What You Need to Know About Your Triglycerides

What You Need to Know About Your Triglycerides

Triglycerides serve as an excellent indicator for risk of heart disease. What exactly are they and how can you manage them for better health?

What are triglycerides?

Triglycerides are stored in your fat cells and are released by hormones for energy between meals. People with diabetes are at greater risk for high triglycerides; since diabetics have high levels of glucose and insulin, the liver tends to become oversaturated quickly and a large amount of fatty acids go into the bloodstream.High triglycerides tend to lower the amount of HDL cholesterol (also known as good cholesterol) in the body, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Additionally, and very importantly, individuals with elevated triglycerides are more likely to experience episodes of pancreatitis, also known as inflammation of the pancreas. This condition can progress slowly or rapidly and often times results in hospitalization with a multiple day stay with IV fluids and antibiotics instead of a diet of any type.

What causes high triglycerides?

Consuming a diet high in carbohydrates, especially fruits, dairy, breads, cereals, and alcohol, increases your triglyceride levels. The diet of a person with elevated triglycerides is typically low in fiber and vegetables and high in processed foods. A balanced diet that includes plenty of protein, fiber and less than 30 percent of calories from fat can help lower triglyceride levels.

Additionally, ensuring adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids has been scientifically shown to reduce triglyceride levels. Consuming cold-water fish like salmon, albacore tuna and ground flaxseed provides omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil capsules and freshly ground flax seeds offer an easy way to consume fatty acids efficiently.

Modifying the diet to include copious amounts of fiber (30-50 grams/day, including 10 grams of soluble fiber), 2 to 8 cups of vegetables per day, omega-3 fatty acids (1-4 grams/day) and ensuring an overall balanced dietare the primary ways to keep triglycerides within normal levels.

Lastly, and not diet-related, exercise also helps reduce triglyceride levels. So get started!

Medication also exists; talk to your physician about your medication options.

Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator

Comment by valerie3180
January 11, 2015
Its alway wise to Detox first, it allows the body to function better and be able to asborb the "good" stuff
Comment by Krista Haynes.
December 11, 2014
It's best to consider the overall diet. Including fruits (choosing the lower sugar fruits most often) provides some great health benefits! Of course we want to keep sugars in moderation, however fruit provides so many health benefits. http://www.nutriliving.com/articles/if-fruit-contains-fructose-should-i-stop-eating-it http://www.nutriliving.com/articles/how-much-fruit-too-much-fruit http://www.nutriliving.com/articles/will-too-much-fruit-make-me-fat
Comment by Patcee
December 10, 2014
If a diet high in carbohydrates including fruit raises your trygliceride levels, then should I be using fruits in my nutribullet?
Comment by Humbird33
November 14, 2014
Just received my nutribullet. There's so much info and I don't know where to get started. My interest is a weight loss blast and should I be detoxifying too? Wish I knew where to start, there's so many blast recipes.
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