Triglycerides: What You Need to Know

Having high triglyceride levels or Hypertriglyceridemia is a more common health condition than you think as it affects over 33% of adults in the USA. So, triglycerides are a global concern but this type of lipid or fat in our blood resulting from glycerol associated to three fatty acids is not well known. The majority of people ignore that high triglycerides constitute a key risk factor for the occurrence of diseases such as stroke and heart attack. Moreover, high triglycerides are usually a factor helpful to spot a metabolic syndrome presence. They are frequently noticed in addition to diabetic issues in the development of a number of common neurological, cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, despite the fact that elevated triglycerides are not a sign or source of diabetes. Keeping your triglycerides level in control is thus as critical as managing cholesterol and both must be handle conjointly.

What are Triglycerides?

A triglyceride also known as triacylglycerol or triacylglyceride and abbreviated TG or TAG is a molecule present in blood that is made up of 3 fatty acids connected to glycerol (a three-carbon chain). Basically, triglycerides originate from the conversion of unused calories from food intake. The body then afterward keeps it in fat cells to be released by hormones for energy supply for body functions. Consistently not burning up calories than you consume can result in an elevation of levels of triglycerides in the blood.

Triglycerides are assessed via the same blood test that determines HDL and LDL cholesterol levels called a lipid panel. The exam is more precise when it is performed after 9 to 12 hours without the intake of drinks and food because elevated levels are typical after eating.

What is Regarded as Normal?

triglycerides chartAs indicated by the U.S National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), a triglyceride level below 150 mg/dL is regarded as ideal for adults. But, normal triglyceride levels may vary with your age and additional components may influence the numbers. A range between 150 and 200 mg/dL is considered borderline high. When your lipid panel shows a result between 200 and 499 mg/dL for triglycerides, this is a high level. 500 mg/dL and over is very high putting you at maximum risk of heart disease. When your levels are high, immediate action must be taken such as diet changes, exercising or medical treatment, all these with the guidance of your doctor.

What Causes High Triglycerides?

High triglycerides are usually a result of unhealthy dietary habits, however, additional variables can come into the equation and bring about this disorder, for instance, genetics, medical conditions, and some drugs.

Unhealthy diet

Donuts are bad for your triglycerides levelsThe over-consumption of refined sugars saturated and trans fats generally trigger elevated levels of triglyceride. Foods rich in refined sugars are for instance donuts, candy and chocolate bars, soft drinks, and alcohol. Saturated fats can be found in animal products such as beef, liver meat, lard, and butter. As for trans fats, they are loaded with deep-fried foods as well as baked foods such as cakes and cookies. Over-eating such foods will also lead to excessive weight because they are not only full of sugar and bad fats, but also of calories.


Fat people have an increased probability of having not only elevated cholesterol levels but also high triglyceride levels. Although being overweight can result from a metabolic disorder, it is generally caused by a non-active lifestyle along with bad diet. The good news is that losing weight even a bit can help you decrease triglycerides.

Inherited genes

Having one of your close family member being affected by high triglycerides can significantly impact your odds of developing the same condition. Familial hypertriglyceridemia is the medical term of elevated triglycerides as a result of genetics. A medical test and a review of familial history and symptoms is the way to detect the condition. You can manage it with a radical change in way of life and may necessitate prescription medicine if levels fail to decrease with a healthy diet.

Medical conditions

The odds of higher levels of triglyceride can be raised by certain health concerns. Disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), all forms of diabetes, alcohol addiction, chronic kidney disease (CKD) and hypothyroidism, can lead the liver to over-produce triglycerides. Thus, triglyceride levels have to be carefully watched and hold at a healthy number when you are suffering from one of these conditions.


Certain prescription drugs may elevate triglycerides. These include anabolic steroids, diuretics, beta-blockers, oral contraceptives, estrogen, and tamoxifen. Generally, these medicines will notify this among the possible adverse reactions. You should always seek medical advice before taking any medication that may impact on your triglycerides.

How to Lower Triglycerides Naturally

Be physically active

To bring down triglycerides, exercising is amongst the quickest and most effective methods. Whenever you lace your sneakers to work out regularly, you will be making positive steps towards the achievement of your goals of healthy triglycerides numbers. This does not imply necessarily to attend workout classes every day. You can instead simply aim for getting more physically active, in particular when you are quite sedentary. You may get started with walking briskly for half hour per day. The added benefit of working out is fat burn and weight loss that will furthermore help you drop triglycerides. But first, you should get approval from your health care provider before starting any workout plan if you are a newbie.

Get your body weight normal

Seek advice from your doctor or a nutritionist to develop a personalized diet plan you will be able to follow without pain and still shed extra pounds.

Limit caloric intake, refined and sugary meals

Cutting your caloric intake will scale back triglycerides simply because the body converts extra calories into triglycerides and keeps as fat. By overindulging on sweets and processed carbs you are growing your triglyceride levels. For that reason, start making right now smart choices concerning your carb consumption by picking great fiber sources. These include fruits, vegetables and whole grains, great organic and low-fat sources critical minerals and vitamins for a healthy body.

Minimize Bad Fats and Eat More Good Fats

Substitute mono and polyunsaturated fats for saturated and trans fats. Eat more fish rich in Omega-3 for instance Spanish mackerel, salmon, and tuna in preference to pork and beef as indicated by the American Heart Association (AHA). Furthermore, for cooking opt for low-fat dairy products and extra virgin olive oil instead of butter.

Minimize alcohol consumption

Alcoholic drinks are full of sugar and calories. They have a tremendous impact on triglycerides. In fact, even small quantities of alcohol may bring up triglyceride levels although moderate drinking can have a positive effect on your HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Thus, if you want to drink, moderation is highly recommended for a safe balance.