Triglycerides are a type of lipid (fat) that is found in your blood. Most of your body fat is triglycerides as they are unused calories we eat but don’t require. Triglycerides in the blood assist in transferring the adipose fat from one tissue to another and glucose in the blood from the liver. Eating food rich in fat content that the body does not require is immediately stored in the fat cells in the form of triglycerides.
Why is maintaining optimal levels of triglycerides important?
Maintaining triglyceride levels within the normal range is crucial for maintaining a healthy health. Heart attacks, strokes, and pancreatitis are all risks that are increased by high triglycerides and cholesterol. You can maintain healthy levels of triglyceride by following a healthy lifestyle.
What causes high triglyceride levels?
One may develop hypertriglyceridemia (having high triglycerides levels) if they consume more calories than they can burn. Hypertriglyceridemia is caused by a regular intake of excess calories that the body cannot use immediately. It can also happen due to excess sugar intake, obesity, smoking, excess alcohol consumption, uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, etc.
How are triglycerides different from cholesterol?
Both cholesterol and triglycerides are fatty compounds known as lipids. Cholesterol is not a fat, whereas triglycerides are. The liver produces cholesterol, which is a waxy, flavourless chemical. It is utilised to create cell walls, supports the neurological system, and is crucial for digestion and hormone synthesis.
Test to check your triglyceride levels
A panel of blood test known as lipid profile is recommended to find abnormalities in your lipids such as triglycerides. It is a simple blood test that may need you to fast for twelve hours to get a precise reading. The triglycerides level test also helps your health care provider determine whether you are at risk of a heart disease or not. They can recommend a diet according to the results.
Reading of triglyceride levels
- Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL (Milligrams per decilitre)
- Borderline high: 150-199 mg/dL
- High: 200-499 mg/dL
- Very high: 500+ mg/dL
A triglyceride level over 150 mg/dL can be indicative of:
- Heart disease such as myocardial infarction (heart attack) or stroke
- Metabolic disorders such as high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes and obesity
- Borderline or type 2 diabetes
- Genetic disorders which may cause poor conversion of fat into energy
7 lifestyle tips to manage high triglyceride levels
Here’s how you can manage your triglyceride levels with simple lifestyle changes:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Regular physical exercise
- Avoid refined and processed foods
- Quit smoking
- Limit alcohol
- Limit sugar consumption
- Consume healthy fats as an alternative to saturated fats
- Change your diet to suit your needs and health
High blood triglyceride levels usually do not cause any symptoms. Hypertriglyceridemia can lead to long-term damage and increase the risk of developing a serious diseases. Hence, it is vital to keep a regular check on your triglycerides levels and get routine screening done with the lipid profile test.