Summer Hints For Those with Type 2 Diabetes and Very High Triglycerides: Getting Fit Could Mean Getting More Fat - The Good Kind

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For those with Type 2 diabetes and very high triglycerides, getting fit this summer could mean getting more fat - the good kind, that is.

Food can be powerful in the fight against many medical problems including diabetes

For those with Type 2 diabetes and very high triglycerides, getting fit this summer could mean getting more fat - the good kind, that is.

As Dr. John La Puma, a board-certified physician specialist in internal medicine and professionally trained chef explains, part of a healthy regimen should include food and recipes with lots of omega-3 fatty acids, in which many people may be deficient. This is especially important for millions of Americans with very high triglycerides. A healthy diet can include fish, a good source of omega-3s, but for individuals with very high triglycerides, La Puma cautions that eating more fish may be just a start.

Omega-3 fatty acids are "good fats" that contain natural substances your body needs but can't produce on its own. These "good fats" are found naturally in some plants and in the oil of certain fish like salmon and sardines. Eating a healthy, omega-3 rich, lower carbohydrate diet can be helpful in reducing elevated triglyceride levels. But people with very high triglycerides, in addition to lifestyle changes, may need a medication to lower very high triglycerides, such as a prescription treatment made from omega-3 fish oil called LOVAZA.

What You Should Know About Triglycerides If You Have Diabetes
Problems with blood lipid levels --HDL (good cholesterol) levels that are too low and triglyceride levels that are too high - are common among those with Type 2 diabetes. Triglycerides are a type of blood fat. When you eat, some of the calories you consume are used for energy, and others are converted to triglycerides and stored in your body. As with cholesterol, triglyceride levels are important to track because if they get too high, they can cause health issues.

According to the American Diabetes Association, triglyceride targets for people with diabetes are equal to or less than 150 mg/dl. Triglyceride levels are considered very high when they are greater than or equal to 500 mg/dL.

Talk to Your Doctor About Your Triglycerides
People with very high triglycerides alone do not usually have symptoms. You can't "feel" very high triglycerides. You could have very high triglycerides and not even know it. That's why it is important to be tested for your triglyceride levels. Triglyceride levels are measured with a blood test. It's also important to know who is at risk for very high triglycerides. You may be at risk for very high triglycerides if you have other health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity or Type 2 diabetes. If you have these conditions, you should talk with your doctor about your triglyceride levels .

Getting More "Good Fat"
There are a number of excellent ways to add healthy omega-3 fatty acids to an everyday diet, many of which make delicious summer eating and are a good recipe for those with diabetes, says Dr. La Puma. Fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and trout are fine choices, especially when marinated and then baked or grilled. Adding ground flaxseed and walnuts to salads will give them an extra healthy crunch. "Food can be powerful in the fight against many medical problems including diabetes," says Dr. La Puma. "However, some people with very high triglycerides may need medication in addition to lifestyle changes."

Partner with Your Doctor
If you think you may be at risk for very high triglycerides, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your health and your triglyceride levels. If they are very high, work with your doctor on a plan that is right for you that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise, and if needed, medication. Only your own doctor can determine if a medication is right for you. The FDA-approved prescription medication made from omega-3 fish called LOVAZA is proven along with a healthy diet to reduce very high triglycerides.

For Summer "Good Fat" Free Recipes and More Information
Dr. La Puma's New York Times best-selling book, ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine (Crown/Three Rivers, April 2008) features many summer "good fat" recipes rich in omega-3s and flavor, and a section about culinary medicine for people with type 2 diabetes. The best-selling hardcover is now available in paperback at bookstores everywhere, online and off. For free, healthy, easy all-season recipes, visit, and For more information about triglycerides, visit

Important Safety Information for LOVAZA (omega-3-acid ethyl esters)

  • LOVAZA, along with diet, helps to lower very high triglyceride levels.
  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to fish. LOVAZA may not be right for you.
  • Talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking, especially those that may increase your risk of bleeding.
  • Possible side effects include burping, infection, flu-like symptoms and upset stomach.

How Supplied: 1g capsules

Visit for Patient Information, Full Prescribing Information and additional resources regarding very high triglycerides.

GlaxoSmithKline - One of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies - is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit


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Bernadette King
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