Fast Five Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Hypertriglyceridemia?

Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD


September 14, 2018

Obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, very high-fat diet, and intake of large concentrations of refined carbohydrates should not be underestimated as causes of severe hypertriglyceridemia. With counseling from a dietitian or knowledgeable physician, following a program of progressive aerobic and toning exercise, weight loss, and dietary management can significantly lower triglyceride levels and, in some cases, normalize them.

It is recommended that individuals consume less than 20% of calories as fat, with saturated fat reduced to less than 7% of calories, which may be achieved by avoiding trans fats, limiting dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg/d.

In cases in which dietary intake of sugar and white flour products is substantial, limiting simple carbohydrates and increasing dietary fiber are important adjuncts that may lower triglycerides significantly. Large quantities of fruit juice or non-diet soda can increase triglycerides dramatically. Alcohol should be eliminated or restricted to no more than one standard alcoholic beverage per day.

Sustained aerobic activity can have a dramatic impact on triglyceride levels and may increase HDL slightly. If patients have no known cardiovascular disease, they should be encouraged to begin an exercise program of graduated aerobics and toning. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week and toning for 20-30 minutes twice a week.

For more on lifestyle management strategies for hypertriglyceridemia, read here.


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