Triglycerides can have a major impact on your health, but exactly what are triglycerides?
Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood. They are an important source of energy for the body and the most common type of fat in the body.
When foods or beverages are consumed, the body converts calories it doesn't need to use right away into triglycerides and stores them in fat cells to be used for energy at a later time.
Triglycerides are sometimes confused with cholesterol because they're both lipids (fatty substances) that circulate in the blood, but triglycerides and cholesterol are different types of lipids.
Triglycerides in normal amounts are important to good health, but high amounts of triglycerides increase the risk for heart disease and stroke. High triglycerides is also one of the components of metabolic syndrome, which is a group of health problems that occur together.
Your triglyceride level is measured by a blood test called a lipid profile. A lipid profile shows your triglyceride level, total cholesterol level, HDL (good) cholesterol level, and LDL (bad) cholesterol level.
Making the following healthy lifestyle changes is the best way to prevent or lower high triglycerides.
Lose weight if you're overweight - The more weight you lose, the better chance you have for lowering your triglyceride level.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals - Eating small meals and snacks throughout the day instead of two or three large meals is an effective way to prevent or lower high triglycerides.
Eat the right type of fat - The majority of the fat in your diet should be unsaturated fat. Limit saturated fat (but you do need some in your diet) and avoid trans fat as much as possible.
Limit simple carbohydrates - Simple carbohydrates can cause a sudden increase in blood sugar level and insulin production, which can lead to high triglycerides.
Limit alcohol - Alcohol has a particularly potent effect on triglycerides. Even small amounts of alcohol can promote high triglycerides.
Exercise on a regular basis - Both aerobic exercise and strength training are effective ways to prevent or lower high triglycerides.
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In conclusion, your triglyceride level is important, and it needs to be considered along with other health measures such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure and body fat percentage.