Gold Member Badge


  • You're all caught up!

High Triglycerides and Hypothyroidism

author image August McLaughlin
August McLaughlin is a certified nutritionist and health writer with more than nine years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in various magazines such as "Healthy Aging," "CitySmart," "IAmThatGirl" and "ULM." She holds specializations in eating disorders, healthy weight management and sports nutrition. She is currently completing her second cookbook and Weight Limit—a series of body image/nutrition-related PSAs.
High Triglycerides and Hypothyroidism
High triglycerides and hypothyroidism can be managed through medications and dietary changes. Photo Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Triglycerides are the most common form of fat in the body. Hypothyroidism is a disease in which your thyroid gland produces too few hormones. Having hypothyroidism increases your risk for unhealthy cholesterol levels, according to "The New York Times" Health Guide, including high LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, low HDL, or "good" cholesterol and high triglycerides. If you have or suspect either condition, seek guidance from your doctor.

Video of the Day


Triglycerides store calories you don't use immediately, after you eat. Later, hormones help your body release triglycerides for use as energy. Because hypothyroidism reduces the rate at which your body uses calories for fuel and slows hormone production, your triglycerides are more likely to remain in your fat cells. Hypothyroidism also increases your LDL levels by increasing the absorption of cholesterol through your liver, preventing it from effectively eliminating excess cholesterol, according to "The Complete Thyroid Book" by Kenneth Ain, M.D., and M. Sara Rosenthal, a bioethicist and endocrine disorder specialist.


High triglycerides, or a score above 149 mg/dL, is a risk factor for metabolic syndrome, which increases your risk for serious conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. Weight gain, a common symptom of hypothyroidism, further increases these risks.


Dietary changes can help prevent or reverse cholesterol problems related to hypothyroidism until thyroid medications restore healthy hormone levels, according to Ain. Your diet should emphasize fiber-rich foods, lean protein and healthy fats and limit unhealthy fat and dietary cholesterol sources, such as fatty meats, dairy products and processed foods, such as white bread and sugary sweets. Physical activity and losing excess weight can also improve your triglycerides and overall cardiovascular health. If your triglycerides or LDL cholesterol remain high several months into hypothyroidism treatment, your doctor may recommend cholesterol-reducing medications.

Optimum Foods

Valuable sources of fiber include whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, such as beans and lentils. Whole grains, seaweed and other fresh vegetables, also provide B vitamins, which can help reduce hypothyroidism symptoms, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Heart-healthy protein sources include fish, skinless poultry, egg whites and low-fat dairy products. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are prevalent in fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, halibut and herring, reduce triglyceride levels. Additional healthy fat sources include nuts, seeds, avocados and vegetable oils.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.



Demand Media