Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

A healthy lifestyle can reduce your triglyceride levels.

A healthy lifestyle can reduce your triglyceride levels.
beginning of content


3-minute read

Triglycerides are a type of fat in your blood. They are usually measured along with cholesterol when you have a cholesterol blood test. If you have a high triglyceride level, talk with your doctor about what to do. There are lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your triglycerides.

When you eat, your body converts unused energy from food into triglycerides, which is stored in your fat cells. Between meals, your body releases energy from triglycerides. If you usually eat more kilojoules than you use, you may have high triglycerides.

Triglycerides and cholesterol

Your doctor will usually check for high triglycerides as part of a cholesterol test.

Cholesterol is another type of fat. It has many uses in the body, including producing hormones and building cells.

There are good and bad types of cholesterol. Too much 'bad' cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein or LDL) can block your blood vessels, which increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Are you at risk?

Find out if you're at risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes or kidney disease using our Risk Checker.

High triglycerides can increase your risk of a stroke, heart attack and heart disease. High triglycerides may be a sign of metabolic syndrome, which is a collection of conditions such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar.

An extremely high triglyceride level can cause inflammation of the pancreas, which is the organ in your tummy that produces insulin.

If you are aged 45 or older, you should have your triglycerides checked regularly.

What causes high triglycerides

Overeating, especially foods high in fat and kilojoules, and lack of exercise are common causes of high triglycerides. Other causes include:

High triglycerides treatment

Ask your doctor what your triglyceride levels should be. If your triglycerides are high, talk with your doctor about what to do.

Things you can do to reduce your triglyceride levels include:

  • losing weight if you are overweight or obese
  • exercising regularly, if you are not doing so already
  • cutting back on alcohol, if you drink
  • reducing sugary drinks and refined starchy foods, such as foods made from white flour

A healthy lifestyle is important. Some people also take cholesterol-lowering medication if they have low levels of HDL and high levels of LDL cholesterol.

For more information, call the Heart Foundation's Health Information Service on 1300 36 27 87.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: January 2018

Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Cholesterol and triglycerides action plan | The Heart Foundation

Follow our cholesterol and triglycerides action plan to prevent a heart attack or to reduce your risk of another heart attack

Read more on Heart Foundation website


Cholesterol People with diabetes generally have similar total cholesterol levels and similar rates of the 'good' (HDL) cholesterol as the general population

Read more on Diabetes Australia website

High cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced naturally by your body and found in your blood. You can also get cholesterol from some foods. It is used for many different things in the body, but causes health problems when there is too much of it in the blood.

Read more on WA Health website

The ins and outs of cholesterol Dietitians Association of Australia

The ins and outs of cholesterol High levels of the wrong kinds of cholesterol in the blood may increase the risk of developing heart disease

Read more on Dietitians Association of Australia website

Cholesterol and Your Health

Lowering your blood cholesterol levels by modifying your lifestyle and eating habits will dramatically reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease – including having a fatal or disabling heart attack or stroke.

Read more on Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute website

Management & treatment of cardiovascular disease | Jean Hailes

There are many different ways of managing and treating cardiovascular disease. These include managing your blood pressure, cholesterol, best types of food to eat, being active and also managing depression and diabetes if you have them.

Read more on Jean Hailes for Women's Health website

Heart disease and food - Better Health Channel

A diet low in saturated fats and high in fibre and plant foods can substantially reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Health after menopause | Jean Hailes

At the same time you are menopausal there are a lot of other areas of your health that you can keep an eye on. It is important to keep up Pap smear tests, breast checks, watch your diet, blood pressure and cholesterol to ensure good cardiovascular health

Read more on Jean Hailes for Women's Health website

Food Choices for People with Diabetes

Food Choices for People with Diabetes Healthy eating, along with regular physical activity can help you look after your diabetes

Read more on Diabetes Australia website

Metabolic syndrome -

Metabolic syndrome is a condition that increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Lifestyle changes are the first step in its treatment.

Read more on myDr website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo