Triglycerides are derivatives of glycerol and fatty acids. They might sound simple but the causes and symptoms contributed by them are huge. To know more about triglycerides, read this article.
Triglycerides are the basic constituents of body fat. They are found in the blood. Any type of calorie which is not needed at present is converted into triglycerides. Triglycerides are stored as fat cells. They play an important role in controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Triglycerides should be maintained at optimum levels. Any abnormality in these ranges paves the way for a wide range of diseases.
The normal level of triglyceride is less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
Normal level: Less than 150 mg/dL.
Borderline level: 150 to 199 mg/dL.
High levels: 200 to 499 mg/dL.
Very high levels: 500 mg/dL or more.
Higher levels are associated with heart diseases.
Age and gender.
Unhealthy foods, especially foods rich in fat.
Birth control pills.
Nausea and vomiting.
Hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid hormone).
LDL is Low-density lipoprotein and HDL is High-density lipoprotein. High-density lipoprotein is known as good cholesterol and the low-density lipoprotein is known as bad cholesterol. High-density lipoprotein prevents too much cholesterol depositing in the blood vessel. The normal range of low-density lipoprotein is 70-130 mg/dL and the normal range of high-density lipoprotein is 40-60 mg/dL. It is always better to maintain the low-density lipoproteins in the lower range and high-density lipoprotein in the higher range.
VLDL is Very-low density lipoprotein. It contains huge amounts of triglycerides. It tends to deposit cholesterol on the walls of arteries and hence it is considered as “bad cholesterol”. The normal level of very-low-density lipoprotein is 2-30 mg/dL.
Both cholesterol and triglycerides are variants of lipids that circulate in the blood. The carbohydrates are converted to calories. The calories which are not used, are stored as triglycerides. They provide the energy needed for the body. We all know that a high level of bad cholesterol is not an indication of good health. Also, a high triglyceride level is harmful too.
Exercise regularly. Reduce your body weight. Whenever you eat more calories than you need, your body turns those calories into triglycerides and stores them in fat cells. It is wise to reduce these additional fats.
It is good to follow a low carbohydrate diet.
Eat more fiber as it makes your bowel movements normal and lowers your risk of cholesterol.
Avoid trans fats.
Limit your sugar intake.
Follow a Mediterranean diet as it does a fair work in reducing triglycerides.
The exercise regimen should always start with warm-up exercises. Exercising consistently is an important factor to be followed for positive results. But, it is necessary to take breaks between the regimen. So, working out on the alternate days will be helpful. Your muscles will feel relaxed without fatigue. Cardio exercises will help you to sweat a lot. When you sweat, it is possible you are losing more weight. Some of the exercises you can try out are:
Running up the stairs.
Exercise+Diet= Better results
Fishes such as salmon, sardine, flax, oats, bean, almond milk, orange juice, nuts, avocado toast, apple bran muffins will help. Avoid eating chocolates, candies, and drinking coffee.
Lipid profile test. This includes the detection of many types of lipids residing in blood. It is the source of energy for the body. This test has to be done once in five years to check the general health status.
Before the test, a fasting period of around 10-14 hours is required. The patient should drink only water during the fasting period. Alcohol should be avoided 24 hours prior to the test. The test needs your blood sample. It will be analyzed in the laboratory. A lab technician will receive a blood sample by drawing blood from a vein in your hand. There are certain procedures to be followed to get the blood sample:
The site of injection is cleaned with an antiseptic solution. An elastic band is wrapped around the arms for allowing the blood to fill the vessels.
A needle is inserted into your vein and the blood in a tube that is attached to the needle.
After the tube is filled with blood, the elastic band is removed. A small piece of cotton may be used to arrest excessive gauze bleeding.
After the test is complete, the laboratory might require a few hours to calculate the results. The level of triglyceride may be identified in the results.
Stop drinking alcohol as it might increase the triglyceride. Consumption of small quantities of alcohol can increase the level of triglycerides by 50%.
Fasting one meal in a week.
Do regular exercise.
Eat healthy foods.
Modifying lifestyle is the best option of attaining a healthy formula of “Low bad cholesterol, High good cholesterol, and Low triglyceride.”
Are You Having Too Low Triglycerides?
Having too low levels of cholesterol can be both advantageous and harmful. The causes for very low triglycerides level is consuming too low-fat products, certain fat lowering drugs, and hyperthyroidism.
Positive Side: Increases the lifespan of the individual and it also increases the cognitive skills and function. People who have low triglycerides are known to have no dementia even in their elderly age.
Negative Side: Malnutrition, malabsorption, and severe weight loss.
You might be on regular medications for maintaining blood pressure. But they might be increasing your level of triglycerides.
Some of the notable medications are:
The triglycerides level being high might be the reason for many health issues. Suffering from obesity or any related illness, call a doctor online.
Raised level of triglycerides in the blood is an indicator of obesity, and metabolic conditions like hypertension, increased cholesterol, hypothyroidism, and abnormal blood sugar, which eventually increases the risk of heart diseases and stroke.
- Maintain ideal body weight.
- Follow a consistent meal pattern.
- Reduce the intake of sugar.
- Do regular exercises.
- Take a fiber-rich diet.
- Intake of fewer carbohydrates.
- Increase the intake of unsaturated fats.
- Limit trans-fat consumption.
- Eat fatty fish at least twice weekly.
- Take soy protein.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Consume more nuts.
Triglyceride values ranging above 500 mg/dL indicate a very high level, which means an increased risk of developing pancreatitis, heart diseases, and stroke. However, any level above 150 mg/dL is considered an increased level of triglyceride.
Leading cause of increased triglycerides is obesity and uncontrolled diabetes. In addition, overweight, sedentary lifestyle, increased alcohol intake, and increased consumption of sugar lead to a raised level of triglycerides.
Consuming cold water fishes rich in omega-3 fatty acids like sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon, herring, and halibut help reduce triglyceride levels. In addition, fiber-rich foods like oats, chia, psyllium, bran, and flax also help reduce triglycerides in the blood. Olive oil replaced for fatty foods like butter also play a role in reducing the level of triglycerides in the blood.
- Vegetables rich in starch.
- Beans with white meat like pork.
- Dried fruits. Also, limit the consumption of fruits.
- Canned fish packed in oil.
- Starch-rich foods.
- Maple syrup.
- Foods with high sugar content.
- Meats rich in fat.
- Baked food substances.
Although raised triglycerides impose an increased risk of life-threatening conditions, it is highly treatable. Treatment options that have increased potential like administering statins, vitamin B3, fibrates, and omega-3 fatty acids help in treating the disease to a greater extent.
Triglycerides show diurnal variation; that is, they exhibit considerable fluctuations even in a single day. Their level is the lowest at about 3 AM, which then rises till mid-afternoon, after that it presents a gradual fall.
Triglycerides are a type of fat that helps in storing the extra calories and provides the body with energy when needed. However, an increased level of triglycerides poses an increased risk for heart diseases like raised cholesterol values.
Increased triglyceride level is associated with raised low-density lipoproteins (LDL)
cholesterol levels and reduced high-density lipoproteins (HDL). High triglyceride levels
along with reduced HDL level is believed to pose an increased risk of heart diseases and stroke.
Alcohol consumed breaks down into triglycerides and cholesterol, thereby increasing the level of triglycerides in the blood. It also contains high sugar content and calories, increases the free fatty acid flow into the liver, and also hampers the body's capacity to break down fat.
Last reviewed at:
30 Apr 2020 - 5 min read
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