We know blood sugar, blood pressure and blood cholesterol are important factors that determine our health. The term triglycerides is something we keep hearing often in relation to health. Just what is triglyceride and why is it important?
Here’s what you should know about triglycerides.
• Triglycerides are a type of fat
• The excess calories you eat are converted to triglycerides and stored in fat cells
• They are released when energy is needed later
• If you eat too much calories, especially high-carbohydrates, you will have high triglycerides in your blood
• Normal range is below 150 mg/dL
• Borderline is between 150-199 mg/dL
• High is between 200 and 499 mg/dL
• Very high is over 500 mg/dL
High triglycerides and disease
High triglycerides will harden and thicken the artery walls and increase the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease. Inflammation of the pancreas can also result from very high triglycerides. It can also be a sign that you have Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypothyroidism or certain rare genetic conditions.
How to control triglycerides?
Triglycerides are similar to cholesterol. Both are types of lipids stored in the blood. Methods of prevention are also the same for both.
You can lower your triglycerides through:
• Regular exercise
• Limiting intake of simple carbohydrates such as sugar and white flour
• Managing your weight
• Shifting to plant fats and fish from animal fat and red meat
• Limiting or avoiding alcohol
High triglycerides and cholesterol can only be detected through regular check-ups. A blood test will let you know if you have high triglycerides and if you do, your doctor will prescribe medications to control it. Follow your doctor’s prescription and adopt a healthy lifestyle to manage it. If you have a family history of high cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease, get a regular check-up to prevent complications later.