What are Triglycerides?
Triglycerides are a type of fat found in blood. They come from the foods we eat, and are also produced by the liver. Triglycerides are stored in fat cells throughout the body, and can be used for energy later on. While we all need some triglycerides to function properly, high levels can be harmful.
Why are High Triglycerides Dangerous?
High triglycerides can contribute to the development of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. They can also be a sign of an underlying condition like obesity, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome.
How are Triglycerides Measured?
Triglyceride levels are measured through a blood test. Fasting for 8-12 hours before the test is recommended, as non-fasted triglyceride levels can be up to 30% higher. A healthy triglyceride level is considered to be less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
What Causes High Triglycerides?
There are many factors that can contribute to high triglyceride levels, including:
– High carbohydrate intake
– High sugar intake
– Excessive alcohol consumption
– Sedentary lifestyle
– Kidney disease
– Liver disease
– Certain medications
How Can I Lower My Triglycerides?
If you have high triglycerides, there are several steps you can take to lower them:
1. Eat a healthy diet: Limit your intake of high-carb and high-sugar foods, and increase your consumption of healthy fats like those found in fish, nuts, and olive oil.
2. Exercise regularly: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
3. Lose weight: Losing as little as 5-10% of your body weight can significantly lower your triglyceride levels.
4. Avoid alcohol: If you do drink, do so in moderation (no more than 1 drink per day for women, and 2 drinks per day for men).
5. Manage underlying conditions: If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other conditions that can contribute to high triglycerides, work with your healthcare provider to manage them effectively.
The Bottom Line
Triglycerides are an important type of fat that can have serious health implications when levels are too high. By making lifestyle changes and working with your healthcare provider, you can lower your triglycerides and reduce your risk of developing serious health problems.
– American Heart Association. (n.d.). Triglycerides. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/about-cholesterol/triglycerides
– Harvard Health Publishing. (2019, August 7). Triglycerides: Why do they matter? https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/triglycerides-why-do-they-matter
– Mayo Clinic. (2020, September 10). Triglycerides: Why do they matter? https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/triglycerides/art-20048186
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