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Very High Triglycerides - Now What?

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Oct 30, 2011, 3:47am   #1
coconutsboston's Avatar
Thread Starter
coconutsboston
Member
After months of tests and bloodwork, I've finally been diagnosed. I'm borderline diabetic due to very high triglycerides - over 500. Due to my new job, I have literally no time to work out, and I'm still maintaining the 22 lbs I managed to pack on.

My doc said that if I don't get this and the stress under control, that I'm high risk for cardiac problems; most notably, a heart attack. I'm 28.

She also noted that one way to decrease the level of triglycerides is to decrease my carb and fatty food intake. However, I don't really eat fatty foods aside from the weekends. She cut that out as well. My question is, if you cut carb intake, what else do you eat? I obviously need to alter my diet, but I don't know where to start.

I looked on the South Beach diet website, but I need more to work with. Spending 45 minutes in the morning making breakfast isn't a reality for me. What else can I do to approach this situation?
Oct 30, 2011, 4:30am   #2
n
nafrate
Member
Try switching to a mostly plant based, whole foods diet. A diet high in saturated fat is one major cause of high triglycerides. Processed foods or packaged meals often contain obscenely high amounts of fat, sodium, and sugar to ensure they're flavorful after sitting in their packages for a long time. If you enjoy ethnic foods, that's one way of making sure you don't get bored while still eating very healthy. Spices do so much for flavor, and Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines in particular have a lot of vegetarian, healthy items.

Also, cooking your own food from scratch is a great way to ensure you're really eating healthy. And always read nutrition labels!

Here is an article that outlines some of the stuff I'm saying a bit better:

http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-man...h-cholesterol-
Oct 30, 2011, 12:09pm   #3
n
nviedprincess
Member
I don't think you necessarily have to cut out carbs, just reduce them. And make sure the ones that you eat are whole grains and from fruit. Eat more veggies that are lightly steamed and seasoned instead of prepped in oil. Snack on veggies like peppers and celery with hummus etc
Oct 30, 2011, 2:45pm   #4
oogiewoogie's Avatar
oogiewoogie
Life is good.. :)
I guess in order to make it a life style change.. baby steps would be the way to go. Everything sounds and seems very overwhelming at first. So first off, not sure what you're daily food intake is like, maybe try:

  • Cutting out all juice or soda (or switch to diet-1 can per day)
  • Cut out 98% or all fast foods
  • Try to bring your lunch to work everyday as opposed to buying (helps the wallet too)
  • Bring handy snacks to work & keep them at home (nuts, popcorn, veggies?)
  • Instead of Rice or bread, try to add in Quinao, Cous cous / whole grains
Oct 30, 2011, 5:38pm   #5
MarneeB's Avatar
MarneeB
~One Day At A Time~
My husband has very high triglycerides also. He's in the process of trying to lower them. He watches what he eats by cutting out fast food, eggs, & some bread. We bake more instead of fry, he cut down on soda, etc. He's getting tested again this week, hoping to see the number lower. In the last 6 months he's lowered them from 488 to in the 200's, so we're getting there! I never thought I'd see him read labels like he does now! Good luck OP, if my DH can do it you can too!
Oct 31, 2011, 4:49am   #6
buttercup784eve's Avatar
buttercup784eve
No wire hangers!
Honestly, I would be more worried about the pre-diabetes. Cut out sugar, but also be very careful with artificial sweeteners as some of them can raise blood sugar levels. I think if you concentrate on getting your blood sugar under control it will be easier to get both your cholesterol and your triglycerides down.

You don't have to spend a lot of time cooking to have a good breakfast. 100% whole wheat toast with a 100% fruit spread or all-natural almond butter would be enough. Even better if you are avoiding fruit, a whole wheat wrap with a green salad mix, sliced turkey (unless you're watching sodium intake too), and a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. That's less than 10 minutes including time to eat.

I honestly don't know a single person that has been able to maintain a diet like South Beach long term. If you concentrate on making good choices, it's so much easier. Switch to 100% whole wheat everything. Drink tea instead of cola. Eat one salad a day, a good salad with lots of green veggies and use a little olive oil vinaigrette instead of a heavy dressing.

Be adventurous with your food choices. I've found that when it comes to milk, I like rice milk on my cereal, almond milk in my coffee, but nothing beats a little cup of 1% with a peanut butter sandwich. You never know what weird thing you'll like unless you try some new things. The worst thing you can do is be picky. It's really self defeating when people will only eat certain foods without being open to other ones. Sure, some of them won't taste as good as the ones you're used to, but if the new foods aren't completely disgusting to you, try it for awhile. Your taste buds will change, and eventually some of the new foods will taste better to you than the originals.

Also it's helpful to keep a food journal for a week before you start. I think you may be surprised how much fatty food you are eating, especially if you have a tendency to really splurge on the weekends. It may not SEEM like a lot during the week, but if you know for sure how much you are eating it's easier to start making better choices and cutting some of that stuff out.

And last but not least, portion control. They aren't the best things for you in the world, but Lean Cuisines and other "diet" frozen foods did help me see how much food I should be eating in a serving. Who knew that a serving of pasta was so...tiny! It was a big help when I started losing weight, although they are HIGH in sodium so don't rely on them too much.

Good luck!
Oct 31, 2011, 2:51pm   #7
Cindi's Avatar
Cindi
My baby, Bellis
Prescription Fish Oil - I had high triglycerides, over 400, after 4 months on Lovaza they were cut in half and I didn't really change my diet or exercise. Also no fishy taste or after taste with these.
Oct 31, 2011, 9:04pm   #8
MarneeB's Avatar
MarneeB
~One Day At A Time~
Originally Posted by Cindi
Prescription Fish Oil - I had high triglycerides, over 400, after 4 months on Lovaza they were cut in half and I didn't really change my diet or exercise. Also no fishy taste or after taste with these.

So glad you mentioned this! DH and I have been trying to find some that doesn't have the fishy aftertaste! Thank you!
Oct 31, 2011, 9:39pm   #9
Cindi's Avatar
Cindi
My baby, Bellis
It's not over the counter so you will have to get it from your doctor. Definitely worth it. Good luck.



Originally Posted by MarneeB
So glad you mentioned this! DH and I have been trying to find some that doesn't have the fishy aftertaste! Thank you!
Nov 1, 2011, 4:05pm   #10
Coco Belle's Avatar
Coco Belle
spreading love!
Originally Posted by coconutsboston
After months of tests and bloodwork, I've finally been diagnosed. I'm borderline diabetic due to very high triglycerides - over 500. Due to my new job, I have literally no time to work out, and I'm still maintaining the 22 lbs I managed to pack on.

My doc said that if I don't get this and the stress under control, that I'm high risk for cardiac problems; most notably, a heart attack. I'm 28.

She also noted that one way to decrease the level of triglycerides is to decrease my carb and fatty food intake. However, I don't really eat fatty foods aside from the weekends. She cut that out as well. My question is, if you cut carb intake, what else do you eat? I obviously need to alter my diet, but I don't know where to start.

I looked on the South Beach diet website, but I need more to work with. Spending 45 minutes in the morning making breakfast isn't a reality for me. What else can I do to approach this situation?
I recently cut down my carb intake. I also have high cholesterol which runs in my family, but which I keep under control through diet. Here are some ideas for breakfast, since that's the best place to start. A low-carb, high protein breakfast will help control your blood sugar all day.

-- Pick up some quinoa from the health food store. Rinse it extremely well under running water for several minutes. Follow package instructions, except cook it in skim milk/almond milk rather than water, and stir it several times while it's cooking. This is quinoa porridge. Make one pot on a Sunday and eat it every morning for breakfast. Just throw some dried fruit and/or chopped fresh fruit (leave skin on fruit if possible) onto a single serving (nuke in microwave to heat), add a splash of milk and eat.

-- Another breakfast idea: protein smoothies. My fave is natural peanut butter, unsweetened cocoa, some smooth Metamucil, low-carb protein powder and skim milk. Blend and slurp. Another good one is frozen berries, milk, smooth Metamucil and low-carb protein powder. I measure the ingredients out in the blender contain the night before, leave in the refrigerator, then the next morning I add Metamucil and blend.

-- Poach two eggs in the microwave, throw over some hot sauce or other condiments, and eat out of the cup. http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandfo...microwave.html
Nov 1, 2011, 6:45pm   #11
trigirl's Avatar
trigirl
Member
Cut carbs. Cut the grains and sugar.

High trig's are caused by a high carb diet not by your dietary fat intake. There is alot of info out there now that high carb intake is what raises your trig levels and that goes hand in hand with diabetes.

I recently switch to a Primal/paelo diet and don't even feel like eating breakfast most days now and don't get hungry until noon. I used to be a bowl of oatmeal everyday for breakfast gal and it only made me hungrier and made it hard to lose weight. My first meal of the days is usually 3 eggs cooked with a bit of butter.
Nov 2, 2011, 12:06am   #12
coconutsboston's Avatar
Thread Starter
coconutsboston
Member
Originally Posted by Cindi
Prescription Fish Oil - I had high triglycerides, over 400, after 4 months on Lovaza they were cut in half and I didn't really change my diet or exercise. Also no fishy taste or after taste with these.
WOW, I never knew this! I have the fish oil multi, but can barely remember to take it. I will be back on this ASAP!

Thanks for all the valuable suggestions, everyone! My only thing is that I really do eat healthy for the most part. Fresh veggies, fresh fruit, whole grains, all of that. I do have a cheese addiction but never thought it to be an issue.

A typical work day for me is as follows:
breakfast -
greek yogurt
apple, orange, or grapefruit
blackstrap molasses mixed into hot water
lunch -
black bean burger with salsa over a salad, spray balsamic vinagrette dressing (or 70 cal chipotle dressing), cukes, broccoli, a sprinkling of cheese
dinner -
string cheese
veggies
a low carb, high fiber wrap with salsa, turkey, cheese, arugula spring mix

The weekends, yes, I fall off and need to get that under control, but I had NO idea a couple of days of "cheating" affected someone so much. I really thought I was being pretty healthy most days. I drink mineral water to convince myself I'm drinking soda. I can't stand the taste of artifical sweetner, so I don't use that. I don't really buy processed products other than the black bean burgers because my stomach can't handle them.
Nov 2, 2011, 10:15am   #13
Kansashalo's Avatar
Kansashalo
The 'belle is back!
Have you checked your thyroid levels too. High triglycerides can also be an effect of low T3/T4 levels too (which it was for me). Just thought I'd bring that up since based on the diet you posted above, it doesn't seem like it's really coming from the food you eat. You could just be pre-disposed to having higher level which sucks.

Good luck with bringing it down though .
Nov 5, 2011, 6:07pm   #14
coconutsboston's Avatar
Thread Starter
coconutsboston
Member
Originally Posted by Kansashalo
Have you checked your thyroid levels too. High triglycerides can also be an effect of low T3/T4 levels too (which it was for me). Just thought I'd bring that up since based on the diet you posted above, it doesn't seem like it's really coming from the food you eat. You could just be pre-disposed to having higher level which sucks.

Good luck with bringing it down though .
My dr said she checked my thyroid levels, and they were normal! She also checked for endocrine issues.

What do you all think about a second opinion? I haven't gotten one yet, just because I assumed reading bloodwork was pretty cut and dry, but several of my co-workers had brought it up. Just the thought of them drawing that much blood again though...
Nov 5, 2011, 11:02pm   #15
Coco Belle's Avatar
Coco Belle
spreading love!
Originally Posted by coconutsboston
WOW, I never knew this! I have the fish oil multi, but can barely remember to take it. I will be back on this ASAP!

Thanks for all the valuable suggestions, everyone! My only thing is that I really do eat healthy for the most part. Fresh veggies, fresh fruit, whole grains, all of that. I do have a cheese addiction but never thought it to be an issue.

A typical work day for me is as follows:
breakfast -
greek yogurt
apple, orange, or grapefruit
blackstrap molasses mixed into hot water
lunch -
black bean burger with salsa over a salad, spray balsamic vinagrette dressing (or 70 cal chipotle dressing), cukes, broccoli, a sprinkling of cheese
dinner -
string cheese
veggies
a low carb, high fiber wrap with salsa, turkey, cheese, arugula spring mix
I can only speak in terms of stabilising your blood sugar, so that's what this post is focusing on:

Your diet isn't bad at all! The only thing I would say is, in your quest to get your fruit and veg quota each day, you may be neglecting your protein intake which may be affecting your blood sugar.

I would add couple of eggs/egg whites, or a protein shake, to your breakfast. You really really need protein in the morning, because that's how you set the tone for the day in terms of blood sugar levels. I think yoghurt + fruit = a little too much sugar and not enough protein to balance it out.

Could you switch out the black bean burger for some kind of tofu or perhaps salmon a few days a week? Beans are great, and they have some protein plus fiber, but IMO you might need more protein in your midday meal.

Another tip though this may not apply to you: check to see that your salsa and salad dressings aren't high in carbohydrates. Often they have a surprising amount of sugar in them.

In my opinion, cheese isn't an issue if you're having it in moderation. It's got some protein and a good dose of calcium.

I hope you find a solution that works for you.
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