Dietary treatment to lower cholesterol and triglyceride and reduce cardiovascular risk : Current Opinion in Lipidology

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Dietary treatment to lower cholesterol and triglyceride and reduce cardiovascular risk

Welty, Francine K.

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Current Opinion in Lipidology 31(4):p 206-231, August 2020. | DOI: 10.1097/MOL.0000000000000689


Purpose of review 

To provide an update on dietary measures to lower levels of LDL-C and triglyceride and reduce cardiovascular (CVD) outcomes.

Recent findings 

Fifty-year follow-up in the Seven Countries Study confirmed that cholesterol levels correlate with saturated fat intake and all-cause mortality and age at death. In the PURE study, refined carbohydrate increased CVD risk whereas saturated fat did not despite increasing LDL-C levels; limitations are discussed. Reports on CVD risk with eggs provide conflicting results. Plant-based diets with healthful complex carbohydrates reduced CVD. The REDUCE-IT trial lowered triglyceride 21.6% and reduced CVD events 26.1% with an omega-3 fatty acid, An omega-3 fatty acid index at least 4% with EPA and docosahexaenoic acid prevented coronary plaque progression. A clinician guide to counsel patients on nutrition and heart healthy diets was recently published.


Based on the evidence, individuals should continue to minimize saturated fats and refined carbohydrates, eliminate trans-fat and increase fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and fish or other omega-3 fatty acids. Adhering to a Mediterranean diet is strongly recommended because of lowering CVD and total mortality. High-dose omega-3 fatty acids lower triglyceride, reduce CVD and prevent coronary plaque progression.

Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

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