Triglycerides: The Essentials

Triglycerides High

By: Cristian Ocampo

                                                                                                                                  Edited by: Pedro Andrés Calvo

Just like monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol, keeping an eye on triglycerides is vital for heart health as elevated levels can lead to a fatal outcome. (1) Luckily, adopting healthy lifestyle choices aimed at overall well-being can effectively lower them, providing a proactive approach to cardiovascular care. Today, we’ll delve into the ABC of triglycerides.

What are Triglycerides?

Triglycerides are a common type of fat in your body, circulating in your blood. They come from foods like butter and oils, as well as extra calories your body stores for later. After digestion, triglycerides circulate through the bloodstream to serve as a source of energy for the cells. However, too many, especially from unhealthy foods, can increase the risk of having certain heart conditions. (2)

Triglyceride levels are categorized as follows: Healthy (below 150 mg/dL for adults, lower than 90 mg/dL for children/teens), Borderline high (150-199 mg/dL), and High (200-499 mg/dL). Healthy adults should have a lipoprotein profile every 5 years to check cholesterol and triglyceride levels. (3)

Triglycerides High
Image: Envato

What Causes High Triglycerides? (4)

When triglycerides are high, they may contribute to artery hardening or thickening (arteriosclerosis), raising the risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease. Certain health conditions can cause high triglycerides; these include:

– Kidney disease

– Diabetes

– Liver disease

– Overweight and obesity

– Thyroid disease

Triglycerides High
Image: Envato

Elevated triglyceride levels can also result from insufficient exercise, consumption of high-fat and high-sugar foods, smoking, as well as excessive alcohol intake. Additionally, certain medications, such as those prescribed for breast cancer, HIV, and occasionally mild cases of high blood pressure, may contribute to raising them. These are some of the main causes of high triglycerides.

How to Lower High Triglycerides? (5)

If you are diagnosed with high blood triglycerides, your healthcare provider may advise adopting heart-healthy lifestyle changes:

– Opting for heart-healthy foods such as green vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and oils made from olive, canola, and corn.

– Performing physical activity regularly.

– Quitting smoking

– Cutting down on alcohol intake

– Taking medicines or nutritional supplements, if advised by your doctor.

Triglycerides High
Image: Envato

Finally, we’ve covered the consequences on cardiovascular health when triglycerides are high. Physical exercise, healthy food choices, exercise, quitting smoking, and cutting down on alcohol are essential to lower their level. Also, fiber-based supplements such as Lipo Control can support heart health. It’s time to set aside the phone and embrace these lifestyle changes; your heart will thank you.

References:

[1] Cleveland Clinic. Triglycerides. Retrieved on November 27, 2023: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11117-triglycerides

[2] Harvard Health Publishing. Should you worry about high triglycerides? Retrieved on November 27, 2023: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/high-blood-triglycerides

[3] National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. High Blood Triglycerides. Retrieved on November 27, 2023: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/high-blood-triglycerides

[4] National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. High Blood Triglycerides. Retrieved on November 2, 2023: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/high-blood-triglycerides

[5] WebMD. Beyond Cholesterol: 14 Ways to Lower Triglycerides. Retrieved on November 28, 2023: https://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/ss/slideshow-triglycerides-tips

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