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Can eating fruit raise my high triglyceride level of 300 mg/dL?

Howard E. Lewine, MD
Hospitalist
Before answering your question, it helps to understand a few basics about triglycerides.

The amount of triglycerides in the bloodstream rises and falls throughout the day. After a rich meal, triglycerides can be so abundant they give blood a milky tint. Within a few hours, they're mostly cleared out.

That's why doctors traditionally test for triglycerides after an overnight fast. This way the results aren't thrown off by what you've just eaten.

Normal fasting triglyceride blood level is less than 150 mg/dL. But if your test was done shortly after you had something to eat, a level of 300 mg/dL would not necessarily be bad.

Regarding the influence of sugars from fruit on triglyceride levels, they might raise your triglyceride level a little if you ate a lot of fruit and gained weight.

There are better ways to decrease your triglyceride level than cutting out fruits:
  • Go for good carbs. Good carbohydrates include whole grain foods. (You want to limit the easily digested carbohydrates that can raise your triglycerides. These include white bread, white rice, corn flakes, and sugared soda.)
  • Beware of alcohol. Moderate drinking is good for the heart. But in some people, alcohol dramatically boosts triglycerides.
  • Eat more fish. Omega-3 fats found in salmon, tuna, sardines, and other fatty fish can lower triglycerides.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, losing 5% to 10% of your weight can help drive down triglycerides. Losing more is even better.
  • Get more exercise. Exercise lowers triglycerides. Also, regular exercise can raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
  • Cut back on saturated fat and avoid trans fat. Saturated fats are found in red meat and full-fat dairy foods. You will need to check food labels to avoid trans fats.

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol (Harvard Medical School Guides)

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The Harvard Medical School Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol (Harvard Medical School Guides)

This title is from the experts at one of the world's most respected medical schools - your complete guide to managing cholesterol and staying healthy for life. Everybody knows that high cholesterol...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.