Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your body. Elevated levels are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (1, 2, 3).

Diet plays a major role in the production of triglycerides in your body. Certain foods may even help lower your blood levels.

Here are 8 top foods that may help lower triglyceride levels.

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A review of 46 trials demonstrated that consuming soy protein, including isolated soy protein and soy isoflavones, significantly reduced elevated triglyceride levels (4, 5).

Daily intakes of at least 25 grams of soy protein were most effective at lowering these fats in the blood (4).

Soybeans, edamame, tofu, and tempeh are excellent sources of isoflavones, a health-promoting compound linked to reduced triglycerides, weight management, and improved menopause symptoms (6, 7).

Fermented soy products like natto and tempeh have a higher nutritional value than unfermented soy. When used to replace sources of animal protein, they have a potent triglyceride-lowering effect (8).

Summary

Soy protein and isoflavones from edamame, tofu, and tempeh have been demonstrated to lower elevated triglyceride levels. Fermented soy has a potent effect when used to replace animal protein in the diet.

Fatty fish like sardines, salmon, mackerel, and herring are important sources of triglyceride-lowering omega-3 fats (9, 10, 11).

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of healthy fat. Besides being essential for healthy cell membranes, they also help reduce inflammation, support gut and brain health, and lower cholesterol (12, 13, 14, 15).

Regularly consuming these fatty fish in favor of either lean fish like cod or lean meat has been shown to significantly lower triglyceride levels (10, 11).

In a 2016 study in 38 women, eating 1.65 pounds (750 grams) of fatty fish per week for 4 weeks — the equivalent of 4 ounces (114 grams) of fish 4 days per week — lowered triglycerides and several risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease (11).

In addition to fatty fish, you can obtain omega-3 fats from fish oil and krill oil supplements. In fact, these have been proven equally effective at lowering triglyceride and cholesterol levels (16, 17).

Summary

Fish oil, krill oil, and fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring contain omega-3 fatty acids. Eating these in favor of lean fish and meat helps lower triglyceride levels.

Avocado is a high fat fruit and a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids (18).

Studies have shown that replacing saturated fats, trans fats, and carbohydrates in the diet with avocado significantly reduces triglyceride levels (19, 20, 21).

Furthermore, monounsaturated fats from avocado are better at lowering blood sugar levels than other types of fats. They also help reduce certain risk factors for metabolic syndrome, which is a condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease (21, 22).

To increase your intake of avocado, try making guacamole and use it as a dip, to top tacos, in wraps, or tossed through salads. Or simply add diced or sliced avocado to your favorite dishes for an extra boost of healthy fats.

Summary

Avocado is a rich source of monounsaturated fat, which helps lower triglyceride levels when used to replace saturated fat, trans fat, and carbohydrates in the diet.

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Quinoa is a type of seed derived from the Chenopodium quinoa plant native to South America.

It’s been popularized for its high protein and mineral contents. It also offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, both linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity (23, 24, 25).

In one study, consuming 1/4 cup (50 grams) of quinoa per day for 12 weeks significantly reduced triglyceride levels in adults with overweight and obesity (25).

A similar effect has been observed in studies of mice with obesity (26).

Further, a study in healthy older adults showed that eating biscuits made with 60 grams of quinoa daily for 4 weeks led to a small but favorable reduction in triglycerides and improved heart health risk (27).

Overall, regular dietary intake of quinoa may support improved triglyceride levels.

Summary

Quinoa seeds are high in protein and minerals. They’ve been shown to reduce triglyceride levels in healthy older adults and in adults with overweight and obesity.

Whole grains like oatmeal, buckwheat, barley, and millet have been recognized for their potential role in reducing the risk of heart disease (28).

For example, oatmeal is effective at reducing total cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Still, it hasn’t been shown to specifically lower triglyceride levels (29, 30).

Meanwhile, buckwheat, barley, and millet have been shown to reduce triglyceride levels by up to 74% (31, 32, 33).

As such, it’s a good idea to regularly include a combination of whole grains in your diet to support lower triglyceride levels.

Summary

Regularly eating a variety of whole grains, namely buckwheat, barley, and millet, may support the reduction of elevated triglyceride levels.

Coconut oil has a bad reputation for being high in saturated fats, yet it continues to be explored for its potential protective effects against heart disease (34).

Coconut oil has a mixed fatty acid profile, including both saturated fats and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) (35).

A 2018 study in 91 older adults revealed that daily intake of 50 grams of coconut oil had similar effects on increasing the HDL (good) cholesterol and lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol as olive oil (36).

In 2020, a clinical trial using tea biscuits made with 40 grams of coconut oil demonstrated a nearly 60% reduction in triglycerides levels after a meal. This was attributed to the MCT fatty acid profile (37).

Other studies suggest administrating MCT oil to treat high triglyceride levels, proposing that the MCT fats improve fasting and post-meal triglyceride levels in the blood (38).

Still, more research is needed to explain the positive health impacts of coconut oil.

Summary

Coconut oil contains a mix of saturated and medium-chain fats. It’s been shown to improve fasting and post-meal triglycerides levels.

Garlic is an herb and common seasoning with therapeutic effects for cardiovascular diseases.

For example, garlic is lauded for its anti-hyperlipidemic properties — in other words, its proven ability to reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels (39, 40, 41, 42).

In a study in 40 individuals with metabolic syndrome, taking 45 mg per pound (100 mg per kg) of body weight of raw, crushed garlic twice daily for 4 weeks significantly reduced triglycerides (40).

In another study, taking 2 grams of garlic powder per day for 40 days significantly reduced triglyceride levels, among other metabolic markers (42).

Summary

Garlic is effective at reducing triglyceride levels and the risks of metabolic syndrome and heart disease.

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Cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale are all members of the Brassicaceae family of vegetables.

These cruciferous vegetables are rich in compounds called glucosinolate and isothiocyanate. Older and newer studies have highlighted their role in reducing oxidative stress and their potential for reducing cancer risk (43, 44).

In animal studies, the compounds in cruciferous vegetables have also been shown to significantly reduce triglyceride levels and improve markers of metabolic health (45, 46).

Although more research is needed in humans, this group of vegetables holds high potential for consistent improvements in blood fat metabolism and metabolic health.

Summary

Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli are known for their potential anti-cancer properties. They also significantly reduce triglyceride levels in animal studies, but more human research is needed.

High triglyceride levels increase the risk for metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

However, diet and lifestyle modifications can help reduce elevated triglyceride levels. In return, this may improve your metabolic health.

Soy protein products, fatty fish, whole grains, quinoa, avocado, coconut oil, garlic, and cruciferous vegetables have all been shown to significantly reduce triglyceride levels.

Regardless, more human research is needed to clarify the roles of especially coconut oil and cruciferous vegetables for their heart-protective effects.

Just one thing

Try this today: Before making dietary and lifestyle changes, it’s best to have your triglyceride levels tested to receive personalized recommendations from your medical team.