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triglyceride diet, natural sugars ok?
Sep 1, 2002

I have recently started a diet and exercise program to lower triglyceride levels. Apparently staying away from sugars is important. Is it ok to drink fruit juice that is 100 fruit juice with no fructose and is it ok to eat honey? Are the sugars I am supposed to stay away from processed sugars? I am trying to find something to drink besides water and skim milk.

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

The first question that comes to mind is, "how high are the triglyceride levels?" Secondly, "Do you also have high cholesterol levels?"

Triglyceride levels are less associated with cardiovascular disease, but should be monitored if you have other complicating problems like diabetes or renal disease. Very high triglycerides can put you at risk for pancreatitis, but we are talking very, very high levels.

Usual recommendations are weight control and physical activity to reduce triglyceride levels. Also a strong part of the treatment is to avoid alcohol. For more diet intervention, you might start by lowering saturated fat intake. This is the type of fat from animal or plant origin that tends to be solid at room temperature. Trimming fat, removing skin from poultry before eating it and choosing lower fat sources of foods and beverages is appropriate.

Avoiding sugars is secondary and the idea is to avoid simple sugars and favor starches. Sugared sodas and large volumes of juices are reduced or eliminated. Fructose is less of a problem than sucrose. Honey is a concentrated form of sucrose.

Start with the most important items first. Keep your weight at a reasonable level, get an adequate amount of activity, and drop alcohol. Then reduce saturated fat. And finally, skip concentrated sugars in favor of more complex starches. You can try sugar-free beverages, low fat soy or rice milk, and others to start.


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