“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food” was the ancient wisdom given by the Greek physician Hippocrates approximately 2,300 years ago. While this statement still holds true, Americans today largely undervalue the medicinal properties of food. Too quickly, we first turn to pharmaceutical chemicals (such as statin drugs) without considering the powerful ability of foods to fight disease. Specifically, research shows that certain foods have the ability to reduce triglycerides naturally.
A Diet to Reduce Triglycerides Naturally?
According to the Mayo Clinic, “A recent analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of overall and cardiovascular mortality, a reduced incidence of cancer and cancer mortality, and a reduced incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.” So if your doctor has warned you about your higher than desirable triglyceride levels, try this delicious diet to reduce triglycerides naturally.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet is modeled after the eating patterns in regions of Southern Europe that surround the Mediterranean Sea, and specifically the Greek island of Crete. In these regions, the rates of heart disease are relatively low. The diet emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, legumes and healthy fats. Unfortunately, many Americans struggle in knowing how to implement this diet using American foods.
Research from the University of Michigan Health System helps in this regard as it creates for the first time a method to achieve the major Mediterranean nutrient intakes using American foods. The end result is that those women in the study using the approach were able to follow this diet and stick to it much better than those who did not. What is the method? Using an “exchange list” of foods that are common in a Mediterranean diet involving suggested foods in a number of categories:
- One or more servings (or exchanges) a day of dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, peas and spinach
- At least one exchange per day of garlic, onions and leeks
- One tablespoon or more per day of green herbs, such as basil, cilantro, peppermint and sage
- One or more servings a day of red vegetables, such as tomatoes, tomato sauce and salsa
- One or more servings a day of yellow or orange vegetables, such as carrots, red bell peppers and pumpkin
- One or more servings a day of other vegetables, such as artichokes, cucumber, green beans and sugar snap peas
- One or more servings a day of vitamin C fruits, such as oranges, mangoes and strawberries
- One or more servings a day of other fruits, such as apples, bananas and grapes
- 8-10 servings (or exchanges) each day of high monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA), such as olive or hazelnut oil, avocados, and most nuts and seeds.
- Limits on fats that are low in MUFA, such as corn oil, margarine, tahini, pine nuts and sesame seeds.
If you get your exchanges from each of the categories shown above on a daily basis, the almost certain result will be to reduce triglycerides naturally. It will also make a huge difference in your overall cardiovascular health and vitality and energy in general. So use the exchange approach described here to help you implement this delicious and
 Djuric, et al. Design of a Mediterranean Exchange List Diet Implemented by Telephone Counseling. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2008; 108 (12): 2059.