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What are Triglycerides

Healthy TeaTriglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the body. They are also included in blood plasma in connection with cholesterol, form the plasma lipids. Triglycerides in plasma are arises from fats eaten in foods or created in the body from other energy suppliers such as carbohydrates. Calories supplied in a meal and not used instantly by tissues are transformed to triglycerides and transported to fat cells to be stored. The release of triglycerides is controlled by hormones.

Triglycerides are the types of fat in the bloodstream. People with high triglycerides habitually have high total cholesterol, a high LDL (bad) cholesterol and a low HDL (good) cholesterol level. Most of the people having heart diseases are also having high triglyceride level. Several researches have shown that high triglyceride level will increase the risk of heart disease. People with diabetes or who are obese are also possible to have high triglycerides.

Some times the triglycerides not stored as fat and float in the blood stream and will make a lot of problems. The presence of excess triglycerides will increase the thickening of the blood and make it sludgy. It increases the chance of blood clotting inside the blood vessel and blockage may happen. This leads to heart attack and stroke. So you must keep your triglyceride level in blood at low level by maintaining the diet which reduces the triglycerides.

What is a good triglyceride reading?

The body transports fats via triglycerides (TGs). Triglycerides are the main form of body fat and the depot for energy. The triglycerides are chiefly found in edible oils from seeds, egg yolk and animal fats. Although not as corrosive as LDL, excess TGs intensify heart disease potential when they oxidize and damage artery linings or induce blood cells to clump. A satisfactory level of triglycerides is thought to be 200 milligrams, although fewer than 150 are probably healthier. It revealed by some researchers is that triglyceride reading should be lower than 100. High triglycerides and low HDL often occur together, increasing the risks of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, heart and kidney failure and other degenerative diseases.

The suggested triglyceride level by the National Cholesterol Education Program is as follows.

Normal   Less than 150 mg/dL
Borderline-high 150 to 199 mg/dL
High  200 to 499 mg/dL
Very high  500 mg/dL or higher

How do I reduce my triglycerides?

Hypertriglyceridemia is the dangerous condition caused due to excess triglycerides in blood. It is very much associated with the coronary artery disease in some people. Elevated triglycerides may be a result of other disease, such as incurable diabetes mellitus. Increases in triglyceride levels can be detected by plasma measurements. These measurements should be made after an overnight food and alcohol fast.

Sugars, grains and insulin secretion are the potent stimulus to the liver to produce triglycerides, and sugars and grains must be reduced if you are looking to lower your triglycerides. Usually in the blood of over weight people contain high triglycerides. But even people who are not overweight may have stores of fat in their arteries as a result of insulin resistance (see this article). These triglycerides in the blood are the direct result of carbohydrates from the diet being converted by insulin. These triglycerides do not come directly from dietary fats. They are made in the liver from any excess sugars which have not been used for energy.

The right approach to reduce the level of triglycerides is to radically reduce consumption of all simple sugars and grains. In contrast to the drug options which are traditionally applied, it is inexpensive and simple to substitute green leafy vegetables, which have a low glycemic index, for sugars and grains, and there are no toxic effects.

What is a good diet to lower triglycerides?

A diet to decrease triglycerides omits sugar and alcohol because they stimulate triglyceride production. Therefore, you should get rid of or limit all sugars such as honey, concentrated sweets, sugar, candies, molasses, jams, jellies, pies, cakes, cookies, candy, ice cream, doughnuts, frozen yogurt, and sweetened gelatine.  Eliminate or limit as much as you can alcohol, such as beer, wine, hard liquor, liqueurs as well as other foods, like sweetened cereals, flavored yogurts, and sports or energy bars. Cut down on red meat, especially fried, changing it to boiled or roasted poultry, preferably free-range. Add more dark green leafy vegetables.

There are quite a few food types to favour, which would help in your diet to lower triglycerides.

Low Triglyceride Foods


Fresh fruit juice; black coffee, plain or herbal teas; club soda, preferably salt free; cocoa made with skim mild or non fat dried milk and water; clear broth.

Meat & Fish
Among meats, fish is best, especially safe or less contaminated fish such as summer flounder, wild Pacific salmon, croaker, sardines, haddock, and tilapia. Choose lean meats (chicken, turkey, veal and non-fatty cuts of beef with excess fat trimmed; one serving). Also, fresh or frozen fish, canned shrimp, oysters).

Most vegetables are not limited. One dark-green (string beans, escarole) or one deep yellow (squash) vegetable is recommended daily. Cauliflower, broccoli, and celery, as well as potato skins are recommended for their fiber content. It is preferable to steam vegetable, but they may be boiled, strained, or braised with unsaturated vegetable oil.

Eat three servings of fresh fruit every day. Be sure to have at least one citrus fruit daily.

Breads and Grains
One roll or one slice of whole grain or enriched bread may be taken, or three soda crackers or four pieces of melba toast as a substitute. Spaghetti, rice, or noodles may be taken as a bread substitute. In preparing these foods do not use butter shortening, use soft margarine.

Fats and Oils
Use soft magarine; vegetable oils that are high in unsaturated fats (such as sunflower, soybeen, corn and cottonseed). Always refrigerate meat drippings to harden the fat and remove it before preparing gravies.

Desserts and Snacks
Limit to two serving every day; substitute each serving for a bread/cereal serving; ice milk, water sherbet: unflavored gelatin or gelatin flavored with sugar substitute; pudding prepared with skim milk; egg white souffle; unbuttered popcorn.

Check out the other tips to reduce your triglycerides in our forums and other links:

Lipid Metabolism


What are Fats

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