so for most people while others handle them a little better. But making beans and lean hamburger the staple of your diet sounds unbalanced to me. Cast your food net a little wider. For the most part, I think you’re on the right track with grass-fed meats, seafood, veggies, fruits and nuts. Avoiding sugar and grains is smart. Sunflower seed are OK in moderation – they (and most nuts and seeds) are high in Omega-6, which I try to reduce. Be generous with healthy fats.

      And if your doctor sends you to a dietitian and she puts you on a whole grain, low-fat diet, you will be back at your doctors next year with even higher triglycerides.

  41. Your website is so very awesome (trying to think of an even better word fails me at the moment)! My lipid panel has always been good. In the last 6 months – 1 year, my TC went from 206, to 233, to 258 (six month intervals). I believe I found the culprit – husband and I developed a “love” of Stilton Bleu Cheese and Marcona almonds and were eating more than an ounce at least 2 – 3x per week! Triglycerides are 103 – 123, HDL 65 – stayed the same, LDL 147 – 173. I eat raw fish 2 -3x per week in the form of sushi/sashimi, avocado, EVOO, coconut oil occasionally, not a sweet eater at all, one cup of coffee per day with 2 tsp. of sugar and a non-dairy/no fat liquid creamer, hummus, organic leafy green salads with sunflower seeds and EVOO, red meat once or twice per month, no processed meats/boxed foods, etc. Wondering if the CHEESE could have simply caused the jump in my profile or also my, ahem, perimenopausal/menopausal age! I exercise (swim) regularly, walk, a little bit of cardio (more couldn’t hurt). Weight is 112. Would the Omegavia EPA or just Omegavia help?

    • Hi Tink – thank you. I seriously doubt the cheese and almonds are the culprits for your increase in cholesterol. Watch this lecture from Univ South Florida series: By the way, your cholesterol numbers are normal for middle aged women regardless of what pharma companies and doctors would say – not sure you fit the description, but just FYI.

      Omega-3 will help with inflammation and triglycerides, but will not lower cholesterol.

      • Thank you! Yes, I did a little research and apparently a woman’s levels do rise during perimenopause/menopause. My doctor had asked if I wanted to start taking a statin; however, she did not push it and recommended fish oil. I have started taking krill oil as, even if it does not help to lower my cholesterol, it certainly can’t hurt. I definitely fit the description, having just turned 50 this past April! So many new changes at my age! It’s a shame that there aren’t more doctors who study this time in a woman’s life. I am blessed that I have found a few doctors/nurses/nutritionists, such as yourself, who aren’t on the “pharmaceutical train.” I will continue to eat healthy, exercise and I am watching the video now! Thanks again!

        • Thank you, Tink. Food, exercise, laughter, good company, and lots of sleep fixes most things. But food is the most complicated because of the definition of ‘good’ seems to change. This is not to say that modern medicine is useless – on the contrary, if there is any acute event like an accident or injury, we will all be thankful for it. Where conventional medicine fails miserably is the PREVENTION of virtually all chronic diseases that plague our society. For this, you need a new breed of doctors – functional medicine MDs.

  42. I should also add that I stay away from wheat, and mostly all breads/starches as they do cause a weight gain for me. Thanks!

  43. In the past month I have had blood work done 5 times. The beginning of Sept my Triglcerides were at 300. By October 4th I was not feeling good so they ran it again and it was at 1300. Doctor thought it must be a mistake. So they ran it again 2 days later and it was in the 800 mark. So he asked if I would go to another doctor and have it checked. 2 days later back to 1250. Bottom line it has been a roller coaster ride from now 130 to 1300 in just 1 month? Is this normal and what causes that? Should I see a specialist? My test on Friday is now 130. I have not changed my diet to effect my blood work that much. Thank you for any help you can be.

  44. Hi Vin,
    I noticed that you always recommend a little bit of fruits. Why is it?
    Are fruits elevating TG level? Recently my TG level is spiking up from 200 to 900. I did not take any carb and sugar, but ate a lot of fruits, some are sweet. Is it the cause of my elevating TG?

    • Hi Jeffrey – fruits are healthy. And if you do not have any issues with blood sugar, insulin resistance, weight, yeast overgrowth, high triglycerides, etc. then you can eat quite a bit of it. But most of us have one or more of the issues I mentioned above. If you have any of these issues, go easy on fruits. Also, when you tell people to eat fruits and vegetables, people magically only hear ‘eat more fruits.’ Add the fact that the most common fruits – apples, bananas, pears, pineapple, and grapes are all high in sugar. If you want fruits, go with dark colored berries.

      Yes, large quantities of fruits will definitely increase your TG due to the carb and sugar content.

  45. Hello, do you think that fresh goats milk would be acceptable? I am trying to lower my lipid panel as well and your recommendations for what to eat sound great but I love milk. we own three dairy goats that we will be milking for our family starting this spring and I am a fan of milk.

    • Hi Carlos – any kind of milk, goat or otherwise, contains lactose. And lactose is a sugar. It may not taste sweet, but it is still a sugar that will eventually increase your triglyceride and lipids. That said, a goat that’s been eating grass in your backyard probably produces healthier milk than what’s available for sale at grocery stores. My suggestion for you would be to make yogurt with it. The fermentation removes all the lactose sugar. Once you learn how to make yogurt, it is pretty easy.

  46. hi Vin –
    I am vegetarian. And I am from India. What that means is that although I try to cut out Sat fat from my diet and exercise and take fish oil, I cant seem to get away from carbs effectively and my TriGly does not seem to go below the 200 mark. Even after a couple of months of Lovaza, my Trigly is at 280 (thats down from a peak of 581 which is good but not nearly good enough).
    Its a little disappointing since I try to eat as healthy a diet as possible. However I end up eating either whole wheat flour or rice. I am wondering if you have any suggestions on how I can replace these while continuing to be a vegetarian?
    Would eating legumes (like chickpeas, whole moong, kidney beans, soya beans, peanuts), either sprouted or boiled amount to eating grains? Those are my primary sources of protein.
    Any help/insight would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi AJ – oh boy. I stopped cutting out saturated fat about 10 years ago. You’re following bad advice from 40 years ago. Cutting out sat fats won’t help you reduce TG one bit. Exercise and fish oil are good. But chances are you’re not taking 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day. If you can’t get away from grain-derived starch and you peak TG was 581, you’re in a tough spot. The root cause of high TG is not fish oil deficiency but starch over-consumption. Anyone with TG that high is metabolically compromised. Talk to your doctor about diabetes and blood pressure. Eliminate wheat and rice from your diet – completely! Talk to your doctor about meds. Walk 5 miles a day. Eat a lot of sprouted beans and lentils. And perhaps re-think the merits of vegetarianism…or at least consider including dairy and eggs to your diet.

  47. Hi Vin..Wanted to update here with a lil more info now that its been 4 months.. I was doing great,eating sardines,salmon,salads..lost 23 pounds.. then the last month (4th) before my blood test i ate Mcdonalds,cookies and bread..nothing good because i got cocky because i lost weight and thought i was ok..As i mentioned before my Dad is 71 and had TG lvls over 2400 25 years ago.. My Doc Said its familgia TG’s and some people just go through a normal life like that.

    1st test my CL was 133
    TG lvl 530

    2nd test 2 weeks ago
    CL was 139
    TG went down to only 517

    Now i have a bottle of Gemfebrizol at 600 MG and dont want to take it because of the side effects it causes..

    I also ate 2 bananas a day,yogurts,cheese,green olives,snickers bars,honey buns ect..

    Obviously i must have got them down from 530 and now they are 517…i.might have got them to 250 for all i know until i messed up!!! What do i do? Take the Lopid? Niacin? 1500 MG Fish oil? Alone..together?? I’m lost with this TG stuff now.. Is it a way to prevent damage right now or 10-20 years from now?? Thanks

    • Hi Mike – to me it is very simple. It is a genetic curse that is worsened by starchy diet and low exercise. I’m saying this jokingly, but if I sent you off to Triglyceride Camp where you were only allowed to eat the stuff I told you to and you walked 5 miles a day and lifted weight 3X a week, I can promise you that your TG will come down to 150 or so in about 2 months. The joking part was sending you off the imaginary camp. The results part was dead serious. Cut out the honey, snickers, honey buns, sweetened yogurts, bananas, cookies, bread, and McDonalds. Eat lots of veggies, meats, seafood, eggs, nuts, all cooked in generous amounts of olive oil. Avoid sugar, sweets, juices, fruits, grains, flour. That’s really it. There is no secret. How closely you stick to this determines what your TG is. Now you can cheat by taking 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day. Given your levels, you better do this, along with Vit D, Magnesium etc. The Rx med is between you and your doc. But given your diet track record, you will need all the help you can get.

  48. Give me a list right now and i will follow it.. breakfast,lunch and dinners… including any Niacin or the Gemfebrizol or Fish oil and exercise.. I will follow it to the T!!

    • Hi Mike – my suggestion is to follow a high-veggie, low-carb paleo type diet. There are tons of books and recipes out there. I don’t typically recommend low-carb diets for most people, except if triglyceride or blood sugar is out of control. I think it’d be definitely worth your time and money to have a few sessions with a local paleo dietitan to help you get started the right way.

  49. Here is what i started Vin.. Guacamole,triscut no sugars or carbs,Tofu plus,Asapragus,organic celery,Chicken,Go Veggie cheese slices,Lettuce,green peppers,virgin olive oil,yakisoba noodles,Salmon,Light Tuna,green olives,fresh spinach,quaker old fashioned oats,celestial cinnamon and apple tea bags.. took my 600 MG Gemfibrizol,worked out for 30 min and walked for 30.. No more sugars,bread,candy,sweets,fruits.. thats about it..

    • Mike –

      Guacamole – good
      Triscuti – not food. Processed cr*p.
      Tofu – processed cr*p.
      Asparagus – good
      celery – good
      chicken – good
      Go veggie chesse – not food. Processed cr*p.
      lettuce – good
      green peppers – good
      olive oil – good
      Yakisoba noodles – not food. Processed cr*p.
      Salmon – good
      Tuna – good
      Green olives – good
      Quaker oats – good God, no!

      I think you get the general drift. Eat stuff that was alive a few days ago.

  50. Just had my Gemfibrizol and 2 organic celery sticks with Guacamole for breakfast.. going to workout now for 45 minutes.. lunch is light tuna packed in water and dinner Spinach leaves with green olives,green peppers,chicken strips and XV olive oil.. 3 months of this and those pesky TG’s don’t stand a chance Vin..

  51. Hi Vin..sorry to keep posting but as you can see i am very serious.. looked at Paleo Diets and it looks like any meat is fine except low grades.What about stuffed shrimp or steak cooked in XV olive oil? Sausage? Bacon? Bologna?Ham.. any cold cuts allowed? Any thing like popcorn or Pistachios? Only reason i ask is because every package of trail mix or cashews or anything i wanted has 4-29 grams of sugar even dried prunes and cranberries..What a world.
    Thanks again

  52. Hi Vin, really awesome site! It sounds like you know your stuff! I do have a few food choices you haven’t said much or anything about. They are full fat cottage cheese and quinoa??
    Also, I’ve read a while ago the daily recommendation of fat for average female is around 40, and male around 60. Does that not really apply? How many grams of fat would you say you eat per day??
    Thank you so much for your help.

    • Hi Liza – if your body is OK with dairy, full fat cottage cheese should be fine as part of a triglyceride-reduction diet. Pass on the fat-free crap.

      Quinoa has a lot going for it…like cottage cheese, it is fine. Especially if you soak or sprout it. People tend to get a little carried away with quinoa…but it still has phytic acid and oxalates like a lot of seed/legumes. I don’t seek out quinoa, but if it’s in front of me, I’ll happily eat it.

      I’m not sure how many grams of fat I eat. I’m sure it is a lot. Dietary guidelines suggesting low-fat living is flawed, faulty…and the science behind those guidelines is wobbly and biased at best.

  53. Thanks Vin.. Going to shop tomorrow with that list… Also one final thing.. When i look at yogurts,or cottage cheese or anything else and it says 2g sugar.. 1 gm sugar is that okay because everything including sugar free candy and sugar free pudding has Sugar Alcohol in it.. i see cheddar cheese with 0 sugar,0 carbs,0 cholesterol but tons of this what i want? Thanks

    • Mike – you don’t want yogurt with added sugar or removed fat. You can confirm if there is added sugar by reading the ingredient list. Sugar alcohol does not increase blood sugar or triglycerides…a little bit is OK, but too much will make you suffer. Your cheddar choice seems OK.

  54. Vin,

    First of all, great blog! Bumped across this blog when doing my own research on lowering my intransigent triglycerides who were determined to stay high, 250+, despite taking 2000mg of Omega-3 daily. Taking more medications didn’t seem right. Definitely not statins or like. Uggh!

    And so, I read up your blogs, this one, the 2-part series on Triglycerides. Followed most of your advice (sans the meats, as I am a vegetarian), and 7 months later, after making my diet changes (full fat dairy, no/very low grains, high-protein-low carb breakfasts, shunning of processed foods, more real fruits and using ghee/butter/olive/coconut oil), for the first time my triglycerides are under 200. I have to yet go below 150, but I feel confident that I am on the right trajectory.

    Your blog made me realize/introspect on my diet when growing up as a kid in India vs. my food choices/indulgences in the US. When I cut out most of the processed fluff, added sugars and relied on real food/whole natural foods, I saw an immediate drop in my weight accompanied by exercise (I had plateaued on my weight loss and again, figured, and I couldn’t practically double my exercise).

    Thanks for the wonderful blog covering multiple facets of nutrition like triglycerides and grains, omega-6 rich seed oils, olive oil analysis, probiotics and recent 3 part series on Paleo diet. Always looks forward to your end of the month posts. Keep writing.

      • No, I don’t. I am a lacto-vegetarian.
        So, no oatmeal, no eggs. You might wonder what I eat for breakfast. Me and my wife had to think real hard to find an easy way to make breakfast that’s low carb.
        We resorted to chia seeds. Chia seeds + Peanut butter + Flax and hemp meal + Sunflower seeds. A glass of whole milk and a fruit, usually banana.
        Indian food has recipes for savory chickpea flour pancakes, but that was too much work in the morning rush.
        Not eating eggs helps me avoid donuts, cookies and cakes!

        • Ha! I’ve never heard egg-avoidance sugar-coated so beautifully – ‘ helps me avoid donuts, cookies and cakes!’ I love it. Whatever it takes to avoid donuts. 🙂

          Well, in that case, I assume you are relying heavily on fully-fermented yogurt. By fully fermented, I mean home-made. The store bought stuff is only partially fermented and contains a lot of unfermented lactose and not much probiotics. Look into parfaits. Good quality euro-style cheese. Go easy on seeds – they are Omega-6-rich. Choose berries over bananas.

          • Thanks for the tip, I will keep a watch on my seed/omega-6 intake.
            As it happens, we recently switched over to making yogurt at home, so that’s a check.
            What’s wrong with bananas? You are not the first person to cast a doubt on consuming a banana daily. Slowly moving over to berries, and kiwi (may be).

            Btw, I would love to see a follow up on Omega-7. I haven’t yet jumped the gun on it, still contemplating.

            • Hi Suhas – nothing wrong with bananas. It’s just that you have high TG and bananas/pears/apples/grapes are all high in sugar and low in phenolics, antioxidants etc. You get more bang for the sugar with berries.

              Not much new to add about Omega-7 than what I’ve said here: The science is very positive and emerging. I’m in regular contact with Tersus Pharma, the folks behind this ingredient, and urging them to conduct more research into its effect on insulin/sugar.

              • About bananas, got it.
                Omega-7 – Sure, I would love to hear more about it, whenever new info is available.

                One last question (probably): What’s your take on millets/millet flours like pearl millet, finger millet, sorghum etc?
                The reason I ask is, rice and wheat flatbreads (chapati/naan) is a staple in Indian food (vegetarians/meat-eaters alike). Just like AJ who commented on this blog, I had trouble initially limiting rice and wheat. I almost cut out rice, as I wasn’t a huge fan of it anyways, but cutting out wheat was the toughest part.
                So we, relying upon traditional hearsay, replaced wheat flour with pearl millet flour. Is it a good choice or is it still a filtered cigarette of nutrition?

                • Hi Suhas – avoid millet. It has compounds that will cause thyroid issues with extended use. If you must eat wheat or rice, choose white rice. It is less harmful. Wheat has a bunch of other components with a long-term negative side effects. Wheat can be physically addictive. I eat a little rice from time to time, but never wheat or millet.

  55. Vin – I am a little surprised that you would suggest white rice over brown rice, which not only has less carbs per serving but also more fiber and other nutrients. Is there a reason why white rice is better in your view?

    • Hi AJ – fantastic question!

      White rice spikes blood sugar sky high and can worsen diabetes, increase triglyceride, make you fat and do other charming things. Yet, it far healthier than other grains because white rice is just plain glucose. It has no outer coating – the purpose of the coating (from the plant’s perspective – always think about the plant’s perspective!) is to protect the next generation from bugs, mold, UV rays etc. So the plant builds in slow-and-steady biological warfare into the coating. Things like mineral-binding phytates and gut irritants. True, the coating contains a lot of nutrients, but it also contains all the potential toxins and anti-nutrients. When you polish brown rice, you lose the nutrients but you also lose all the toxins. White rice is just plain starch that gets broken down into glucose. Is white rice good? No. Is brown rice worse? Yes. With brown rice, you get all the dangers of white rice PLUS the toxins and gut irritants that can slowly set off autoimmunity reactions.

      If you’re upset about losing the minerals/fiber in the outer layer of the rice grain, I’d say you’re looking at it all wrong and that you’ve been marketed to by the food industry. Get your fiber and minerals from vegetables, fruits, nuts, eggs, seafood and organ meats. No one should, ever, ever, ever depend on the outer layer of seeds and grains as a source of nutrients – these contain plant kingdom’s truly natural, slow-acting pesticides. It might kill a weevil rather quickly. But it will harm you very slowly. Try it (I’m kidding of course! :-)) by eating millet/sorghum every day, twice a day for a year and tell me if your thyroid gland doesn’t swell slowly into a grapefruit-sized goiter. Plants aren’t as harmless and healthy as we’ve be believe. It’s not just millet, wheat has an amazing list of ‘slow killers.’ Even potato peels.

      I could go on, but I think you get the point.

  56. RE: white rice
    Cooked and cooled ( 6 hours+) is an excellent source of resistant starch. RS has been shown to moderate blood glucose levels. Same is true with cooked and cooled white potatoes, green plantains, green bananas and potato starch . Look up Resistant Starch and do the research to see if it is a good choice for you.

    • Hi Janet – yes, yes, yes, and yes! 🙂 Resistant starch is highest for some reason in cooled sushi rice. I consume resistant starch whenever I can, but I haven’t discussed it much here because I felt it was a little too geeky for this forum (??) and because it is getting really far away from the original goal of educating people about Omega-3. But for what it’s worth, I ‘roll my own’ soluble fiber blend that’s a mix of about 15-20 different prebiotics. I haven’t tested my blood glucose because I travel a lot and I’m not disciplined about taking it every day.

      Although I want to add that under this thread, I don’t want to provide any reason to consume grains. My personal prebiotic formula is really a way to remain somewhat moderate on carbs. Too high carbs = high TG, blood glucose, all kinds of issues. Too low carbs = thyroid/adrenal issues for me. So moderate carbs + exercise + prebiotics it must remain.

      • I totally get your point. I have been eating Paleo for about 8 months now. Over the last month I have been experimenting with RS and measuring my blood glucose and have found it to be quite powerful. Other than that, no grains for me either!

        Keep up the great work!!

  57. Hi Vin,
    My age is 30 and TG reported 500. Cholesterol level is fine. Doctor advised me to take fenofibrate but I would like to go without medicines. I am not a lover of sugar as I just take a cup of tea everyday with one teaspoon sugar. But I can’t avoit wheat. Above all the cause for my TG is fatty liver. So guide me as what should I do to heal this fatty liver and TG. And I am now cooking everything for myself in olive oil.

    • Hi Mian – the solution is quite simple: eliminate sugar, soft drinks, sweets, and all grains. Yes, that includes all wheat, flour and rice. I suspect your issue not that teaspoon of sugar in your tea but your grain-based diet. Get rid of grains and you will get rid of both the high triglycerides and the fatty liver…and also several other health issues in the coming decades.

    • Hi ab – Canola oil will not increase triglycerides in the long run, but it is high in Omega-6 fats, which will increase inflammation, a bigger problem than triglycerides. Simple solution: use olive oil.

  58. Hi,

    My mother Tg is around 350, what type of food she should have to reduce it. Her age is around 50.

    • Hi Rinki Jha – please read and re-read the the article above and Part 1. I think you will get a very clear idea of what to eat and not.

  59. Vin!!! got my results back!! Hope your good..
    Cholesterol 134
     LDL 86

    Triglycerides from 517 to….


    Yes Yes Yes yes!!

    • Wow, Mike!! I mean: wow! 🙂 Congratulations!

      A couple of questions:
      1) what does your diet look like these days?
      2) are you hungry or craving stuff?
      3) what medications and supplements are you taking?

  60. Thank you Vin..

    Well its not that bad…All i did was make a massive change in diet first..

    Eggs and water every morning with one fruit like avacado

    Lunch light tuna or sardines in XV olive oil

    Dinner was either grilled chicken,grass fed beef,salmon,sweet.potatoes and veggies liken green peppers,asparagus,spinach or just a Garden salad with XV olive oil.

    no corn !!
    No Soy
    No candy except sugar free but go light because i learned real quick the consequences of eating to many..yuck!

    I had cheated but only at 1 party but that was the exception that day but not the rule..

    I am not craving all the processed crap i used to eat at all..Not Hungry like it was in the past,my body accepted..well actually i trained it hard to get this way

    exercise was plenty including 35 minute walks or treadmill an hour after dinner.

    twice a week i went on 3-5 mile nature hikes,plenty of water.I drink at least 7 or 8 20 Oz waters per day.

    Snacking became easy

    epic bars,grapes,blueberries,non salted almonds or pistachios.

    Meds i was on Gemfibrozil twice a day for 4 months

    now completley off them and no going back to crap food..I did enjoy a lot of mediterranian food,tuna,olives,hummus ect..i feel great..never better and lost 34 pounds to boot.

    Its simple

    No Carbs
    No sugars

    Stay commited and you can do it!!!

  61. I also take Mens one a day because it was pointless consuming,Vitamin D,magnesium,Niacin..i also take Fish oil 3,000 MG daily.

    STRESS has to be at a minimum as well..

    Also when your body has registered its new codes,you will notice a big difference in the way you taste,eat,even bowel movements will take a change.It is very hard to do this..its no walk in the park.You have to be really strong and have the ambition to enjoy life as it was meant to be,but these changes come with a painful experience but rewarded handsomely in the end.

    • Hi Mike – what you accomplished is not easy. It takes discipline and commitment…and until you’ve seen results, it requires some faith in those giving you advice.

      Curious – why do you say it was pointless taking Vit D and Magnesium? After all, Mens One-A-Day does not have enough of either of these critical and usually-deficient nutrients.

  62. Hi Vin..One a day suppliea the body with those 2 nutrients plus more..I have seen results as to my bodies reaction from taking them so long.Sort of like the glass your filling with water overflows if you keep it under the tap..I have learned all this time that your body speaks to you pain or feeling well and you are your own best advocate.After sometime taking so many pills at ince you realize your body is getting toxic effects that it does not need.Bladder control issues,excessive heart rates,breathing,muscle pain and weakness from some of this stuff if taken constantly.I learned that the body can heal itself without those meds.The Genfibrozil is no picnic,it has a lot of side effects and its the individual as well but the side effects are not fun just to feel better when in reality most make you feel.In turn i have now a second chance to control myself,my eating habits.This morning i had 6 gotcha…

    i had Scrambled eggs with an avacado,blueberries and a dixie cup with OJ..Time for a change.

    • Mike – Men’s One-A-Day Multi has 700 IU of D3. Nowhere near enough during Fall, Winter and Spring. Get your blood level tested and use mid-day sun exposure (preferable) and D3 supplements (5000 IU works well if taken with meals). The product also has 140 mg of Magnesium from Magnesium oxide. There are two problems here – magnesium oxide is very poorly absorbed. You might as well be swallowing a pebble. And then you need to be targeting 400-600 mg or so per day from mag glycinate, malate, citrate etc. Not Mag oxide! Virtually everyone is deficient in magnesium and D3. Both are very closely tied to heart health. You’ve made great progress with diet and blood lipids – dont drop the ball on this.

  63. My triglycerides went up significantly in about 4 months. Over the long haul of those 4 months, I did not change my eating habits very much except that the first test was in January after lots of holiday sweets and the second was not. One thing that was unusual about the second test is that I had been fasting (as part of a prayer journey). I fasted Wed- Fri, then ate normally Sat-Tues. I found that I had greater self-control on Sat and had pretty much lost it by Tues. So, I ate too many sweets on Tues, then I started a second fast on Wed and the blood sample was drawn mid-day on Thurs. So, my first question is how would 42 hours of fasting affect TG levels? Can that raise it?

    • Hi Cathie – fasting and sweet indulgence can sway triglycerides a lot. Get it measured again when you’re on either extreme. Just do an overnight fast and get the blood drawn in the morning – you can, of course, drink a lot of water before the blood draw.

  64. My second question starts with the observation that all the questions/comments in this blog refer to blood test results. Also, my doctor recommended Vascepa in response to blood test results. But I have symptoms that concern/frighten me, but my doctor doesn’t even comment about and none of the folks asking you questions have mentioned. I have had a serious sweet tooth most of my life. I have always been overweight, but eating sweets – even lots of them – never made me feel bad before. About 6 months ago, I started having episodes where I feel jittery, starting with the arms and shoulders/chest. Sometimes, they move in waves up and down my whole body shaking like a bad case of chills, but no fever and not cold. Could these be a reaction to over-consumption of sugar?

    • Hi Cathie – I don’t know. I suggest you work with a registered dietitian and go back to basics – a simple, whole-foods diet like Paleo or something that gives you whole foods only. You may need professional help doing some sugar detox – there could be complicated reason behind this.

  65. I just got out of hospital from having DKA from my diabetes out of control. I fasted before going to the doctor and had a lipid panel, but later that night went to ER and stayed a week in hospital. My regular doctor said my TG level was over 6000 and my total cholestral was over 900. A few days later the hospital showed my TG at over 4000 and total cholestral over 500. Then a few days after that said my TG was 250 and cholestral was over 200. Can they really fluctuate last much. My regular doctor thinks it is a lab error. I’m so confused. Then they sent me home with no idea how to eat a diet for the TG and cholestral. Help please.

    • Hi Raquel – I cannot give medical advise. However, to better understand your lipid levels, get it tested a couple of more times. These numbers do vary from test to test, but it’s unusual to see it vary this much. Work with your doctors to get to the bottom of this. As far as diet, please read part 1 and part 2 of this article over again – eliminate all sugar, juice, soda, processed foods, grains and flour is a start. Your diet should consist of vegetables, meats, eggs, seafood, fruits, and nuts…basically stuff that was alive a couple of days ago.

  66. Hi Vin,
    I have high TG once it was 800 and mostly at 350 and lower HDL 30 since age 30 and I am 36 now. Taking Omega 3 / Lovaza last 5 years but never went less than 270. I was told to replace wheat to Juwar flour/Chana gram flour. Not sure if Canola oil is better or Olive oil. I do eat Yogart mostly with Salads and lattuce. Also told to have rice once a week and no potato. What you mean in meat or fish or chicken, is that grilled or even normally cooked like india curry is also fine.

    • Hi Namit – if you drink any calories – juices, soft drink, ‘energy drinks’, beer etc. that’s a good place to start. As a second step, cut back on ALL kinds of flour, grains, and rice. This is basically all you need to worry about with TG.

      Olive is better.

      • My friend having similar triglyceride issue tried to avoid all carbs and flour and end up with severe constipation. How to ensure I am not ending on same if avoid all flour rice and cereal at same time. I already changed my diet 2 days back to salads vegetables, lentils, chicken grilled with olive oil and salmon fish. I don’t drink so no alcohol or juices of soft drinks and its in jeans due to parents as per doctor.

        • Hi Namit – if you want to avoid the same fate, eat a lot of vegetables and beans/lentils. Simple.

  67. Hi Vin..

    I bumped into your very informative website and thanks a lot in advance for the great job you have been doing.

    I have had TG of 470 1 yr ago. Now in the latest test, it is 350 and vitmain d is 11.

    After the latest result of 350, i made significant changes to my lifestyle.

    Here is my current schedule which i plan to follow for nxt 3 mths and see if TG drops to the permissible range in the next test

    Please Let me know if its a good plan or let me know for any corrections that i need to make

    8 AM breakfast–120 ml mlk(Organic 2%),10 gms chia,10 g flaxseed powder,40 gm blue berries,40 gms rolled oats, handful of walnuts,handful of almonds
    10 AM –green tea-no sug
    11 AM 1 kiwi
    12 PM 3 rotis with lentil or black beans or chole or black eyed peas etc
    3 PM– green tea-no sug
    5 PM nuts–30 gms of pistachio or pecans
    6 PM Dinner–100 gm brwn rice with lentil or black beans or chole or black eyed peas etc
    7 PM Workout –40 minutes treadmill,20 minutes weights
    9 PM–avacado before sleep

    I am taking 2 gms of (EPA+DHA) from fish oil, 2 tablets of cholestoff, 2 tables of 5000 mg vit d per day( in 2 shifts)

    I have totally cut down alcohol and i drink around 2.5 litres of water

    • Hi gsh – cut out the milk, oats, bread, and rice. Replace with protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.

        • Not total elimination if you think that’ll add to dietary stress and anxiety, but the more you cut out those foods the better.

          • Thx again..One final question i have is….how would you rate the portion of my following carb consumptions. Is it high for someone with TG of 350 who is trying to cut down by diet,2 g of omega 3 , 300 cal of cardio and 20 mns of weight exercise

            1) 40 gms of oat during breakfast ?
            2) 3 rotis during lunch
            3) 100 gms of brown rice during dinner

            • Hi gsh – if I had TG of 350, I would completely eliminate these three sources of carbs. Your proposed diet will keep your TG high.

              • Hi Vin…

                Say i consume 20 gms of carbs from 60 gms of rice & i consume 20 gms of carbs from 200 gms of cantaloupe and veggies.

                Is the reasoning that carbs consumed from grains(rice/wheat/oats) are processed differently by the body than the same amount of carbs consumed from fruits and veggies

                • If you’re carb-sensitive then all of the above are red flag foods. Fruits and veggies drive blood sugar and TG production a little less than refined grains due to the fiber content and slower-releasing nature of sugars. Grains are no-nos. Fruits are so-sos. Veggies are fine.

  68. Hi Vin,

    Can you please tell me what you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between?


    • Hi Sreya – I eat a pretty varied diet, so it’s hard to answer. But I’ll try and make up a generic list.

      Breakfast: mostly eggs. Some nuts and berries. Coffee with lots of heavy dairy cream.
      Lunch: may skip. I often eat only two meals a day. If I have a heavy lunch, then I skip dinner. Veggies and meats.
      Dinner: veggies and meats/seafood.

      I eat a good amount of protein and fats. But I do not avoid carbohydrates. The critical thing is that I get all my carbs from roots/tubers and fruits/veggies. No grains and no sugar.

        • Hi Dan – it is unfortunate that LDL cholesterol is often called ‘bad’ because people begin to think that the ideal level is zero. The truth is that the body needs cholesterol, even LDL cholesterol. Yes, there is an association with high LDL and cardiovascular risk. But that does not mean zero is the ideal level. There is an ideal range and that is what is critical. If it is too high (almost always the case), then you need to work with your doctor to get it back into a healthy range. If it is too low (very rare), you still need to work with your doctor. This is because ultra low LDL is also associated with risk.

  69. Hi Vin,

    Thanks for such a great blog….
    I’m 32 years old, Vegetarian and i do not smoke/drink alcohol.
    let me share my blood work results which i had last week (7/20/2015).

    Cholesterol: 222
    HDL: 30
    Triglycerides: 424

    Those numbers 5 years ago (in 2010):
    Cholesterol: 240
    HDL: 27
    Triglycerides: 550

    between 2010 and 2015, the only life style change i made was to quit drinking sodas, juices and i took 2 fish oil pills per day (each pill has 300mg of omega-3).

    so you can clearly see in the last 5 years, there is no significant improvement in the numbers.

    my questions:
    1. I will “stop eating” white rice and switch it to brown rice (i know the overall benefit could be very minimal)
    2. I will eat 100% oatmeal with some nuts added in it, i know you have mentioned to avoid grains completely…but i dont’ have a choice
    3. eat more veggies
    4. switch from whole milk to skim milk
    5. walk for atleast 20 mins per day/ at least 4 days a week
    6. Fish Oil – do you think i should increase my intake of the 300mg pills to something more?

    i am determined to make these changes and will retake the bloodtest after 3 months and will update this thread.

    • Hi Pratap – looks like the benefits from quitting sodas and juices was significantly offset by grain consumption. If you want to improve your TG levels, replace grains (rice, wheat, and oats) with vegetables. Not easy but necessary. You probably don’t realize how necessary it is, but it is. Skim milk is mostly a lactose solution…and lactose is a sugar. Sugars increase TG. More Omega-3 may help, but the problem is and will likely remain grain consumption. Walk more…a lot more, but it still won’t offset the effects of grain consumption.

  70. I had an obstructive jaundice issue and had to go through the ERCP procedure. After around ten days. i had my lipid profile test. The triglycerides were upto 237 from 150. The 150 reading was just a day before the ERCP test. Cholesterol was around 600 but has pulled back to 200. LDL have decreased back to normal and HDL have increased by to normal. I’m just really worried about the triglycerides. When everything is going back to normal, how have they increased.

  71. Sorry I forgot to mention. All i have since the ERCP is loads of fruits, boiled rice with boiled vegetables and sometimes boiled chicken. I have boiled rice at least twice a day. Is that the culprit?

      • Hi Vin,

        As I got multiple gallstones in my gall bladder, what diet do you suggest. Should I have milk and eggs? I thought they are no good for me and have cut them down. It would be really kind of you if you could let me know what to eat and what not to. I usually have figs and almonds when i wake up every morning. Then aroung 3-4 glasses of water. For lunch its now boiled chicken with beans and salad (i’ve excluded rice).. then i usually have some fruit and at night is all boiled veges. I try having 12-16 glasses of water all day long. Should i stick to this ?

        • Hi Jeff – since you’ve stated that you’re dealing with more than one medical issue, any advice I give you here will be considered medical. And I’m neither authorized nor qualified to dispense medical advice. My suggestion is to work with a functional medicine MD and a dietitian that they suggest.

          Having said that, I have expressed several times before on this site that we have very little to gain from milk. Kids…fine. But no need for adults to drink milk. It’s an overrated source of calcium and is full of lactose, which increases triglycerides. Eggs are fine. There is not one single study that conclusively proves that eggs cause any kind of harm. Avoiding eggs, on the other hand, may be a very bad idea. If you read both parts of this article and the dozens of articles available on this site, you will get a very good sense of which food cause what effect on the body. Sounds like you’re at the start of a steep learning curve. You can hasten that my buying a copy of Jaminets’ Perfect Health Diet.

          In a nut shell, I suggest you eat a whole foods only diet, consisting of REAl foods…things that were alive last week. Shop around the outer edges of the grocery store. Avoid all ‘foods like products’ sold in the center aisles.

          16 glasses of water seems unnaturally high to me.

          • Thanks :).. well the doctor asked me to drink plenty of liquids due to the jaundice. So i usually take as much as I can. Sometimes with some lemon. Anyway, will sure catch up with the doc sometime next week. And sure have learnt a lot from this blog. Was going through it while waiting for your response and actually realized, the answer was already within the posts. thanks once again

            Kind Regards

  72. Hello, I found the information on your website very useful. My son was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and has been on steroids for the last three years. He also has a lot of other supplements to manage side effects – coq10, calcium, vit d, fish oil. his recent bloodwork showed high triglycerides – 239. we are fairly diet conscious but recommendations from your site were good. however, would love your thoughts on what fish oil coudl be helpful for him. currently he takes 2 gel packets of this brand called coromega 3 lime flavour.

    thank you

    • Hi Pooja – Coromega is a good product. It comes in ketchup packet type packaging. Depending on the specific product it may not have enough Omega-3. But you could always give him 3 instead of 2. High triglyceride = too much sugary/starchy stuff – juice, sodas, rice, wheat, and flour.

  73. Hi Vin
    The past 2 years my triglycerides have been 220. The past 12 months I have virtually gave up drinking alcohol, eating carbs and I limit my sugar intake to about 6 teaspoons per day. I exercise 5 days per week. I had my blood test today and my levels are now 510. I have stopped taking fish oil in the past few months but I am having trouble understanding why my levels went so high after being so good. I did have a hernia operation about 4 weeks ago. Could that have effected my triglyceride levels?
    I would appreciate any advice.

    • Hi Paul – it’s your diet Paul. And your genetics probably don’t help much either. 6 teaspoons of sugar is an awful lot. You probably are consuming a lot of refined carbohydrates in the form of flour. You’re probably consuming grains and other things that spike your triglyceride. Talk to a dietitian and limit your food to non starchy vegetables, some roots/tubers in moderation, seafood, meats, nuts, and eggs. Eat stuff that was alive and growing last week.

    • Hi Shri – you can find lots of recipes online. My suggestion is to stick with eggs, seafood, vegetables, meats, fruits, and nuts. No grains and no sugar. Eat stuff that was alive last week.

    • Hi Brad – they are OK. They have a good deal of fiber and that is beneficial from a gut microflora perspective. There are also some other nutrients. Beans also have some nutrient-binders like phytates and lectins, but you can get rid of a lot of it by soaking it for 24 hours. I prefer tubers, roots, plantains etc. But if you have high triglycerides, you will have less of a TG spike with beans than with tubers.

  74. Hi, I just found this blog and think I could find some help. I have a question. My twelve years old son has high triglyceroids (275). He does not eat fruits or vegetables and the only meat he eats is chicken tenders twice a week made by me. He eats whole wheat waffles, pasta with Alfredo sauce, pizza, pancake made with sweet potatoes pancake mix, etc. Iam very concerned about his health and need some advised as he does not seems to be self conscious of what he is doing and I don’t see he understands the importance for him to change his food intake. Please help.

    • Hi Adriana – kids imitate their parents. So what are you eating? And what are you cooking at home? What are you buying from the grocery store?

      Your son’s triglyceride is high because he eats “whole wheat waffles, pasta, pizza, pancakes.” And probably drinks soda and juice. Start with soda – stop buying it. And then start cooking foods that fall into the following category: vegetables, tubers, meats, seafood, eggs, and nuts. Cook everything in olive oil, butter, or coconut oil. No other kinds of oil. Simply put, buy and cook foods that were alive last week.

      Have healthy foods available at home. Kids are welcome to eat it. If they refuse, they are welcome to go to bed hungry. Tell them that you will have more healthy food available in the morning for breakfast.

      I know, this is harsh. It is tough love and it is a self-correcting problem. Once you stop enabling poor dietary habits, it will fix itself, faster than you think. If uncorrected…what if I told you he’s going to be a diabetic before the age of 30? Or sooner.

        • Hi Adriana – hope you are sitting down. There is no substitute for flour. The myth of whole wheat being healthy is brilliant marketing. It is processed and refined grains – it will increase your blood sugar and triglycerides like few other things. You simply have to look at food differently – like I said, eat stuff that was alive last week. Flour was not alive last week.

  75. Vin,
    Fantastic blog! Keep up the good work and please do keep writing.

    I had my blood test done last week.

    I am 37 year old male 5’7 140 lbs. Should I be concerned about the LDL?

    I exercise 4-5 times a week which include HITT cardio along with resistance training. Have been doing this last 6 years. My diet is also fairly good. Lots of grass fed red meat, wild caught fish. We cook using coconut oil, Kerri gold butter. I can probably do better on veggies.

    I consume very less sugar, a mini sized candy after a meal if that. I do have a weakness for rice and beer, although I do not indulge excessively in either (a handful of rice a day at most). one or two beers a week.

    So given my current lpid numbers, should I be making any drastic changes to my diet (like cutting out the rice and beer completely? )

    • Hi PJ – if I had your numbers, I would reduce the rice and better, increase vegetables and reduce inactivity. It does not matter if you run 5 miles in the morning…and then sit all day. As someone recently put it, sitting is the new smoking. Moving about increases HDL. Reducing beer and rice will reduce LDL and TG.

  76. Let me share my experience. exactly three months back my TG was 460 mg/dl.
    All I did was changed my diet and switched to vegetables and pulses and oatmealsater and lots of w.
    I strictly avoid milk, eggs, meat, beef, bread, sugar, all bakery items . And I do not exercise at all. never do that.
    Today my TG level stood at 209 mg/dl and that’s after exactly 3 months.
    can u tell me if I follow the same practice will I be able to further reduce my tg level in next 3 months

    • Hi Malik – your TG dropped because you stopped drinking milk (source of lactose, a sugar), bread, sugar, and baked good. It did not drop because you stopped eating eggs, meat, and beef.

      If you want it to drop further, add eggs, meat, and beef to your diet. And eliminate oats and other grains. Maintain a high vegetable/lentil/beans content in your diet. Reduce but no need to completely eliminate fruits.

      • Thanks for responding.
        Is it ok to eat rice & wheat. What i further wanted to add to my above query is that my Uric Acid Levels are also high. Above normal range and i once had a severe Gout Attack back in August 15.
        Keeping in view the above, can u further suggest what diet should be helpful in reducing down both TG’s and Uric Acid . By the way im 37, male and i weigh 90 kgs that approx 198 pounds.

  77. I have a smoothie every morning made with almond milk, fruit,walnuts, kale or spinach, a tablespoon of rolled oats,2 tablespoons of chia seed, cinnamon, ginger, and a small amount of low-fat yogurt, plus, a tablespoon of frozen concentrated orange juice. I have high triglycerides,and am on medication for that. I take fish oil, a d3 supplement, and multi vitamin prescribed by my doctor. I stay full all day and eat a tiny meal in the evening. I crave milk and have 2 glasses a day. Is there anything in the smoothie that I should leave out?

    • Hi Susan – the OJ, fruit, oats and anything that adds sugar should probably go. Milk has lactose, a sugar. If you crave it, may be your body’s in need of some missing nutrient…??

  78. I am at not wits end but do plan on dying young, currently 65. I simply cannot get my triglycerides down, or total cholesterol. My carb intake averages below 50 carbs a day with lots of fiber. I am high fat and most of it olive, avocado, coconut, oil et cetera and I take six grams of fish oil a day. I do lift weight so on those days I do have about 100 grams of protein, less on non-lift days. I fast 56 hours a week, I cycle over 100 miles a week and my recent test cholesterol was 249, Trig. 333, HDL 32, VLDL 67, LDL 150. I rarely have a glass of wine, never soda or juice, I eat no bread, pasta, potatoes, rice et cetera and rarely fruit. I really can’t figure it out. In the 1980s when I was eating a lot rice and beans and drinking a lot my cholesterol was 135, trig. 74. I am 5-9, 175 pounds at 15% body fat. I should be healthy.

    • Hi Tuba – are you measuring your health by just your lipid panel? That’s like measuring your appearance by how much you can bench press. Time to widen your view and definition of health. Given your diet, TG of 333 seems a bit high. Have you talked to an integrative medicine doctor? If not, I think it is time.

  79. My TGs are high at around 400. Doc suggested I stay off the dairy and whiskey. But in an India diet, carbs are the main stay. Im 36 / weigh 102kgs / n 5’10” tall
    I have increased my intake of Fish / egg whites and whole natural foods. drink 2 cups of Green tea a day.

    Ive completely removed milk, down to 2 beers a week, I do not drink sodas/juices/indian chai but indulge in an icecream once or twice a week. I work out 3 times a week.

    My Tg dropped 50 counts.. but thats it… they have not budged ever since. in fact they have again started to creep upwards. My weight is a constant too it just won’t budge either.
    I have recently added psyllium husk, and Omega 3 (Mega-3 an indian generic brand) to my diet.

    What am I doing wrong? I need to push my TG down further.
    How much of O-3 should I consume regularly? whats healthy.

    • Hi Harrsha – no harm in staying away from dairy and whiskey. But what’s really behind your high TG is grain/flour consumption. If you are unable to drop grain consumption, then your TG will remain high. You can expect each 1000 mg of Omega-3 to lower your TG by 5-10%. TG reponds quickly to low-carb diets.

  80. Hi My TG is 560 and my cholesterol is 217 HDL 28 and on medication what is the best thing to reduce it and im doing a daily exercise and stopped all the fat and fried items and i use to take oats meal, Rice and fruits,nuts and garlic,cinnamon what is the best thing to reduce it as early as possible.

    • Hi Shaikh – please read and re-read Parts 1 and 2 of this article. Rice, grains, sugar, sweets, and alcohol are likely behind your very high triglycerides.

  81. Hi Vin

    Great forum, and Awesome lecture. Thank you, Thank you! I am strongly taking your advice and trying to follow your recommended diet plan to eliminate wheat/grains/milk/sugar. A question, is it ok for me to substitute wheat flour with chickpea flour? i can come up with lots of recipes if I can have that. It does have some sugar/starch content but apparently they are easily digestible? not sure but thats what i read somewhere. TG level 570, runs in family! sedentary office job, female30.

    • Hi Anisha – if chickpea flour help wean you off wheat, then, yes, go for it. But ultimately, if your TG is that high, you need to look into a high fat/low carb type diet.

      • Got it, Thank you. Really appreciate your advice. I am not sure if you got my second post. where I requested some input on Indian Paneer. Is it safe to eat? I will also be starting Omega-3 recommended by you, how long do you think I should take it for? Should I stop taking it after my TG levels are normal? Or I can keep on taking it, since I m a vegetarian and don’t eat fish. Just eat eggs, Oh, i also requested about a safe amount to eggs I can consume per day, if you can please advise? Thanks a bunch!

        • Hi Anisha – a combination of low-starch diet + Omega-3 is your best bet for lowering TG. If you stop taking Omega-3 after you’ve reached your target TG levels, you will then need to reduce starch and sugar a little more. Omega-3’s effect on TG will cease a few weeks after you stop taking it. No harm has ever been directly attributed with 2 eggs per day.

  82. Vin. I have been LCHF for 8 months now. Just had my blood tested last week. Everything got worse.
    Total cholesterol was 316
    Now 344.
    HDL was 45 , now 39
    Triglycerides was 316 now
    . 410…totally lost ?
    I am taking 4 to 6 Omegavia EPA every day.
    Gonna try both EPA & DHA
    Omega via , plus Niacin.
    Going to add a lot more Fish to the menu, instead of grass Fed beef. And cut back on the coconut oil. Any other ideas ?
    My exercise has been terrible due to work hours. But i have cut out all refined carbs.

    • Hi Rocco – some people are ‘responders’ to cholesterol in the diet. About a quarter of all people are, where your blood cholesterol goes up when you increase dietary cholesterol. Most people are non-responders to dietary cholesterol. Switch from coconut oil and butter to olive oil. Olive is mostly Omega-3 and it wont affect your lipids. And yes, more fish is a great idea.

      Cutting out refined carbs is good – but you may also be responding to starchy veggies, fruits, and other whole foods that are high in carbs. If you cut out more veggies, make sure you take a solid dose of prebiotic fiber. Our sister company, InnovixLabs makes a really good prebiotic fiber:

      Having said that, your HDL is tied to your activity and exercise level.

      But I am puzzled by your increase in TG after reducing carbs. Talk to your doctor.

  83. What are your thoughts on Zennoa Core care?

    I exercise daily for life and trigylcerides are still high(251)

    Looking to add the fish oils in my diet and found this in our cupboard.

    • Hi William – each capsule of the product you mention has 100 mg of DHA and 40 mg of EPA – total of 140 mg Omega-3 per pill. That’s almost placebo levels! If you need to manage triglycerides, dramatically reduce sugar, refined carbs, and flour, along with daily exercise and 3000 mg of Omega-3.

  84. My triglycerides are 9,050. They were 10,000 last year and I was in hospital for pancreatitis as a result. I’m on every prescription, including fish oil and niacin, my Endocrinologist can think of. Very little help. Mine is genetic aka familial and my diet is not good. I’m only 43 and have had this problem for 7 years now. I am wondering if super vitamin E and also high dosages of lecithin are worth trying to get my lipids under control? Clearly I’m at high risk of several fatal conditions and it scares me. Thanks for any thoughts you have.

    • Hi Leah – that’s high! We had a customer recently with 4000+ Triglycerides. There is a strong genetic component when you begin seeing numbers north of 500. I very strongly urge you to work with an Integrative Medicine MD as well because they are usually better equipped to direct your dietary changes. Or track down a Preventive Cardiologist. You may have to travel far to get to one. There is good news and bad news. You already know the bad news: such high levels of TG puts you at very high risk. The good news is that extreme-level-triglycerides respond quickly and well to strict dietary interventions. You admit to your diet not being good. Diet and exercise, I’m afraid, is where you need to focus 90% of your attention. You CANNOT OUTRUN THIS WITH JUST PILLS. No way. Not a chance. Of course, you must take all the meds that your endocrinologist puts you on. As far as diet goes, you will, without a doubt, have to completely give up sugar, alcohol, grains, and flour. Once your TG is north of 500, you have to kiss those goodbye. You are at almost 20-fold higher level. If any of your doctors have you on a low-fat diet, call an Integrative Medicine MD immediately.

      As for your question about Vitamin E and lecithin, they can’t hurt. But you’re asking the wrong questions.

  85. Vin,
    These articles you have written are truly awesome (and your continuing to monitor/respond is even more impressive).
    I have struggled with all of the same bad values everyone else here has mentioned (unlike some of them, I read all of your articles 🙂 ). Unfortunately for me, it would appear that one of my loves is going to be something that I have to cut out- craft beer 🙁
    I have spent the past year taking 4000 mg of “Omegas” only to discover (via reading your articles) that I have potentially done more harm than good by taking mostly Triple Omegas (thus adding unneeded Omega 6 to my diet).
    I have decided to renew my focus now by going with the most Omega 3 (highest possible EPA) I can, combined with a near-plant-based diet, and of course, more exercise.
    1 quick question for you… given the amount of oil I use (very little) I doubt this matters much, but aren’t numbers showing that Avocado Oil to actually be the better than Olive Oil?

    • Jason – one of our employees (his name rhymes with Sam) is a lover of craft beer. He now limits it to a couple on the weekends. He has a strict ‘No beer during the week’ policy.

      Does near-plant-based mean bread, rice, tofu, french fries? I’m being snarky, of course, but stay away from grains and processed flour. Eat a variety of plants – leaves, tubers, some fruits and seeds.

      Avocado may have a slightly higher Omega-9 (monounsaturated fat) content than olive oil. But it’s not that significant. Our family still consumes gallons of olive oil and that’s what I continue to recommend.

      • Haha to the snarkyness. Actually, those are all on my “banned list”. But on the grain front, I did want to ask about more details on seeds of grains. Quinoa is actually the seed of the grain, not the grain itself (I believe amaranth is as well). Everything I have read indicates this subtle difference is very different when it comes to the issues we are discussing in this post. I have looked through all of your articles and I haven’t seen very much on this “superfood”- care to comment?

        • Hi Jason – I stayed away from pushing Quinoa because it has become hip. And once something becomes hip, I’d be just adding to the noise. I have not talked anyone away from or towards Quinoa or Amaranth. I would not use either as a staple. But they’re fine as part of a highly varied diet. I often tell people to consume 25 different vegetables every week – you could consider Quinoa one of your 25.

      • BTW, one of the perceived benefits of Avocado over Olive oil is the higher smoking point, but I am reading between the lines that you have no concerns with that…

  86. I am 29 years old and i have just read your articles and got more information in the comments section.
    I have done LIPID Tests.
    these are results:
    LDL: 120
    TG: 205
    HDL: 42
    VLDL: 42
    So I would like to cut down my TG AND TC by doing below:
    Having fruits, oats, and having omega 3 capsules for a while and walking + jog for 6 km daily.
    Also i will avoid all sugary drinks, have green tea, eat walnuts daily.
    So does this help me?

    • Hi Siva – walking/jogging will help. Avoiding sugary drinks will help. Oats and fruits are unlikely to help. However, if your diet was and will be mostly grain-based, you may not notice much improvement overall, despite making these changes.

  87. Ok, here it is, I had a stroke 3 1/2 years ago and lost my taste buds, I don’t eat any type of meat at all and fish I force, and yes I mean really force until I vomit. In the line in veggies I eat everything steamed or grilled with Pam, so basically I’m a vegetarian. I went from my weight 343 lbs and I am now 187 lbs. I went for my 6 month physical yesterday and my blood test came back as triglycerides 193, bad, bad, I could have another stoke but worst. I see what I can do to lower and fully understand which I placed in effective today, but what I don’t understand is Omega 3 supplement especially HDL vs DLD but must not have DHA? Can you please explain the difference, my colesterol is excellent both HDL and DLD and is Omega 3, 6, or 9 will be good for me, thank you for reading this, looking forward to hearing from you,

    • Hi Donna – you had me at Pam. Unless you’re using the variety that’s made with JUST olive oil, you need to stop that. Switch to olive oil (Extra light olive oil is a nice, mild option).

      Don’t worry about DHA and LDL because it turns our DHA increase the good kind. EPA and DHA – they both do different but essential functions. You need both. For now, just take any combination of the two. The key thing is to get 3000 to 3000 mg of Omea-3 daily.

      Your high triglycerides is probably from high grain consumption. Fully eliminating meat, chicken, fish and eggs is not a good idea. If fish doesnt suit you, try other sources of protein.

  88. Hi. Thank for all your info. I had gallstones issues earlier, so have no gallbladder now. My Triglyceride was 600 and doctor gave me fenofibrates with udiliv. It dropped to 173 . I stopped medicine for 15 days. It again reached 600. I have started medicines again. I’ll definitely follow the diet you mentioned but how long should I take these medicines.

    • Hi Ankit – this is a question for your doctor. I suspect that if you are strict about your diet and exercise, you will see a drop in your triglyceride level. Have your doctor measure your levels and re-evaluate the situation.

  89. My husband has high triglycerides. He has chronic unbearable back pain too. Triglyceride level is 534. HDL is 31 and LDL is 115 and VLDL is 107. Vitamin D level is 32.
    Please could you advise supplements.

    • Hi Seema – please work with your doctor to address any acute issues. There may be a medical issue that requires immediate care. On the nutritional side, triglycerides must be handled with a combination of three approaches:

      1. Diet – drastic reduction in sugar, flour, and grain consumption. Replace flour and grains with vegetables and meats.
      2. Exercise – vigorous cardio and weight bearing exercise a few times a week.
      3. 3000 to 3000 mg of Omega-3 daily.

      In addition to all that, you could consider Magnesium, Vitamin K2, and B Complex.

  90. Hi, I have been running high on triglycerides, ranging between 500-700…though my ldl level is 40 and hdl is 26, and total cholesterol is 180. What could be the possible reason for such high triglycerides? What should i do to lower them?

    • Hi Tarun – genetic predisposition or a medical condition can never be ruled out, but as stated in the article above, a diet that is high in grains, starch, flour, and sugar, combined with lack of vigorous daily physical activity are the likely reasons.

    • Hi Steve – sweet potato is slightly better because it has more nutrients. But if you are trying to keep a healthy level of triglycerides, I’d think about cutting it out or at least reducing it.

      • Thank you for the answer! I am new and just found your article because I was recently diagnosed with very high triglyercides (genetics).

        I don’t have a super sweet tooth but I’ve been exploring what I can use to keep future dinners interesting, mainly since I’m also cooking for my wife who has no issues. Been cautious about anything remotely sweet lately…
        Therefore – Any thoughts on balsamic vinegar, would it have any effect on triglycerides?

        • Hi Steve – the low acid (4%) balsamic vinegar have quite a bit of sugar. Avoid those. The 6% acid balsamic vinegars have less sugar.

  91. Hi, just wanted to make sure.. when you say dark chocolate for dessert does that mean chocolate that has sugar in it (aka pretty much the only chocolate I can find). That’s ok for this diet?

    • Hi Steve – when I saw dark chocolate, I mean stuff with 80% cocoa or thereabouts. Those usually have very little sugar. Any ‘dark chocolate’ with sugar is best avoided. Remember that sugar, grains, and flour are what drive triglyceride levels.

  92. I like this article. I had made major changes to get my lipid numbers such that my physician would agree I didn’t need to go on medication – and I did improve things, but not as much as I hoped. My appointment to go over the numbers is in a week and I was getting ready to give in and agree to some small dose of medication. After reading this article I think I want to suggest to my doc that I get another shot at improving things. Because I have been giving myself a pass on things I want to eat that are made of grains as long as they emphasize whole grains (along with letting myself have things like tortilla chips when out on the weekend). If I put my nose down and say “no” to grains, maybe I can make that last leap to where I want to be with my numbers. I want to try it out.

    • Hi ThisIs – you have to cut yourself some slack. Otherwise, your diet is going to make you feel a bit too restricted. So if you occasionally want to have some tortilla chips, allow yourself that. But ‘whole grains’ are certainly not triglyceride or health friendly. Sure, ‘whole’ is probably slightly better than ‘refined,’ but I’ve always viewed whole grains as the filtered cigarettes, while refined is unfiltered. Harm to your health is minimal. If you cut out all sugar, flour, and grains, you will dramatically improve your triglyceride levels. Make sure you consume a lot of veggies, seafood (Omega-3), and healthy fats.

  93. I’m 35 and just found out yesterday that my triglycerides were in the 700s… After reading your blog, I think I will try to adjust my diet instead of jumping straight on to medication. Thank you for this information.

  94. Hi Vin, I have read your blog and have understood it correctly , but I need your help.

    I took Omega=3 and reduced my triglycerides from 488 to 272 in just 1.5 months (I was taking 1000 mg regularly) but my LDL shot up from 100 to 160 first time.

    Also i need to know if I can eat chickpeas and pulses. I’m asking this as i read pulses are also type of grains but rich in protein (not carbs) so a valid doubt i think.

    • Hi Abhijeet – chickpeas are fine. It is usually grains, flour (refined grains), sweets, and juices that drive up triglyceride levels. Intense exercise combined with a low-sugar diet is your best solution.

  95. Wow, I came across your article and it was somewhat of a relief. You get sucked into these medical websites that basically make you feel like you’re going to die any second.

    My triglycerides were 268 in February of 2018. Then 296 in May of 2019. Then 461 in June of 2020. I was then prescribed blood pressure meds after a stress test and pravastatin to lower my triglycerides. Fast forward to my lab results on November 13, 2020 my triglycerides are 705!! I feel like I’ve been eating and drinking better, but something has to change. I am 37 years old, the only thing I see is they prescribed me olmesartan for blood pressure and one of those side effects is high triglycerides. Nonetheless, I have a appointment with my dr next week. Love the article and the insight!

    • Hi Matt – be sure to look at your diet and exercise. These two factors are more likely than the medication you are on to influence your triglyceride levels.

      • Hey Vin, I would have to assume it would be more diet related. Although I don’t eat a ton of fried foods and eat generally well, from what I understood. I do get a sugary iced coffee in the morning, indulge in at least one Coke Zero throughout the day and have not strayed away from carbs. And on the weekends I definitely over indulge in alcohol. I workout at least 3 times a week, so it is frustrating to see it rise at such a rapid rate. I guess reading what I just wrote makes me go, well, what do you expect. I am going to change my diet and have already cut alcohol to one time per week. Any other suggestions or input would be great.

        • Hi Matt – you’re saying a lot of things that scare me. But on the upside, I’m glad you caught yourself as you were typing this. Kudos for self-awareness. Most people have a blind spot when it comes to figuring out their own issues – connecting ones own behaviors to outcomes. I’m guilty too.

          ‘Fried food, sugary iced coffee, Coke Zero, alcohol, no carb restriction.’ etc. Fried foods are bad only if the food is fried in ‘bad’ oils such as seed oils. But unfortunately, virtually every fried food purchased outside the home of fried in bad oils. If you are frying something at home, use olive oil to fry and that is perfectly fine. Although sauteeing is healthier.

          To me, a sugar coffee from starbucks might as well be cigarettes.

          Working out 3X a week is not going to offset the damage from diet.

          A simple diet advice: eat stuff that was alive last week – plants, fish, meat, poultry, fruits. Seeds are sort of an exception but go easy on them. Dark chocolate too. Get your carbs from roots instead of grains. Eat 20-25 different types of veggies per week. Be generous with olive oil.

    • Hi Matt – almond milk and half-n-half are fine.

      Skim milk is NOT fine as it is fat-free…and the lactose is a sugar. Lactose may not taste sweet, but it gets broken down into sugar in the body.

      • Thanks Vin. This entire week I have had 0 soda, only black coffee, chicken, eggs, fruits veggies and nuts. This morning I had 3 eggs with green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and avocado all cooked and sautéed in olive oil. I definitely feel better. I also picked up a bottle of 1280 Omega 3, which I take 3 times a day. Let’s hope for the best when I get my blood work done in about 6 weeks.

        • Hi Matt – that breakfast sounds amazing. Good for you! You may want to add a handful of berries to that breakfast if you have stomach space.

          Black coffee is fine…but if you want to add a little heavy cream, that’s fine. A little extra fat will keep you satiated and away from snacks during the day.

          Since you’re well on your way to fixing WHAT you eat, the next step is WHEN you eat. Try to limit your eating to sunlight hours or 8 to 10 hours in the middle of the day. The goal is to fast for 12-16 hours. Time restricted feeding should be part of your health tools. May be start with 12 hours of fasting and work up to 16 hours. I have a heavy breakfast and then an early dinner. If your breakfast is too carby, then you’ll get snack attacks through out the day.

          Here’s a video from one of my all-time-favorite health experts:

          • Thanks Vin! I’m definitely a early eater. I like to eat dinner by 5pm and that be my last food intake for the day. I’ll definitely check out the video! I’ll let you know next time I get blood results.

  96. Hi Vin,
    Thanks for the blog, this blog has really made me re-check my healthy diet. I had cut down on sugars,gone on low carb, started taking Fish Oil, Garlic supplements, yet my TG would not budge. My breakfast would be steel cut oats with Flaxseeds, cinnamon, Soy Milk and no sugar, lunch would like 2 roti, vegetables and egg, dinner mostly salad. I understand that any kind of green is not good, includes Oats as well. What about Flaxseeds, or any seed for that matter. I had read in some blog where it says that a low carb and high protein diet is better. Is Soy based protein or Whey Protein better. Is there any site which lists all types of food that can is good. How would Chickpeas, Black Chickpeas, mung sprouts? are they Good.

    Thank you for the blog

    • Hi Sunny – it looks like you’re on the right track, but a few things you mention concern me.

      First, all non-starchy greens are excellent and amazing for your health. All vegetables are fine, except starchy ones like potatoes. Do not cut back on vegetables. It should be the largest portion of your meals.

      Your TG is not budging because of grains – oats, roti etc. These will increase your TG. Vegetables, proteins (of any kind), eggs, fish, nuts, seeds, flaxseeds, lentils are fine. Be generous with olive oil if you can find it. Seed oils are not ideal.

      Eliminate all sugar, Lowering your carb intake is a great idea, but virtually everyone I know swaps carbs with protein – not a good idea. What you need to do is replace grains and flour with vegetables and healthy oils like olive oil and Omega-3s.

      As for protein, I get mine from eggs, fish, poultry, and meats. I do not like soy protein or whey protein.

      Also, use your phone as a pedometer to track your movement. Aim for at least 10,000 steps a day.

  97. Hi Vin,
    Thanks for the article. I have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic. I am getting my blood tested next month again. I am on Lipitor and a medication that reduces TGs (forgot the name). I was put on that before finding your articles here. Since reading this – the last two months i have been eating, 3000mg fish oil, sardines, eggs, nuts, unsweetened almond milk, cheese, salmon, chicken, beef steaks, salads, and blueberries and strawberries. For clarification, any beef is ok fat cuts and all? Is whey protein ok or Orgain vege protein better? Can I eat small amounts of Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese? I really want to get off all of these meds. I am trying to follow your steps 1,2,3 as stated. Anyways, I will let you know what my numbers come in at next month.

    • Hi John B – kudos!

      Glad to see that you’re eating a lot of no-sugar and no-flour REAL foods. Changing your diet and exercising is the most effective preventive strategy against diabetes. You’re doing a lot of things right – it’s a good idea to increase leafy greens. Beef cuts of all sorts are OK – it’d be better if you can get beef from grass grazed cattle because the fat profile is better for grass-fed beef. If you’re not allergic or intolerant of yogurt and cheese, then adding them to your diet is fine.

      Generally speaking, fats have almost no sugar or insulin response. And carbs/sugar have the highest sugar/insulin response. Protein is somewhere in between but closer to fat in how your body reacts. So, I’d caution you against adopting a high-protein diet. Add more foods with healthy fats like avocados and olives. Macadamias are a great snack because they are high in healthy fats while being low-ish in Omega-6.

      One of the unexpected problems people face when switching to a lower-carb diet is the loss of fiber from their diets. This can really harm your gut’s probiotic diversity. This is why you should consider adding a wide variety of vegetables to your diet. And consider adding a prebiotic fiber supplement like this: Also, aim to consume all your calories within an 8-hour window when the sun is up. This gives your body a chance to lower its sugar and insulin levels for the other 16 hours – this is critical.

      Add cardio activity and resistance (weights) workouts to your diet change.

      If I may ask a favor: can you please come back and share your results after a month or two? I’d love to hear about it.

      • Hi Vin,
        I just got back from the Doctor’s office and my blood work was much better. I am on medications but I have also started exercising daily and eating as your article suggests. Below are a few of the numbers before I read this article and then after:

        Before After
        Triglycerides 345 132
        A1c 6.4 6.0
        Cholesterol 164 145

        • Wow, John! That’s great to hear.

          You’re doing the right things – work with your doctor on the pharmaceutical front while you do exercise and dietary corrections yourself. A triglyceride drop from 345 to 132 is really good. I think if you keep it up, you can get your number below 100.

          Thanks for letting me know. Keep it up!

  98. Amazing blog. It has really changed my perception because unfortunately I’m also finding myself in the same club as many other readers here are. But this also amazes me and I’m trying to get my head wrapped around it: I am from northern India and our diets are naturally full of carbs – rotis (wheat), rice, potatoes, milk (and recipes made from milk) etc. We have eaten this food for generations and have generally done well. Average life expectancy has been in the range of 80-100 years. I am perplexed as to why this diet is not working for most of our generation!

    My case in particular:
    Blood Sugar: borderline high
    A1c: Not available.
    LDL: 138
    HDL: 32
    Total Cholesterol: 240
    TG: Don’t recall but assuming it was high
    Diet: Usual Indian diet I explained above
    Alcohol Intake: None

    Blood Sugar: 330
    A1c: 8.9
    LDL: 128
    HDL: 36
    Total Cholesterol: 248
    TG: 493
    Diet: oatmeal as breakfast, 3-4 Rotis with Dal, vegetables and rice for lunch and pastas, rotis, rice with dal or vegetable curry for dinner.
    Alcohol Intake: 4-5 drinks (mostly whiskeys single malt or Bourbon) only on Fridays and/or Saturdays.

    Based on your blog above, my diet is no less than slow poison, LOL. But, I am convinced that I need to change it. So, kudos to you 🙂 I will get myself tested in 6 months and post the results here.

    If you’ve any other recommendations, please let me know.


    • Hi Haritosh – glad you found the blogs useful. ‘Slow poison’…your words. 🙂 But I agree. Anything that puts your A1c at almost 9 is poison, especially at 40 years of age.

      If you wish to continue eating what you’ve been eating, you need about 1-2 hour of vigorous cardiovascular exercise. And that is the difference between our sedentary (deskbound?) lifestyles versus our ancestors who may also have eaten similar foods. They worked out in the fields and walked a lot. We type on keyboards and watch netflix. They ate far less unprocessed foods. They drank little to no alcohol, certainly not a lot of whiskey back in the day. They had much better sleep habits. Four to 5 drinks will seriously set you back. All choices (even fun ones like oatmeal and whiskey!) have harsh consequences.

      I could go on. But you get the point.

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