Conversion pixel
Heart Health

I Take Your Omega-3…But My Triglycerides Still Went Up!

written by Vin Kutty

comments 59 comments

enteric coated fish oil Omega-3

“I take 3,000 mg of your Omega-3 and I’m eating a healthier diet…but my Triglycerides are up! What the heck?!”

I get this question quite often.

On the surface it makes no sense.

fish oil, triglycerides and grains
Image: Hannah Chapman

As a general rule, every 3000 mg of Omega-3 combined with a healthy diet and daily exercise may be used to maintain healthy triglycerides.*

If you follow the above guideline, you should notice an improvement.

Yet, your doctor’s office calls with news that your triglycerides have actually gone up. You may have even gained a couple of pounds.

Frustration is a normal and acceptable response to this development.

I understand. The same thing has happened to me.

Here’s the good news:
it has nothing to do with the Omega-3. You’re not immune to the benefits of Omega-3.

Omega-3 has influence on everyone’s bodies. You’re not an exception.

Forget the fish oil. It’s not the problem.

The problem is that ‘healthier’ diet you’re on.

When people decide to take charge of their health, they usually do these four things:

  1. cut out fatty foods
  2. exercise more
  3. eat more fruits and vegetables
  4. increase whole grain consumption

Three of the four changes above can increase triglycerides.


Let’s look at cutting out fats from the diet.

Before: Whole milk. After: skim milk
Before: regular ice cream. After: fat-free yogurt
Before: bacon. After: dry toast
Before: scrambled eggs. After: oatmeal
Before: coffee with cream. After: orange juice.

Look familiar?

In every one of these scenarios, people are doing what they’re told. They are following the healthy-eating guidelines we’ve subconsciously picked up from years of reading and watching pundits on TV. May be you’ve been watching Dr. Oz.

You’re doing what you were told.

If you want to lose weight or be healthy, you’re supposed to worship at the Altar of Fat-Free.

But what have you really done? Let’s look at each of the Before & After scenarios.

Before & After: The ‘After’ is rarely better!

Milk. Most of the calories of regular whole milk comes from its fat. Only 30% comes from sugar. But almost 60% of the calories of skim milk comes from its lactose, milk sugar.

Result: more calories from sugar and carbohydrates.

fish oil, carbohydrates and triglycerides

What do these changes do to your Triglycerides?

In each of these ‘healthy’ changes, there is a big jump in carbohydrate and sugar calories.

It doesn’t matter if your toast or oatmeal is considered ‘whole grain.’ (I call whole grains the ‘filtered-cigarettes of nutrition.’ Yes, they are better than refined grains. They are lesser-evil foods, cleverly exploited by food marketers.)

What matters is that carbohydrates are starches and your body ultimately uses enzymes to break it down to sugar.

Your body has a very limited capacity to store sugar. But it can store virtually unlimited amounts of fat.

When your body gets a wallop of carbs, a series of things happen…

First, blood sugar rises.

Second is an insulin spike.

Insulin takes the sugar and packs it away as much as possible in various cells in your body. But like I said, only in very limited amounts. Cells reach their sugar storage capacity quickly.

So then what?

Well, off to the liver, the sugars go. In the liver, sugars are converted into fats.

It does not matter if you ate whiter-than-white Wonder Bread or if you ate organic, stone-ground, 7-grain whole bread from a health food store that looks and tastes like the oak tree outside my window.

They all end up getting sent to the Principal’s office – the liver. And a nifty process called de novo lipogensis occurs.

This is fat production. Mostly the saturated kind.

Triglycerides are fats.

And…ta-daa…that is why your triglycerides went up after you started on your ‘healthy’ diet.

It’s not your fault. At least it WASN’T your fault. You were only doing what you thought was best.

So why is everyone telling you to eat more ‘healthy’ whole grains?

Most doctors, dietitians, The Dr. Oz Show, experts on ‘The Biggest Loser,’ all tell you to eat a low-fat diet high in whole grains.

Even organizations like the American Heart Association, American Diabetic Association tell you to do the same thing.

Hmm. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

The answer is that these organizations are extremely conservative. They are clinging to unproven dogma that was believed to be correct back in the 1980s, when they told us to cut out fat and eat more whole grains. And we listened.

For heaven’s sake, the FDA, the nation’s ultimate health authority, still repeats the same tired diet advice.

They’re wrong.

Excess carbs + Bad genes = Insulin Resistance

We’ll talk about insulin resistance in another blog. But insulin resistance is a huge problem and is associated with high triglycerides, low HDL, high LDL particles, and the list goes on.

The science I just explained above is not new. It’s old stuff. You don’t have go digging in obscure medical journals. It’s right there for you to see in most nutrition and medical text books.

Nothing I’ve stated above is mysterious or controversial.

A diet high in carbs will increase your triglyceride levels. Period.

That’s not my opinion. It’s a fact.

Want to reduce your triglycerides?

  • Ditch your donut.
  • Cut out fruit juices.
  • Cut out cereal.
  • Cut out pasta.

Go back to eating eggs. Go back to eating seafoods, grass-fed meats, nuts and most of all, go back to eating lots of green leafy vegetables. Eat healthy fats like Omega-3. Eat more healthy oils like olive oil, occasional dollop or coconut oil and yes, (gasp!) even pastured butter.*

It’s OK to be shocked.

I followed my own advice and dropped my triglycerides from about 800 to about 100 using mostly diet and exercise.*

So, yeah, your triglycerides dropped a lot. But that ‘healthy’ diet with lots of whole grains pushed it back up higher than it originally was.

This is why your efforts were undone by bowls of ‘healthy’ cereal, low-fat meals and fruits in the morning.

Let’s be honest – when someone says ‘eat more fruits and vegetables,’ we hear ‘eat more fruits.’ And we do. A banana and orange juice for breakfast is a wallop of sugar too. Just sayin.’

Think twice if you see the words ‘Healthy Whole Grains’ on a box of breakfast cereal.

Just because it looks and tastes like tree bark doesn’t make it good for you!

It’s time to get over fat-phobia and go back to traditional foods like eggs, meats, vegetables and nuts.


*Individual results may vary. 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. 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.


Join the conversation

  1. Excellent post that is packed with the truth. I know from first hand experience.
    Thanks Vin! Triglycerides went form 830 to 143 and lost 40 lbs in the process
    just from changing the way I think. I have never eaten so much and lost so much
    at the same time. This isn’t a diet, it is a life style that I love.

  2. Hi Frank – I’m not qualified or permitted to dispense medical advice online, but I am happy to suggest dietary changes that can be very powerful in getting your metabolic (fats and sugar) numbers in line.

    Diet wise, you ought to be able to get your triglycerides under 150 depending on how strict you want to be. I’d start with elimination of all sodas, fruit juices and sweetened beverages. Then I’d cut out candy, desserts, bread, pasta and rice. If you really want to slash your TG, then attempt cutting out everything with flour. Very few people can make all of these changes at once, so pace yourself and only you can decide where to draw the line.

    If your’re saying, ‘Well, heck, what am I supposed to eat then!?’ well, that just means you may have been eating the wrong foods all along.

    As far as supplements, you will need about 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day. Try 5000 IU of Vitamin D3 (any brand) and 400 mg of Magnesium (any Magnesium Citrate is fine).

    This is a start, hope it helps.

    Vin Kutty

    • Hello Vin,
      I think it’s more genetics than anything for me… I’m a vegan but my triglycerides reached 803, HDL 23, LDL 145, and total cholesterol 168. Would you recommend flaxseed oil instead of fish oil? Please advise. Thank you!

      • Hi Annette – there is often a genetic component to this, but diet has far more influence on triglyceride levels than genetics.

        Vegans and vegetarians are more likely to have high triglyceride in my experience.

        Vegans are generally healthy because they are more diet conscious, drink less soda, are more likely to exercise, less likely to smoke etc. But vegans often have very high triglyceride because many vegans depend on grains more heavily than omnivores. Grains may not taste sweet to your tongue, but they get converted to sugar after you eat it. It doesn’t matter if it is whole, organic, stone-ground, brown grains. They all have the same effect. It gets converted to sugar and that drives triglyceride levels sky high. If you wish to remain a vegan, eliminate grains and replace with vegetables. And increase your consumption of olive oil dramatically.

        If you are a vegan for spiritual or ethical or environmental reasons, I fully understand. Just be sure to work around issues like B12 and DHA. But if you are a vegan solely for nutritional reasons, I’d urge you to consider adding eggs and seafood back to your diet.

        I would certainly recommend concentrated fish oil over flax seed oil. You don’t have to take OmegaVia – any equivalent product will do. Flax seed oil contains ALA, which must be converted to EPA and DHA before the body uses it. Very little of it gets converted to EPA and virtually none of it gets converted to DHA.

        TG levels over 800 require medical intervention, but in the meantime, don’t sit back and blame genetics. Here are three steps for you:

        1) Try to get 3000 mg of Omega-3 as EPA and DHA per day.
        2) Replace grains with leafy vegetables. (I assume you are not drinking soda, juice, beer, milk or any liquid that have calories)
        3) Walk 10,000 steps a day, preferably in sunlight.

        • I do believe that heredity plays a huge role in triglyceride levels. I am 65yo and my sister is 67yo. We live together. I have a tendency to take after my father as far as physical characteristics go. He developed type two diabetes when he was around my age, but he did not require medication. He had two brothers with type II diabetes also. When my dad was in his late 40s he developed elevated triglycerides. I had the same thing in my late teens. Our TGs were never in the 200s. Fast forward to now. My sister eats a lot of junk–high sugar food products. She has TGs of 67 and mine are 200. I know I eat sweets/high carb diet–but not as much as my sister. Plus I’m extremely active–she is not. What is the reasoning behind this difference?

          • Hi Janet – without a doubt, genetics plays a bid part in all of this. This just means that if you’ve been dealt a bad genetic hand, you have to work a little harder to control your triglycerides. If it makes you feel any better, I am in the same boat as you. I’d like to think that people like us have the upper hand in some other way, genetically speaking. Ha!

          • Janet — stress levels will raise triglycerides too. Maybe your sister is calmer because she’s eating ‘comfort foods’, i.e. high sugar junk that stops or slows down her cortisol release?

            And speaking of stress — being ‘extremely’ active — that’s a stress. What are you running from?

        • Grains don’t technically get converted to ‘sugar’. They’re converted gradually to glucose. Sugar is glucose plus fructose. It’s the fructose that raises triglycerides.

          I wonder how much honey she’s been eating?

  3. Mr. Kutty, thank you for your posts. Ever since I began learning about the role of Omega-3s in our diet, I have been baffled by the 3-6-9 products, and even the touting of certain oils as sources for omega-3, when their ratios to the Omega-6s in them renders that modest contribution inconsequential at best and, given the Omega-6 load people are unwittingly consuming, likely harmful. I was curious if you could tell me how long it normally takes to see major anti-inflammatory changes after raising one’s Omega-3 levels. My levels are supposedly good, probably even better then when tested, as I’ve continued the same regimen since then: low contaminant, high omega fish only, omega-3 eggs, 10 gms of ground flaxseed/day and lemons and berries, tons of cruciferous vegetables, almonds and macadamia nuts, stevia & lo han sweeteners only, no flours, sugars, dairy of any kind, or any other meat. I am not sure at what point I should be leveling off or how long it will take to actually see changes. If for some reason, you cannot answer these questions, perhaps there is a doctor/nutritionist you might recommend. I had modified my diet for less than two months when I had my levels tested (in April), here are the results:

    Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    Range*: 0.0% – 12.8% Total: 15.0 %

    Linoleic (18:2n6) 15.4 %
    Gamma-Linolenic (18:3n6) 0.1 %
    Eicosadienoic (20:2n6) 0.3 %
    Dihomo-y-linolenic (20:3n6) 1.1 %
    Arachidonic (AA, 20:4n6) 10.0 %
    Docosatetraenoic (22:4n6) 0.9 %
    Docosapentaenoic-n6 (22:5n6) 0.1 %

    Omega-6 Fatty Acids
    Range*: 26.1% – 51.2% Total: 27.9 %

    Palmitoleic (16:1n7) 0.4 %
    Oleic (18:1n9) 16.3 %
    Eicosenoic (20:1n9) 0.4 %
    Nervonic (24:1n9) 0.2 %
    cis-Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
    Range*: 11.6% – 30.3% Total: 17.3 %
    Myristic (14:0) 0.8 %
    Palmitic (16:0) 24.4 %
    Stearic (18:0) 12.9 %
    Arachidic (20:0) 0.3 %
    Behenic (22:0) 0.3 %
    Lignoceric (24:0) 0.2 %
    Saturated Fatty Acids
    Range*: 26.0% – 38.5% Total: 38.9 %
    Trans Palmitoleic (16:1n7t) 0.2 %
    Trans Oleic (18:1t) 0.4 %
    Trans Linoleic (18:2n6t) 0.4 %
    Trans Fatty Acids
    Range*: 0.0% – 4.8% Total: 1.0 %

    Fatty Acids Ratios
    Omega-6:Omega-3 (0.0 – 14.9)* 1.9
    AA:EPA (0.0 – 59.1)* 2.1

    • Hi Michele – looks like you’re doing a good job of balancing your Omega-3 and 6 ratios. This is not easy to do. Some of the benefits of EPA can be felt in a matter of days. But it takes months to reduce the levels of stored up Omega-6, so full benefits benefits could take up to a few months, depending on your Omega-6 consumption and reserves. Of course, there are several other factors besides Omegas that affect inflammation, like diet, sleep, stress etc. Hope this helps.

  4. Dear Mr Vin Kutty,
    It s a great pleasure to read your website.I would like to ask you which the best
    brands Omega 3 for children are?
    And where in Europe could one buy Omega 3 blood-test for personal use?
    Thank you in advance
    Best regards
    Emil Manolov

  5. Vin,
    Great article! Thanks for your knowledge. Your article didn’t explain the other things that increase triglycerides.
    “-cut out fatty foods
    -exercise more
    -eat more fruits and vegetables
    -increase whole grain consumption
    Three of the four changes above can increase triglycerides.”

    I’m assuming eating more fruits and vegetables can increase triglycerides, but how so? Is it the sugars in fruits getting stored as fat?


    • Hi Tony – good point. I was hoping to follow up that blog with another, but have not found the time do it yet.

      Yes, eating a lot of fruits can increase triglycerides. Anything sweet or starchy will increase triglycerides. Anything that ultimately gets converted into glucose will spike de novo lipogenesis (conversion of sugar into fat) that I discuss in the blog.
      – Vin Kutty

  6. Dear Mr. Kutty:
    I am taking 1000 mg flax seed oil supplement along with the omegavia. It contains 110 mg of linolenic acid (omega-6) does this effect the benefits of the omegavia and should I discontinue its use .
    Thank you,

    • Hi Andy – yes, you should not add any more Omega-6 into your body. We already get WAY TOO MUCH Omega-6 from our diet. The reason we need Omega-3 is to balance the Omega-6 we consume in excess. So getting rid of the Omega-6 linoleic acid is a good thing and will make the Omega-3 more effective. However, if you were talking about LinoLENIC acid (with an extra N), that’s OK. That’s an Omega-3. Linolenic is not very effective, but it is not harmful.
      – Vin Kutty

  7. Hi Dan – you are right. Iodine is VERY important. Every thyroid hormone molecule has iodine attached to it. If you don’t eat enough seafood and/or seaweed, you will likely be deficient. Hypothyroidism can affect lipid levels significantly. Get your thyroid measured and have a specialist look at the numbers. It is very easy to overlook or misdiagnose top level thyroid panel results. If iodine or appropriate thyroid medication does not address high triglycerides, it may be time to look at reducing carbohydrate content of your diet.
    – Vin Kutty

  8. I really like your style of writing. It’s very easy to comprehend without needing a PHD. I’ve tried 48378 recipes for Salmon and I can’t stand it. It’s way to fishy in taste ( I know that’s the beneficial part). I know you recommend 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day however, and pardon my ignorance but can one still receive the benefits by using flax seed instead? To avoid that fish after taste? Thank you..

    • Hi Alvaro – unfiltered coffee, yes, I saw that study. That study showed across the board increases in total cholesterol, LDL and triglyceride increases but the % increase seemed small. It’s a meta-analysis, so the increase could be due to the possible addition of sugar and cream to the coffee and not coffee itself. Data seems very mixed on coffee with several studies showing significant decreases in diabetes with coffee consumption. My take on coffee is that if it makes you jittery and costs you sleep at night, quit. If not, a cup a day should be fine. At least that’s what I tell myself until I find more convincing data. The most recent study is not convincing.

      In the meantime, I will continue to drink a large cup of unsweetened coffee every morning with a generous ounce of pasture-fed heavy cream.
      – Vin Kutty

  9. Hi Cristian – the reason why your first experiment from Jan-March worked was because you Omega-3 dosage was good and high. It has nothing to do with Vitamin D3. Simple explanation. Go back to the original dosage of 1500 mg Omega-3 X three. Don’t waste your time or money on flaxseed oil.

    – Vin Kutty

  10. Hi Vin, your column is so interesting. You were really born for this. I am over 60 with a host of illness and i now realized that inflammation is a major part of tthe problem. I am allergic to fish,what can i do for omega 3 supplement?……..will wait to hear from you……..thanks,DW

  11. Right on!!!! Regarding the triglycerides – I have been off grains, flour,dairy,sugar for a long time! Everything else is organic and wild. My only continued worry/question is I use Stevia in my tea – been so for 10 years BUT, I’m wondering …. is it doing me harm.
    signed by
    History with high cholesterol/triglyerides

    • Hi Cindy – kudos for taking charge of your diet! When you eat a teaspoon of table sugar, your brain has to get ready to digest sugar. It does so by increasing insulin secretion. Insulin is necessary to ‘handle’ sugar since the body cannot store large quantities of sugar. Unfortunately, high insulin levels can also ramp up the activity of HMG-CoA reducatse enzyme that is responsible for cholesterol production. Consequently, a can of soda (that contains no cholesterol) can jack up your cholesterol level a lot more than a 3-egg omelet, which does contain a lot of cholesterol.

      So going back to Stevia…your tongue tastes the sweetness and tell your brain to expect a bunch of sugar in the stomach. At this point, the brain presumably releases insulin when it doesnt need to. So it is possible that zero-calorie sweeteners can have an indirect impact on cholesterol levels. The science here is not very established. So this is my educated guess and opinion, one that is shared by a lot of others.

      – Vin Kutty

  12. Super clear to understand, very easy to understand. Look forward to hearing more from you…

  13. i’m not sure if you have already answered this. i’d like to replace rice with quaker oats, but will the quaker oats increase my TGs? are there any type of oats that make the cut?

  14. Hi Vin,

    What is your opinion on turbinado sugar ? I’ve been told that it’s healthier in terms of nutrition than white or brown sugar . Except for the fact that it’s less processed and refined than the other 2, does the body metabolize this differently than table sugar, hence the healthier claim ? I don’t add sugar to my daily cooking, but if there is a “healthier” sugar, I’d definitely be interested in using it for the rare occasions when I make desserts.

    Also, is using honey instead of sugar as a sweetener healthier?



    • Sugar (and P Diddy) go by several names. They’re all bad.

      I’ll make a deal with you on honey – it’s not OK if it comes in a bear-shaped bottle. But you can eat all the honey you want if you climb a tree and squeeze it out of the hive. Fair?

      • LOL Okay good answer. However, if we have to have some sweet in our diet, while limiting sugar as much as possible, isn’t honey better than sugar?

        • Hi LoneWolfArcher – no, honey isn’t better than sugar. There are some trace differences, but that stuff is, well, in trace amounts.

  15. Hi Giovanna – if your triglyceride is at 800, then grains, breads and fruits should not be a major part of your diet. Fruits with low sugar levels are berries and cherries – they are OK in moderation. If you are a vegetarian for ethical, moral or religious reasons, then I support you. But if you think you are doing your body a favor by being a vegetarian, the evidence is not crystal clear. You may be better off staying mostly vegetarian (vegetables, not grains) and adding some eggs, fish and butter to your diet.

    If you must remain vegetarian, try an almond milk or coconut milk smoothie using full fat nut milks and some pea protein or rice protein. Eat a few nuts, try an avocado, olives…anything that gets rid of the grains and sugar.

    If you are willing to try eggs, there are some recipes here: but stay away from the sweet recipes.

  16. Hi Patti – I can completely understand your confusion.

    Here are the things spiking your triglyceride to dangerous levels: oats, bananas, apples, grapes, juice, and whole wheat anything.

    Surprised? After all, this is basically all foods that most doctors, dietitians and American Heart Association wants you to eat. You are welcome to follow their advice, but I will bet good money that your triglycerides will only continue to go up.

    Here is a blog you need to read: and watch the video at the bottom of the page. And here, I discuss how I reduced my triglycerides by 400 points:

    In short, eliminate sugar and grains. Fruits are OK in moderation, especially dark colored berries.

  17. As a full time athlete, I worry that a low carb diet won’t give my muscles the quick energy they need from carbs. My job demands short and quick bursts of muscle fuel and I’m not clear about how to achieve this
    If I cut out the foods you’ve mentioned. I have high TG’s. Can you recommend for instance, what I could eat instead of oats before a triathlon?

    • Hi Terry – there are lots of people who feel that athletes can perform quite well on low-carb diets. But that’s not a discussion for this forum. For you to lower your triglycerides, you need to have much lower carb intake than what you’re probably used to. Does that mean you cannot eat healthy carbs before a triathlon? No. eat what you need to triathlon days or training days. Cut back on carbs on other days.

  18. Hi Billie – avoiding grains is one of the best things you can do for most illnesses. I’d lose the rice and oatmeal too. Stick with a whole foods, unprocessed, natural, real-food type diet. If it was alive a few days ago, it’s OK to eat. Stick with green veggies, tubers, seafood, meats, eggs, fruits and some nuts. Go easy on tubers and fruits since you are diabetic. I suggest you work with your doctor and a dietitian to get it dialed down further.

  19. Read your blog. Makes a lot of sense. However, mornings are difficult and I need lots of protein in my diet. I have been drinking this every morning for 2-3 years:

    1 1/2 cups skim milk
    1/2 cup quick oats
    1 scoop quality protein powder

    My triglycerides are higher than ever. So i think there is a lot of sense to you what you are saying. I don’t drink soda. Only black coffee, unsweet tea, water, and skim milk.

    So I want to replace the above breakfast, but with something I can grab and go. I went here and was shocked what I read:

    I am not diabetic but thought their quick breakfast ideas would make sense for me. It is just as you predicted.

    So what can I replace my normal breakfast with that is quick?

    • Hi LoneWolfArcher – I say this half jokingly: if you follow the American Diabetes Assoc recommended diet, you will get diabetes or remain a diabetic.

      Skim milk is full of lactose – a dairy sugar that is not very sweet to taste, but has all the negative impacts of most other types of sugars. Plus oats = high blood sugar and high triglycerides.

      I would talk with a dietitian about how to develop a variety of breakfasts that are quick. If I have an early morning meeting that I have to rush out to, I grab an EPIC bar (like the buffalo), handful of nuts, fresh berries, may be some cheese. And a mug of coffee with lots of heavy cream. Your taste may vary. You’ll have to get creative to exclude sugar and refined starches.

  20. Hi Kent – please keep us posted on how you are managing your triglycerides. I find it disturbing that your doctor ‘freaked out’ after your TG increased from going to juice, fruit, and oatmeal. It’s still Ok to eat a little fruit, especially dark colored berries. But get most of your carbs from vegetables if possible.

  21. Hi Kevin – your Triglyceride to HDL ratio went from 2.2 to 4.5

    This is not an improvement. More on that here:

    When this ratio exceeds 4, you are at greater risk. But this is very common for people who go vegan. Your carb levels increase (which increases TG) and you consume less fat (which reduces HDL). So while you THINK you’re healthier from the lower total cholesterol numbers, you have actually increased your over cardiovascular risk. Increasing healthy fats (olive oil) and reducing carbs (grains) will help reverse the situation.

    • Hi Becky – pinto beans will not lower triglycerides, but it’s a relatively low-glycemic food (will not spike your blood glucose quickly) so it is a good food to consume for its starch and fiber content.

  22. Hi Vin,

    Good day. Would you mind to clarify on below queries:
    – let say if bread/rice is necessarily needed like at least once a day, should we opt for whole meal bread/rice instead of white bread/rice?
    – from your above comparison of scrambled egg vs oatmeal: do you mean that consuming the triglyceride (or cholesterol or fat?) from eggs are much better than the triglyceride (or cholesterol or fat?) generated when we consume oatmeal?
    – getting the same amount of carb from vege and raw meat; versus the same amount of carb from bread, rice and grain, the former is much better? I am asking this because i am wondering if i could consume the same energy daily if were to replace all grains/oat with vege and meat.
    – how frequent should our body checkup be done to track the level of triglyceride and cholesterol?

    Thanks. D

    • HI Damon – whole wheat bread will increase your blood sugar and triglycerides almost as much as white bread or white rice. Current understanding of nutrition suggests that eating eggs is not harmful and it contains several essential nutrients. Meats do not contain carbs, so you’d have to get it from veggies and a little bit of fruits. Your doctor will need to advise you on how often you need blood tests – I cannot give you that advice.

  23. Hi Ray – you lost 12 lbs and you are exercising. So those are big wins. The supplements you are taking cannot increase your cholesterol. The products you are taking seem OK, but make sure you are getting 3000 mg of Omega-3 daily. Your cholesterol and triglyceride went up because you were given ancient diet advice. Cut out milk, sugar, grains, juices, cookies, cakes, and absolutely anything made with flour or grains. Your ideal diet is a wide variety of vegetables (aim for 25 different types per week), a good amount of seafood, some poultry and meats. Consume large amount of olive oil too. Your supplements are not the problem, your diet is…although you could use more D3.

  24. Hi Mustafa – I am sorry that your child has to endure this. Since this is considered a medical condition, I am not permitted to provide medical advise. However, I am happy to provide dietary suggestions such as reducing sugar, flour, and refined starch. These contribute to triglycerides in the blood. If she lacks the enzymes to process triglycerides, then, the dietary approach is to minimize the foods that contribute to it. I suggest replacing grains with a wide variety of vegetables.

  25. Hi Raj – there should be very little confusion about triglycerides. It’s fairly straightforward.

    Any triglyceride-lowering diet should contain mostly vegetables, legumes, eggs, and some seafood and meats. It should be grain-free and sugar-free.

    Alcohol increases triglycerides. Quite dramatically.

    Exercise – you need a LOT of activity, both cardiovascular and weight-bearing. Aim for 2-3 miles of walking daily and resistance exercises two to three times a week.

  26. I recently had my lipids checked. My cholesterol was 198, HDL 34, LDL 130, Non-HDL Cholesterol 164, and Triglycerides 200. I am 65 years old. When I was around 17 years old, I was told my triglycerides were elevated, and I went on the traditional diet to lower ones triglycerides–for about a month. As the years past, my triglycerides were in an acceptable range–that is why this 200 level has me upset. I’ve been a runner for over 30 years and very active. I retired last October and have not been as active. I am no longer running, but I do walk a lot. I’m lost at what I should eat. High fat foods will raise my cholesterol??? Carbs will raise my triglycerides??? I feel like I’m screwed! Can’t drink red wine anymore??? I only drink one glass/day once in awhile. How does one decide between elevated cholesterol or triglycerides. I’m pretty thin too and really don’t want to lose weight. I’m going to have my lipids rechecked in six months. I need to try something that will make a difference. I’ll appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!

    • Hi Janet, it sounds like you’ve read yourself into confusion. I’m not suggesting that you stop reading or finding out more about this. But one this is very clear: more fat = higher cholesterol is not true for everyone. And not all fats are the same. Feel free to indulge yourself in olive oil, and fish oil all you want. Keep fish oil to about 3 grams per day, not much more. Some people (may be 1 in 5) respond to saturated fat with higher LDL cholesterol numbers. It can also lead to higher HDL ‘good’ cholesterol. Olive oil on the other hand is mostly Monounsaturated fat and that is positive or neutral.

      A glass of red wine every now and then is a good idea. No need to stop that.

      Carbs, well, sugar and refined carbs (flour) or any foods with it are easy to identify as bad actors. These will DEFINITELY increase your triglycerides. The better you control or eliminate these harmful ‘foods’ the better.

      Your change in activity level may also have a lot to do with your change in lipids.

      You DO NOT have to choose between fats and carbs. Both are fine, but choose the right fat and complex carbs (veggies, fruits, and some tubers). 80% of your plate should be vegetables. The rest can be seafood, meat, poultry or eggs. Basically stuff that was alive last week. Move a LOT. Gets lots of sun and outdoor time. Get to bed early and get 8-9 hours or sleep.

      • Thanks for your response Vin. I was doing some thinking overnight about all of this-before I saw your response. When I think about how I have been eating the past few years, its no wonder my triglycerides are high. I nibble/graze constantly, and my choices are not usually the best. THE TRUTH COMES OUT! I guess I’ve always thought that since I was a runner, I could eat whatever I wanted to eat. Now since I’m walking instead of running, the exercise is not helping to control my triglycerides–as much. But I have some additional thoughts about the whole thing. I know that excess carbohydrates are turned into triglycerides–but at what point does this happen. I know that glucose is taken to the cells after digestion and what isn’t “used” there goes to the liver to turn into glycogen stores–how much is of the glucose is used to do that? Then all the excess turns to triglycerides??? I feel that you are saying that eating a bowl of oatmeal is a bad thing because its going to turn into triglycerides the minute you eat it. Can’t my oatmeal turn into the glucose that is carried into the cells for metabolism? Or can’t it be the glucose that goes to the liver to contribute to the glycogen stores? Plus I know that those glycogen stores do get depleted and need to be refilled. Can’t they be replenished with my complex carbohydrates? Isn’t it a little extreme to say that all carbs are bad? If I have the choice of eating a bowl of oatmeal or shredded wheat with some almond milk and berries as opposed to eating a sugary doughnut how can I or should I feel bad about choosing the cereal? I have six months before I have my lipids checked again. I’m going to change my eating habits as far as doing away with all my “junky” food choices. I know what I have to do now. I’m still going to eat my oatmeal and my multigrain bread, and my whole wheat homemade pizza crust with a lot of mushrooms and peppers and black olives…light on the cheese. I can’t go totally low carb. I love salads and vegetables–but not all day long! I’ll let you know how things go. I did send you another post before this one. I’m looking forward to your response.

        • Hi Janet – SOME of the sugars and starch from a bowl of oatmeal will certainly get used for energy and metabolism right away. Your body is able to store about 6 or 7 grams per lb of body weight as glycogen. There is an upper limit. That accumulates over time. So, if your ‘tank is full’, then it’s easy to imagine that the rest spills over and is stored as fat/triglycerides. Of course, you can deplete the glycogen stores with a couple of days of low-carb eating, exercise, and/or intermittent fasting. Exercise during a fasting state, say in the morning before breakfast can help you ’empty the tank.’

          All carbs are not bad. I have elevated triglycerides and I eat carb, just not refined carbs and not a lot of it.

          Between oatmeal, cereal, and donut. Definitely go with the oatmeal.

Leave a Reply