A triglyceride level of 50 mg/dL is considered optimal. Having a healthy triglyceride level is associated with better heart health and a lower risk of heart disease.
A variety of factors can affect triglyceride levels including your diet, weight, physical activity level, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Some medications and certain diseases also impact triglyceride levels.
Diet: Diets that are high in fat, added sugar, and refined carbohydrates can increase triglyceride levels.
Weight. Having excess fat, particularly around the abdomen, can also increase triglycerides.
Physical Activity. Being active can help lower triglyceride levels.
Medications: Certain medicines can raise your triglyceride level including corticosteroids, beta-blockers, thiazide diuretics, antivirals, and estrogen.
Some medical conditions: Diseases involving the thyroid, liver, or kidney, as well as poorly controlled type 2 diabetes can change triglyceride levels.
Smoking: Smoking is associated with elevated triglycerides.
Excessive alcohol consumption: Heavy drinking can raise triglyceride levels.
Keeping triglycerides in the optimal range is good for your overall health and can help lower your risk of developing heart disease in the future.
Triglyceride levels can increase over time, particularly as cholesterol levels increase with age, so it’s best to put heart-healthy habits in place now. Here are some things you can do to help keep your levels in the optimal range:
Exercise for 30-60 minutes 5x/week.
Lose excess weight by consuming fewer calories.
Avoid refined carbohydrates and limit added sugars to <25g/day.
Limit alcohol consumption to <1-2 drinks/day.
Choose healthy fats like those found in nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocados, and salmon.
Avoid trans fats and limit saturated fat to <10% of total calories.
Cholesterol Levels: What You Need to Know. (n.d.). U.S. National Library of Medicine | NIH. Retrieved September 9, 2021, from https://medlineplus.gov/cholesterollevelswhatyouneedtoknow.html
Triglycerides: Why do they matter? (2020, September 29). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/triglycerides/art-20048186
High cholesterol. (n.d.). NHS Inform. Retrieved September 9, 2021, from https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/blood-and-lymph/high-cholesterol
Cholesterol: Types, Tests, Treatments, Prevention. (2020, July 31). Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11920-cholesterol-numbers-what-do-they-mean
Blood Cholesterol | NHLBI, NIH. (2021, January 4). National Institutes of Health. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/blood-cholesterol
LDL: The “Bad” Cholesterol. (n.d.). National Institutes of Health. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://medlineplus.gov/ldlthebadcholesterol.html