Triglycerides are a common form of fat that we digest. Triglycerides are the main ingredient in animal fats and vegetable oils. Elevated levels of triglycerides are a risk factor for heart disease, heart attack, stroke, fatty liver disease, and pancreatitis. Elevated levels of triglycerides are also associated with diseases like diabetes, kidney disease, and medications (for example, diuretics, birth control pills, and beta blockers). Dietary changes, and medication if necessary can help lower triglyceride blood levels. Read more: Triglycerides (Tests and Lowering Your Triglyceride Levels) Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
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Smoking Quiz: How to Quit Smoking
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Fat and Fats Quiz: Fatty Food & Body Fat Percentage
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Triglycerides Quiz: Are Yours Normal?
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Picture of Carotid Artery Disease
Also called carotid artery stenosis, the term refers to the narrowing of the carotid arteries. See a picture of Carotid Artery...
Picture of Cholesterol
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Health Screening Tests Every Woman Needs
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Related Disease Conditions
Liver (Anatomy and Function)
The liver is the largest gland and organ in the body. There are a variety of liver diseases caused by liver inflammation, scarring of the liver, infection of the liver, gallstones, cancer, toxins, genetic diseases, and blood flow problems. Symptoms of liver disease generally do not occur until the liver disease is advanced. Some symptoms of liver disease include jaundice, nausea and vomiting, easy bruising, bleeding excessively, fatigue, weakness, weight loss, shortness of breath, leg swelling, impotence, and confusion. Treatment of diseases of the liver depends on the cause.
Cholesterol (Lowering Your Cholesterol)
High cholesterol and triglyceride levels increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Getting your cholesterol and triglyceride levels in an optimal range will help protect your heart and blood vessels. Cholesterol management may include lifestyle interventions (diet and exercise) as well as medications to get your total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides in an optimal range.
Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are referred to as type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin dependent). Symptoms of diabetes include increased urine output, thirst, hunger, and fatigue. Treatment of diabetes depends on the type.
Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)
A heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart attack can cause chest pain, heart failure, and electrical instability of the heart.
Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is a rare disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. There are two types of pancreatitis: acute and chronic. Symptoms of pancreatitis include abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and a rapid pulse. Treatment of pancreatitis often requires hospitalization.
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However, over-stress, can be harmful. There is now speculation, as well as some evidence, that points to the abnormal stress responses as being involved in causing various diseases or conditions.
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding (hemorrhagic). Symptoms of a stroke may include: weakness, numbness, double vision or vision loss, confusion, vertigo, difficulty speaking or understanding speech. A physical exam, imaging tests, neurological exam, and blood tests may be used to diagnose a stroke. Treatment may include administration of clot-busting drugs, supportive care, and in some instances, neurosurgery. The risk of stroke can be reduced by controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and stopping smoking.
Fatty Liver (NASH)
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NASH occurs due to the accumulation of abnormal amounts of fat within the liver. Fatty liver most likely caused by obesity and diabetes. Symptoms of fatty liver disease are primarily the complications of cirrhosis of the liver; and may include mental changes, liver cancer, the accumulation of fluid in the body (ascites, edema), and gastrointestinal bleeding. Treatment for fatty liver includes avoiding certain foods and alcohol. Exercise, weight loss, bariatric surgery, and liver transplantation are treatments for fatty liver disease.
Alcoholic (Alcoholism) and Alcohol Abuse
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. It can cause myriad health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver, birth defects, heart disease, stroke, psychological problems, and dementia. Counseling and a few medications can be effective for alcoholism treatment.
Heart Attack Prevention
Heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management. Symptoms of heart attack in men and women include chest discomfort and pain in the shoulder, neck, jaw, stomach, or back. Women experience the same symptoms as men; however, they also may experience: Extreme fatigue Pain in the upper abdomen Dizziness Fainting Leading a healthy lifestyle with a heart healthy low-fat diet, and exercise can help prevent heart disease and heart attack.
Birth Control Options
Birth control is available in a variety of methods and types. The method of birth control varies from person to person, and their preferences to either become pregnant or not. Examples of barrier methods include barrier methods (sponge, spermicides, condoms), hormonal methods (pill, patch), surgical sterilization (tubal ligation, vasectomy), natural methods, and the morning after pill. Side effects and risks of each birth control option should be reviewed prior to using any birth control method.
Smoking (How to Quit Smoking)
Smoking is an addiction. More than 430,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. from smoking related illnesses. Secondhand smoke or "passive smoke" also harm family members, coworkers, and others around smokers. There are a number of techniques available to assist people who want to quit smoking.
Disease Prevention in Men
Disease prevention in men includes routine screening tests that are part of basic prevention medicine. Take an active role in your own health care and discuss screening tests with your doctor early in life. Age of screening and timing of screening depends upon the condition being assessed. Diseases men should take steps to prevent include high blood pressure (hypertension), hypercholesterolemia, type II diabetes mellitus, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), colon cancer and colon polyps, prostate cancer, glaucoma, melanoma and other skin cancer, and bladder cancer.
Disease Prevention in Women
Disease prevention in women includes screening tests that are a basic part of prevention medicine. All screening tests are commonly available through your general doctor. Some specialized tests may be available elsewhere.
Insulin Resistance (Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Reversal))
Insulin resistance is the diminished ability of cells to respond to the action of insulin in transporting glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into muscle and other tissues. There are no signs or symptoms of insulin resistance. Causes of insulin can include conditions such as stress, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and steroid use. Some of the risk factors for insulin resistance include fatty liver, heart disease, strokes, peripheral vascular disease, high cholesterol, and smoking. Treatment for insulin resistance are lifestyle changes and if necessary, medication.
Genetic Diseases (Disorder Definition, Types, and Examples)
The definition of a genetic disease is a disorder or condition caused by abnormalities in a person's genome. Some types of genetic inheritance include single inheritance, including cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Marfan syndrome, and hemochromatosis. Other types of genetic diseases include multifactorial inheritance. Still other types of genetic diseases include chromosome abnormalities (for example, Turner syndrome, and Klinefelter syndrome), and mitochondrial inheritance (for example, epilepsy and dementia).
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that help decrease one's cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Omega-3s are found in salmon, sardines, walnuts, and canola oil. These fats may help reduce the risk of ventricular fibrillation and sudden cardiac death.
Stress and Heart Disease
The connection between stress and heart disease is not clear. Stress itself may be a risk factor, or high levels of stress may make risk factors for heart disease worse. The warning signs of stress can be physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral. Reducing stressors in an individuals life not only can lead to a more productive life, but may also decrease the risk for heart disease and causes of heart disease.
Carotid Artery Disease
The term carotid artery disease refers to the narrowing of the carotid arteries and can also be called carotid stenosis. Fatty substance buildup and cholesterol deposits, called plaque are the cause of the narrowing arteries. Carotid artery disease can be treated by following recommended lifestyle changes, taking prescription medications, and considering a procedure to improve blood flow, if your doctor believes it could help.
Vitamins & Exercise: Heart Attack Prevention Series
Vitamins and exercise can lower your risk for heart attack and heart disease. Folic acid, vitamins, and homocysteine levels are interconnected and affect your risk for heart disease or heart attack. For better heart health, avoid the following: fried foods, hard margarine, commercial baked goods, most packaged and processed snack foods, high fat dairy, and processed meats such as bacon, sausage, and deli meats. Antioxidants and exercise also play a key role in heart attack and heart disease prevention. Lower your risk factors for heart disease and heart attack by: lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, diabetes prevention, and smoking cesssation. Here are a few things you can do to prevent heart attacks: Eat whole, natural, fresh foods, eat five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, eat more omega-3 fatty acids, drink water, tea, non-fat dairy and red wine, eat lean proteins, limit glycemic foods, and exercise daily.
The main features of metabolic syndrome include insulin resistance, hypertension (high blood pressure), cholesterol abnormalities, and an increased risk for clotting. Patients are most often overweight or obese. Lifestyle modification such as the Mediterranean diet, exercise, and quitting smoking are the preferred treatment of metabolic syndrome.
How to Prevent Diabetes Naturally
Prediabetes is a condition in which a person has early symptoms of diabetes, but has not yet fully developed the condition. If prediabetes is not treated with lifestyle changes, the person could develop type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes can be prevented with lifestyle changes, for example, eating a healthy diet, getting more exercise, reducing stress, quitting smoking, reducing or managing blood pressure and cholesterol, and managing any other health conditions or risk factors that you may have for developing type 2 diabetes.
Stress Management Techniques
Stress may be considered as any physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental unrest and that may be a factor in disease causation. An important goal for those under stress is the management of stress in our lives. Elimination of stress is unrealistic, since stress is a part of normal life. We can however, learn to manage stress through techniques such as exercise, relaxation, meditation, time management, and support systems so that we have control over our stress and its effects on our physical and mental health.
Diabetes Treatment: Medication, Diet, and Insulin
The major goal in treating diabetes is controlling elevated blood sugar without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is treated with: insulin, exercise, and a diabetic diet. Type 2 diabetes is first treated with: weight reduction, a diabetic diet, and exercise. When these measures fail to control the elevated blood sugar, oral medications are used. If oral medications are still insufficient, insulin medications are considered.
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to the heart. Heart disease can lead to heart attack. Risk factors for heart disease include: Smoking High blood pressure High cholesterol Diabetes Family history Obesity Angina, shortness of breath, and sweating are just a few symptoms that may indicate a heart attack. Treatment of heart disease involves control of heart disease risk factors through lifestyle changes, medications, and/or stenting or bypass surgery. Heart disease can be prevented by controlling heart disease risk factors.
Weight Control and Smoking Cessation
One concern smokers have when considering quitting smoking is weight gain. Not everyone will gain weight when they stop smoking. There are lifestyle changes that can be made to avoid weight gain during smoking cessation. Lifestyle changes include regular exercise, proper nutrition, limiting snacking and alcohol, medication, and weight management counseling.
High Cholesterol: Frequently Asked Questions
Cholesterol occurs naturally in the body. High blood cholesterol levels increase a person's risk of developing heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, TIAs, and more. In addition to medication (fibrates, statins, bile acid sequestrants, and niacin), lifestyle changes can be made to lower blood cholesterol levels
Liver disease can be cause by a variety of things including infection (hepatitis), diseases, for example, gallstones, high cholesterol or triglycerides, blood flow obstruction to the liver, and toxins (medications and chemicals). Symptoms of liver disease depends upon the cause and may include nausea, vomiting, upper right abdominal pain, and jaundice. Treatment depends upon the cause of the liver disease.
Heart Attacks in Women
Heart disease, particularly coronary artery disease is the leading cause of heart attacks. Women are more likely to die from a heart attack than men. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and high triglycerides are contributors to heart disease. Some of the common symptoms of a heart attack in women include chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, feeling faint or woozy, and more. Heart disease can be prevented by lifestyle changes and controlling high blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and diseases such as diabetes.
Smoking and Heart Disease
Smoking increases the risk of heart disease in women and men. Nicotine in cigarettes decrease oxygen to the heart, increases blood pressure, blood clots, and damages coronary arteries. Learn how to quit smoking today, to prolong your life.
Heart Disease in Women
Heart disease in women has somewhat different symptoms, risk factors, and treatment compared to heart disease in men. Many women and health professionals are not aware of the risk factors for heart disease in women and may delay diagnosis and treatment. Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, tobacco use, overweight/obesity, stress, alcohol consumption, and depression influence heart disease risk in women. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes also increase women's risk of heart disease. Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), stress-ECG, endothelial testing, ankle-brachial index (ABI), echocardiogram, nuclear imaging, electron beam CT, and lab tests to assess blood lipids and biomarkers of inflammation are used to diagnose heart disease. Early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in women saves lives. Heart disease can be prevented and reversed with lifestyle changes.
Lowering Triglycerides Naturally
Trigylcerides are fatty molecules that travel in the bloodstream. Excess sugar and fat can increase triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are also manufactured in the liver. The body uses triglycerides for energy, but excess triglycerides are a risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and obesity. Many lifestyle factors can influence triglyceride levels.
Hookahs vs. Cigarette Smoking (Addiction and Health Dangers)
A hookah is a water pipe that's used to smoke flavored tobacco like watermelon, licorice, coconut, chocolate, cherry, mint, apple, and cappuccino. The use of this type of tobacco smoking began in ancient India and Persia centuries ago. You can find hookah cafes all over the world, for example, the U.S., France, Russia, Britain, and the Middle East. New forms of electronic hookah are now available. Some people who smoke tobacco think that hookahs are less dangerous to their health because the smoke is filtered through water, but the smoke from hookahs contain the same cancer-causing chemicals that cigarette smoke does. Smoking tobacco via cigarettes or hookah are both dangerous to your health.
HDL vs. LDL Cholesterol (Good and Bad)
HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or the "good" cholesterol, and LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or the "bad" cholesterol, are lipoproteins that carry cholesterol through the veins and arteries of the body. HDL and LDL combined, is your "total" blood cholesterol. The difference between the two are that high levels of the "good," or HDL cholesterol, may protect against narrowing of the blood vessels in the body, which protects you against heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. But high levels of LDL, or the "bad" cholesterol, may worsen the narrowing of the blood vessels in the body, which puts you at a greater risk of stroke, heart attack, and cardiovascular diseases, some of which are life threatening.Triglycerides are found in body fat and from the fats you eat.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- Lipitor (atorvastatin)
- gemfibrozil (Lopid)
- lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev)
- Zocor (simvastatin)
- Birth Control Pills (List of Oral Contraceptives and Side Effects)
- Beta Blockers (Drug Class, List of Brand and Generic Names)
- fenofibrate (Antara, Fenoglide, Fibricor, Lipofen, Lofibra, Tricor, Triglide, Trilipix)
- Bile Acid Sequestrants
- omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza)
- alirocumab (Praluent)
- Side Effects of Lovaza (omega-3-acid ethyl esters)
- Side Effects of Mevacor (lovastatin)
Prevention & Wellness
- Expand Use of Fish Oil Drug Vascepa: FDA Panel
- AHA News: High Triglycerides Caused a Diet Change – at Age 10
- Heart Experts Support Use of Prescription Fish Oil to Lower Triglyceride Levels
- Prescription Fish Oil Pill Lowers Heart Attack Risk in Those Already on Statins
- Patients With Primary Care Docs May Get Better Health Care
- Too Much Fried Food May Shorten Your Life
- Health Tip: Tracking High Triglycerides
- The 411 on High Triglycerides
- Health Tip: The Facts About Fat
- Race Plays Role in Heart, Diabetes Risk, Even at Normal Weight
- Fish Oil Pills May Help After Heart Attack, Specialists Say
- 1 in 7 Obese People Has Normal Blood Pressure, Cholesterol
- Common Virus May Be Linked to Heart Disease, Diabetes in Some Women
- Weight-Loss Surgery May Help Obese Patients Beat Diabetes
- Heart Risks May Boost Women's Colon Cancer Risk, Too
- The Shame of 'Fat Shaming'
- Americans' Cholesterol Levels Keep Falling
- Is It Really True That Chocolate May Be Good for You?
- Eliminate Sweetened Drinks, Cut Kids' Sugar Intake
- 'Spare Tire' May Be Tougher on Your Heart Than 'Love Handles'
- Sleep Troubles, Heart Troubles?
- Sugar Companies Shifted Focus to Fat as Heart Harm: Study
- Intensive Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Can Extend Survival: Study
- Fried, Grilled or Baked Foods? They May Affect Type 2 Diabetes Risk
- Heart Risk Factors Rise Before Menopause
- Cutting Down on Sweets Can Help Kids' Hearts
- Cutting Sugar From Diet Boosts Kids' Health Immediately: Study
- Study Sees Link Between High Cholesterol and Tendon Trouble
- Sweetened Drinks May Damage Heart, Review Finds
- Gut Bugs May Affect Body Fat, 'Good' Cholesterol Levels
- Stand, Don't Sit, to Get Healthier, Researchers Say
- New Drug Lowers Levels of Triglyceride Blood Fats: Study
- Health Tip: Exercise Boosts Heart Health
- Heart Risk Factors May Harm Black Women More Than Whites
- Staying Fit May Delay Onset of High Cholesterol, Study Finds
- Americans' Blood Triglyceride Levels Dropping: CDC
- Blood Fats Hold Vitamin E Captive, Study Shows
- Nuts Linked to Better Heart Health for Teens
- Avocados Help Lower Cholesterol in Some People
- Health Tip: Risk Factors for Heart Disease in Women
- Another Study Links Mediterranean Diet to Better Heart Health
- High Cholesterol Tied to Prostate Cancer's Return in Study
- Health Tip: Troubled by High Triglycerides?
- Zydelig Approved for Three Types of Blood Cancer
- Rare Gene Mutations May Help Shield the Heart
- Treating Sleep Apnea May Lower Heart Risks, Study Finds
- For Many Men, Impotence Is Treatable Without Drugs
- For Many Older Men, Impotence Is Treatable Without Drugs
- Many Kids May Have High Cholesterol, Regardless of Weight
- Marathon Training Might Boost Heart Health
- Another Win for the Mediterranean-Style Diet
- Diabetes Drugs Affect Hearts of Men, Women Differently
- 'Healthy' Obesity May Still Carry Higher Health Risks
- Weight-Loss Surgery Seems to Beat Diet and Exercise
- Study Questions Fish Oil Brain Claims
- Study May Help Explain Delay of Heart Disease in Women
- New Drug Shows Promise for Type 2 Diabetes
- Women Smokers Face Increased Risk of Lethal Stroke: Review
- Red Wine Supplement May Block Benefits of Exercise in Older Men
- Type 2 Diabetes Progresses Faster in Kids, Study Finds
- Niacin Won't Help, May Harm Heart Patients: Study
- Cholesterol Levels May Vary By Season
- Niacin-Statin Combo May Cause Side Effects for Heart Patients
- Health Tip: Should I Be Screened for Prediabetes?
- For Texas Man, Bariatric Surgery Led to Diabetes-Free Life
- Fish Oil Supplements Won't Prevent Irregular Heart Beat: Study
- Yo-Yo Dieting Can Hurt the Heart, Study Finds
- Brown Fat Transplants May Spur Weight Loss
- Health Tip: Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes
- Supplements of Red Wine Antioxidant Don't Help Obese Men
- New Treatment Aids Weight Loss, Improves Diabetes in Monkeys
- Fasting May Not Be Needed Before Cholesterol Test
- Junk Food Hurts Your Arteries, But Healthy Meal Might Help
- Cholesterol Levels Down Among U.S. Adults
- Child Obesity Risks May Be Greater Than Thought
- Obesity Surgery Seems to Reduce Heart Risks, Study Says
- Fish Oil Fizzles for Fighting Heart Attack, Stroke
- Can Childhood Obesity Hinder the Brain?
- Obesity Might Lower Teens' Thinking Skills, Study Suggests
- Low-Cal Diets Kept Monkeys Healthier, But Didn't Lengthen Lives
- Statins Won't Hurt, Might Even Help, Your Pancreas: Study
- Egg Yolks Almost as Bad for Arteries as Smoking: Study
- Cholesterol Levels Getting Better for U.S. Kids: CDC
- Heart Attack, Stroke More Common in Shift Workers
- Fish Oil Doesn't Lower Heart Risk in Diabetics
- Physical Inactivity May Be as Deadly as Smoking
- Teens' Peer Problems May Affect Health Later
- Bariatric Surgery Cuts Heart Attack Risk for Years
- Weight-Loss Surgery Cuts Heart Risk 7 Years Later: Study
- Fish Oil Won't Save Diabetics' Hearts, Research Suggests
- Diabetes Rising Rapidly Among U.S. Kids
- Will Dark Chocolate a Day Keep the Doctor Away?
- Could Bloodletting Ease Heart Risks for the Obese?
- Drinking Red Wine Is Good for Gut Bacteria
- Joggers Live Longer, Study Says
- Heavier Baby Girls at Higher Risk for Diabetes, Heart Woes as Adults
- Sitting Too Much May Boost Odds of Dying
- 1 Sugary Drink a Day May Raise Heart Risk
- Insulin Resistance May Lead to Kidney Disease in the Elderly: Study
- Study: Even Some Vigorous Activity Boosts Kids' Heart Health
- Even for the Overweight, Exercise Helps the Heart
- Americans Sweet on Sugar: Time to Regulate?
- Natural Trans Fats Less Unhealthy Than Manmade Variety
- Health Tip: Improving Your Cholesterol
- Eating Fatty Fish Benefits Younger Women, Study Shows
- Sugar-Sweetened Drinks May Pose Heart Risks to Women, Study Suggests
- FDA Reconsiders Weight Loss Drug Qnexa
- New Research Calls Salt Guidelines Into Question
- Tool Helps Decide When to Get Weight Loss Surgery
- Not All Belly Fat Is Bad for the Heart
- Trial Stopped After Niacin Brings No Benefit to Heart Patients
- Wine, Salt, and Your Heart: Confusion Abounds
- Lifestyle Changes Reduce Triglycerides
- Periodic Fasting May Cut Risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes
- Cocoa Rich in Health Benefits
- Metabolic Syndrome Linked to Memory Loss
- Sitting for Too Long Is Bad for Your Health
- Psoriasis, Heart Disease, and Diabetes: What's the Link?
- Genomic Mapping Finds Cholesterol Genes
- Prehypertension, Prediabetes Predict Heart Risk
- Triglycerides Linked to Coronary Disease Risk
- High Blood Triglycerides Linked to Stroke Risk
- High Triglyceride Levels Linked to Cardiac Risk
- Weight Management
- Red Yeast Rice and Cholesterol
- Senior Health (Successful Aging)
- DASH Diet (for High Blood Pressure)
- Benefits of Exercise
- Atkins Diet
- Disease Prevention & Awareness
- Special Diets & Recipes
- Stress Management
- Weight Lifting (Resistance Exercise)
- Aerobic Exercise
- Tai Chi
- Alcohol and Nutrition
- Senior Exercise
- Interval Training
- Vegetarian and Vegan Diet
- Best Life Diet
- Cleansing and Detox Diets
- Mediterranean Diet