Triglycerides are produced as a product of breakdown of fats. It is also produced from carbohydrates to be stored as energy. Triglycerides are generally stored in fat cells and released when needed.
The healthy range or normal level of triglycerides in the body is less than 150 milligrams per deciliter. Levels between 150-199 mg/dL are considered to be borderline while 200-499 mg/dL is regarded as high. Levels above 500 mg/dL are considered to be very high.
High triglyceride levels increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and may also indicate the presence of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome refers to the presence of different conditions like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, fat deposits around the waist, low HDL cholesterol, and high triglycerides. This combination of conditions may increase the risk of atherosclerosis, diabetes, and stroke.
Levels of this lipid may increase due to:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Kidney disease
- Having more calories than is burnt
- Alcohol abuse
- Certain medications including steroids, beta-blockers, diuretics, estrogen, and birth control pills
Reducing triglyceride levels is the key to a healthy life. Simple lifestyle changes will help in bringing down the levels of this lipid in blood.
- Losing extra weight – Shedding up to 10 pounds will help to lower triglycerides in blood.
- Reduce calorie intake – Since extra calories are stored as fat, reducing the intake of calories will prevent the increase of triglycerides.
- Limit the amount of carbohydrates – Triglycerides are also produced from carbohydrates and stored in the body. Reducing simple carbohydrates in the food will stunt the raise of triglycerides.
- Have healthy fats – Opt for healthier versions of monounsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.
- Limit alcohol intake – Alcohol also affects the level of triglycerides in blood and thus limiting the intake of alcohol is important in controlling levels of triglycerides.
- Regular exercise – Regular workouts help in improving levels of ‘good’ cholesterol and reducing ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglycerides.
High triglyceride levels can be improved using medications as well. Some of these medications include Niacin, fibrates, and omega-3 fatty acids. Keeping triglyceride levels in check will help in improving health and fitness and in reducing the risk of heart diseases.