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High triglycerides: how to lower the levels

by Georgia Ede
Published: Last Updated on

What are triglycerides and what are they for?

Triglycerides are the main fats in our body and make up most of the fat of both plant and animal origin. The triglycerides are used as a source of energy for our body at a time of fasting, or when power is insufficient, also when performing a special exercise and do not have enough energy the strip body reserves stored in adipose tissue (fat).

Triglycerides are present in our body, they can be acquired through food or produced by our liver. Triglycerides are very important, since they serve as an energy reserve as we have commented previously but when there is an excess of triglycerides circulating in the blood, it can become a problem.

Having high triglycerides is known as hypertriglyceridemia .

Triglycerides, or triglycerols, are present in very common foods in our diet, but most of the necessary triglycerides are produced by the body, as we have indicated previously. What generally happens with that excess? Since the body reserves them in the form of fat and also begin to circulate through our bloodstream and can cause damage to our cardiovascular health , preventing the passage of blood correctly through our arteries and veins.

This usually happens when we eat carbohydrates in excess, since the liver transforms these sugars into fat and stores them in adipose tissue as an energy reserve.

What are the advised levels of triglycerides?

It is advisable to review the analytical values ​​at least once every two years, all people over 30 years. If there are risks of cardiovascular disease, or related hereditary problems, it is advisable to do annual tests.

  • Normal: below 150 mg / dL.
  • Moderate : between 150 and 199 mg / dL.
  • Very high : greater than or equal to 500 mg / dL.

Causes of high triglycerides

Triglyceride levels can rise for a number of reasons. There are people who suffer from certain diseases related to triglycerides, of genetic origin that present hypertriglyceridemia, in other cases the diet in which carbohydrates and saturated fats predominate causes these values ​​to rise, as we have explained previously; and in other cases hypertriglyceridemia develops secondarily along with other diseases.

Among these diseases we highlight diabetes , obesity, disorders related to liver diseases , kidney failure or hypothyroidism , etc.

There are also certain behaviors that can aggravate the symptoms and make us more vulnerable to suffering from hypertriglyceridemia such as consuming alcohol in excess , since it will cause liver damage that will make our liver not function normally; and on the other hand, bad health habits such as the lack of physical exercise that helps us burn the fat deposited in our reserves or a hypercaloric diet can be the causes of hypertriglyceridemia.

The regular use of some medications can also cause an increase in triglycerides and it has also been observed that pregnant women can have high triglyceride problems that they should control.

How are triglycerides related to cholesterol?

Generally, the increase in triglycerides is related to an increase in LDL cholesterol, (bad cholesterol), although not in all cases. We can say that the isolated increase in triglycerides is less common in isolation.

The two most common situations are high triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol) or high triglycerides and low HDL (good cholesterol), which in both cases represent a greater predisposition to cardiovascular disease.

If you suffer from hypercholesterolemia, here we offer you a diet for high cholesterol .

There are some forms of familial hypertiglyceridemia that are alterations of genetic origin, which cause the patient to produce triglycerides in excess, regardless of their diet. In these cases, it is convenient to carry out a genetic study to determine the causes of the problem, and adjust the diet so that the situation does not worsen due to food.

Generally, having high triglycerides does not usually give symptoms with which we can detect this abnormality. Therefore, it is advisable that we perform analytics periodically to diagnose this problem.

What symptoms and consequences does hypertriglyceridemia have?

Currently, and despite the fact that previously the relationship between suffering from hypertriglyceridemia and cardiovascular diseases was questioned, after various studies it has been possible to conclude that patients with high triglycerides are more prone to cardiovascular diseases ; and more specifically coronary diseases.

Although currently, there are still those who emphasize that it may be due to the action of different associated diseases such as obesity or diabetes, as well as hypercholesterolemia and not because of the isolated fact of having high triglycerides.

It has also been shown a certain relationship with suffering from hepatic steatosis, better known as fatty liver ( See here the diet for fatty liver ), since fats are deposited in the liver causing this disease. High triglyceride levels can also be associated with pancreatitis .

What can I do to lower triglyceride levels?

It is very important to perform periodic analytics to determine the causes of the problem. Generally, the solution is simple, in the first place the diet will be adapted so that it is low in carbohydrates and fats that can increase the level of triglycerides in the blood.

To do this, we will restrict the consumption of simple sugars , carbohydrates and fats (mainly of animal origin, since those of plant origin are good for the development of our metabolic activity and also protect our cardiovascular health).

It is recommended to carry out a balanced diet, perform physical exercise on a regular basis.

In the case of suffering from hypertriglyceridemia, we will have to undergo medical controls and if we need it, our doctor can prescribe a special medication to control triglyceride levels, but it is essential to carry out a diet that restricts saturated fats and simple sugars.

We must control the caloric intake of our diet.

The supplements rich in omega 3 are also effective in reducing hypertriglyceridemia in high doses, but we must stress that there are people who can not tolerate such high doses because they have stomach cramps or diarrhea.

What foods should I eat and what should I not eat?

We must bet on fish, fruits and vegetables, preferably unsaturated fats of vegetable origin, foods rich in fiber, unrefined whole wheat flours, brown rice. Avoiding fatty products, refined flours, simple sugars such as sweets, processed and sugary foods.

Avoid the consumption of alcohol and carbonated and sugary drinks. To sweeten the infusions or coffee, we will opt for stevia , a natural sweetener without calories.

From TakeDiets.com we recommend that you eat a balanced diet such as the balanced diet , or even bet on the Montignac diet , since it bases its operation on a diet with a low glycemic index , which makes us contribute fewer calories to our diet.

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