HI Amy. I learned 14 months ago that my triglycerides were 272, and I was told to take 4000 mgs fish oil daily, eat a low carb diet and stay away from alcohol. All of it seemed daunting and serious, so I set out to learn what I could, primarily online.
First thing I learned was there is a lot of contradictory, seemingly quacky "medical" information and arefaddish diets out there. If I couldn't make sense of it, I didn't want any part of it. I am not a doctor, but my simplistic conclusion was this: Eat high-carb, simple carb foods, the carbs turn into sugar, sugar spikes occur, the body can't use them up fast enough so they turn into fat that is absorbed into the blood stream. Result: higher triglycerides.
So I went gung-ho trying to turn my eating habits around to stop that process. I didn't have a problem with sugary foods (no sweet tooth). My problem was starchy high carb foods, like large quantities of breads, pastas, sweet corn, potatoes. Initially, I tried to cut all that out, but it was making me wild. That's when I wanted to cheat. So I had to get a bit more reasonable about it.
I forced myself to only shop after eating something (eg a handful of nuts) so I wasn't tempted at the store to bring home things I shouldn't be eating. I picked up a few odd-seeming tips on sites like this and adopted them. I also added the few carbs I would eat to be strictly whole grain. At first they were odd, but I grew to like them. So a typical day now varies but goes like this.
Breakfast: whole grain cereal with fresh fruit, almond milk, maybe a few almonds
Lunch: A heaping fresh lettuce or spinach salad, and some combo of feta cheese, tuna (not tuna salad) or leftover chicken breast or boiled egg and/or hummus and some sesame seeds for protein; celery and carrot sticks, red pepper, whatever sounds good. With a light dressing and squeeze of lemon and a few (5 or 6) whole grain crackers. I am so busy chomping away, I get really full.
Dinner: Chicken breast and some sauted spinach with onion or whatever veggie looked good at the market. If I must have something that subs for potatoes, half a sweet potato (half of the glycemic impact as regular white potato) or (get this) steamed mashed cauliflower are both helpful. If I must sub for pasta, zucchini or yellow squash shaved with a regular potato peeler, plunked in hot water for just a minute, fill in to receive the stir fried tofu and veggies. I've even subbed steamed green beans to hold spaghetti sauce.
Desserts or snacks: a fresh piece of fruit, handful of nuts, or little bowl of plain yogurt with All Fruit jam of choice stirred in.
I also try to avoid social situations where consuming vast amounts of alcohol seem to be the central preoccupation. I take my fish oil. It all seemed daunting at the start, and some friends thought I was being of odd, but..
Last week I saw my doctor after a year. I lost 15 pounds and the blood triglycerides lab results were received yesterday and were 123!!! I do occasionally cheat, usually at a restaurant or in other social situations, but these results are so importantly good, that I fought off the temptation to cheat last night. I decided the sometimes confusing arduous journey paid off and plan to keep it up.
I hope I haven't bored you all or made any egregious errors in my assessment of the medical part of this. But I mostly hope this helps you, Amy, and your cardiac health. It's helped me to tell it. Best wishes!