If you have had a blood test and your physician has told you that you have high triglycerides, you may be wondering what it means. Many people don’t really understand cholesterol and triglycerides, or how they differ from each other and what the different readings mean. If you are told that you have high triglycerides, you have probably also been told that you have high cholesterol, as the two often go hand in hand. Either way, what you must learn are the relevant techniques for reducing high triglycerides.
Understanding Cholesterol and Triglycerides:
Cholesterol is either good cholesterol or bad cholesterol. Bad cholesterol clogs up the arteries, leaving you at an increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. Triglycerides also negatively impact the overall health of your cardiovascular system because they are unused calories that have been stored as fat. The key is that you change your diet by avoiding high calorie and high fat foods and you also change your lifestyle by being more active so that calories are burned and not stored as fat.
Triglycerides are the stored fat within your body. If you take a look at your body and notice where you have areas of fat (common “problem areas” include the belly, the thighs, and the buttocks), what you are actually looking at are triglycerides. These are unused calories, so if you regularly ingest more calories than your body needs, these accumulate as triglycerides or body fat. On the other hand, cholesterol is carried in the blood stream either by low density lipoproteins (LDL) or high density lipoproteins (HDL). LDL cholesterol is considered to be bad for the body because it causes the buildup of plaques in the arteries. On the other hand, HDL cholesterol is good cholesterol because it cleans up the LDL cholesterol, thus reducing plaques in the arteries.
In other words, those who have high levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol while having low levels of HDL cholesterol have high risks of having cardiovascular disease. For better health, people need to aim to reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing the amount of HDL cholesterol.
The Process of Reducing High Triglycerides:
Reducing high triglycerides must start with a candid look at your overall diet. If you eat a lot of refined carbohydrates, such as sugar and white rice, your readings will spike. That does not mean you have to cut out all sugars and never eat rice again, but rather to consume them in moderation. You are likely to find that, if you decrease your consumption of refined carbohydrates, while at the same time increasing the amount of fibrous foods, like vegetables and fruits, your triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels will start to drop.
If your physician has told you that your triglyceride readings are high, then start making changes today. Having high triglycerides and LDL cholesterol is a real killer and most people don’t even realize they have this condition until they have a cardiovascular episode, by which time it may be too late. By focusing on your diet, ensuring that you eat plenty of fibers and other types of wholesome goodness, and being more active, you should see an improvement in your overall health.