Foods that are high in cholesterol such as eggs, fatty meats and whole milk products contribute to high levels of triglycerides, according to Mayo Clinic. Avoiding these foods and maintaining a daily cholesterol intake of no more than 300 milligrams can help lower triglycerides.
High triglycerides are typically a sign of increased risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke, and may be related to conditions such as metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, hypothyroidism or obesity, states Mayo Clinic. Other indications of increased risk include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, too much abdominal fat and abnormal cholesterol levels.
An optimal level of triglycerides is 100 milligrams per deciliter or lower, according to Mayo Clinic. Triglyceride levels are checked as part of lipid tests along with cholesterol levels. Cholesterol and triglycerides are different types of lipids that are transported through the blood with the help of lipoproteins. Triglycerides store calories as energy, while cholesterol is responsible for building cells and hormones.
People with high triglycerides should strive to improve levels through healthy life choices rather than medications, states Mayo Clinic. Certain medications have been linked to increased levels of triglycerides, including beta blockers, diuretics, birth control pills, steroids and breast cancer drugs such as tamoxifen. Patients should focus on a healthy diet that reduces calories, sugar, alcohol and refined foods and also includes healthy fats. Getting regular exercise is also beneficial to improving cholesterol and overall lipid levels.