Q:

Does fasting help reduce triglycerides?

A:

Quick Answer

Short-term fasting is known to temporarily reduce triglyceride levels; however, levels drastically rise after eating, notes the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. If someone has high triglyceride test levels, exercise and dietary changes can lower them, advises WebMD.

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Full Answer

The healthy way to lower triglyceride levels is to eat fewer carbohydrates, consume less saturated fats and cholesterol and remove alcohol, advises WebMD. Weight loss, regular exercise, and foods or supplements containing omega-3 also reduce triglycerides.

High triglyceride levels increase the risk of heart disease and may amplify the negative effects of high blood pressure and diabetes. Medication may be necessary to lower triglyceride levels, according to WebMD. Some prescription medications include Niaspan, Lopid, Fibricor and Tricor. Doctors may also recommend high-dose omega-3 supplements, such as Epanova, Lovaza and Vascepa.

Triglyceride levels are measured as a part of a lipid test taken after fasting for at least nine hours. Healthy triglyceride levels should be under 150 milligrams per deciliter, as the American Association for Clinical Chemistry explains. High test results are often caused by diets high in calories, saturated fats or cholesterol, smoking, alcohol consumption, and being obese. Medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease and hypothyroidism, also cause high triglyceride levels.

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