Fruit Consumption and Triglyceride Levels

Study Questions:

Does fruit consumption influence triglyceride levels?


This meta-analysis included observational and interventional studies. Only publications that reported fruit intake in association with triglycerides were included. Literature searches using MEDLINE (1950-2017) and EMBASE (1974-2017) were conducted to identify observational studies (which examined the association between fruit intake and hypertriglyceridemia) or for intervention studies (which examined the effect of increasing fruit intake on the triglyceride levels). Studies were excluded if fruit intake was not separated from intake of other foods (e.g., vegetables) or the fruit of interest was specified (e.g., citrus). The investigators excluded intervention studies if they examined the effect of fruit juice given the differences between whole fruit and fruit juice in nutrient content such as fiber, phytochemicals, and micronutrients.


A total of five cross-sectional studies and only two intervention studies were eligible. The pooled odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval [CI]) of the five cross-sectional studies for the highest versus the lowest fruit intake category was 0.79 (0.72-0.87). In these studies, the pooled OR for the highest versus the lowest vegetable intake category was not significant (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.82-1.03). A linear dose response was observed between increases in fruit intake and ORs for hypertriglyceridemia. For every increase in the consumption of fruit by one serving per day, the OR of hypertriglyceridemia was 0.91 (95% CI, 0.84-0.98).


There is an inverse association between high intake of fruit and hypertriglyceridemia, which is not seen with vegetable intake. Further research is needed to clarify whether increasing fruit intake would reduce the level of triglycerides and/or incident hypertriglyceridemia.


This meta-analysis suggests that increasing fruit consumption is associated with a lower risk for hypertriglyceridemia. Perhaps more surprising was the lack of association between vegetable intake and lower risk for hypertriglyceridemia. Given the complexity of dietary patterns including differing fiber content of different fruits and vegetables, clinicians are recommended to continue to tell their patients to eat a healthy variety of fruits and vegetables.

Clinical Topics: Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Disease, Dyslipidemia, Prevention, Hypertriglyceridemia, Lipid Metabolism

Keywords: Dietary Fiber, Dyslipidemias, Fruit, Hypertriglyceridemia, Micronutrients, Primary Prevention, Phytochemicals, Triglycerides, Vegetables

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