Heart diseases are one of the biggest causes of deaths around the world. Reducing cholesterol and lowering triglycerides (bad cholesterol) is often ignored by many people that lead to heart disease and untimely deaths.
Triglycerides are a form of fat in the foods as well as in the body. Triglycerides are present in the blood plasma. They are derived from the fats and carbohydrates from the diet.
The immediately underutilized energy (calories) ingested in the food converts to triglycerides and is stored in the fat cells. Body’s energy needs between meals is met by these stored triglycerides who’s release is regulated by hormones.
The following guidelines of The National Cholesterol Education Program for triglycerides are based on fasting plasma triglyceride levels. :
Normal Less than 150 mg/dL
Borderline-high 150 to 199 mg/dL
High 200 to 499 mg/dL
Very high 500 mg/dL or higher
How is an Excess of Triglycerides Harmful?
High triglycerides are linked to the occurrence of coronary artery disease. At times raised triglycerides levels may indicate presence of other disease, such as untreated diabetes and hypothyrodism.
Difference Between Triglycerides and Cholesterol
Both Triglycerides and cholesterol are types of lipids that circulate in the blood. Both can't dissolve in blood, therefore they circulate throughout your body with the help of proteins that transport the lipids (lipoproteins).
Triglycerides store unused calories to provide for body’s energy needs, and cholesterol is used to build cells and certain hormones.
Excess of both triglycerides and cholesterol is bad for health as they tend to choke the arteries by sticking to the walls as plaque.
Causes of High Triglycerides
Life style, underlying medical conditions and certain medications are the main causes of high triglycerides in the blood. Incidentally these are the same causes of high cholesterol also.
Obesity is one the biggest cause. Other conditions such as untreated diabetes, underactive thyroid(hypothyroidism) and kidney diseases are also responsible for high triglycerides.
Lifestyle issues like eating more calories than you burn on a regular basis, eating of access simple carbohydrates like refined sugar and drinking a lot of alcohol.
Certain medicines including steroids, Tamoxifen, Beta- blockers, Estrogen, birth control pills and Diuretics etc. are responsible for raised triglycerides levels.
In some cases, high triglycerides can be hereditary.
Symptoms of High Triglycerides
High triglycerides usually don't cause any symptoms. That is why it remains undetected for many years until a blood test is done.
The best way to reduce triglycerides is to learn to follow a healthy lifestyle.
If you are an overweight person, then losing weight will help you to reduce your triglycerides. This requires commitment and regular exercise. Do it.
Since extra calories are converted to triglycerides and stored as fat, cutting back on food intake will reduce triglycerides.
Avoid excess consumption of Simple carbohydrates, such as sugar and white flour to naturally lower triglyceride levels.
Control your cholesterol as the combination of high cholesterol and high triglycerides exponentially increases coronary artery diseases. This can be done by eating healthier monounsaturated fat found in plants, such as olive, peanut and canola oils. Substitute fish for red meat. Eliminate trans fats found in fried foods.
Alcohol is absolute no. Even very small amounts of alcohol can raise triglyceride levels in some people. Reduce you alcohol intake or completely give it up.
A 40 minute of walk is not only helpful to lower high triglycerides naturally but is also a very good exercise to reduce cholesterol, diabetes high blood pressure and other lifestyle related conditions.
Medication to Reduce Triglycerides
When healthy lifestyle changes don’t help to control high triglycerides, doctor may prescribe medications such as Niacin, Fibrates or Statins or even a combination of statins with Niacin or Fibrates.
In addition the doctor may recommend Omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
Even if you are on medication, you still have to make the above suggested lifestyle changes for best results to lower triglycerides.
Diet to Reduce Triglycerides
Some nutrients are very effective in lowering triglycerides as well as cholesterol. In the Triglycerides Diets, one of the most significant is Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin C combination supported by low carbohydrate diet. In a Harvard study in 1966(P.K.Reissel’s Group) it was found that the above combination can dramatically reduce triglyceride levels.
Other logical dietary control is the consumption of essential fats but avoidance of trans fats and hydrogenated fats in your diet to lower triglycerides. In addition avoiding processed foods and highly refined carbohydrates. A complete abeyance from fat can be dangerous. Certain fats are essential for healthy body growth.
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