What are normal triglyceride levels and how do they relate to your cholesterol levels? What are the causes of high triglycerides, and how does lowering triglycerides help your cholesterol profile? These are important questions, and the answers will put you on a path to better cardiovascular health.
What are triglycerides?
Most fats in your body are in the form of triglycerides. They are fat molecules that are created from the fats you eat and also from sugar you eat that is converted to fat and stored in your body. Their levels correspond directly with the risk of heart disease, and thus you can lower your risk by lowering triglycerides.
Although you can have your levels triglyceride levels tested separately, they are typically tested when you get your cholesterol levels profile checked. This is standard when having blood tests done in conjunction with say an annual physical.
What are Considered Normal Levels?
Normal levels of triglycerides are defined as:
Below 150 mg/dl, (Milligrams per Deciliter )
but some experts feel that optimal levels are closer to 50mg/dl, or below, because above 60mg/dl abnormal particles begin to appear in the blood.
This elevates heart disease risk as these particles help form the plaque that narrows arteries and causes heart attacks. Thus normal triglyceride levels are actually closer to the 60mg/dl mark. The standard of of below 60mg/dl, will lower cholesterol naturally and drastically reduce your risk of heart disease.
Elevated Triglycerides Are Bad
These fatty molecules collect in your organs (and your arteries) and damage them. They have a negative effect on gene expression and promote heart disease. They also increase the tendency of your blood to clot, which increases your risk of strokes. This is even more of a problem in people with diabetes.
Belly fat is mostly made up of triglyceries, and fat in this area of your body is associated with sharply increased risk of heart disease. Abdominal fat is big risk factor for heart disease, strokes, senile dementia, and other diseases that involve chronic inflammation.
They can also build up in artery walls and are involved in the development of athleroschlerosis. Thuys they are considered one of the primary causes of both elevated cholesterol levels, and the process of plaque development in your arteries.
Causes of High Triglyceries
The typical causes are:
- Excess sugar (in the form of starchy carbohydrates, alcohol, candy, pastries, ect.)
- Metabolic syndrome
- Lack of exercise or physical activity
All of the above issues are related and making inprovements in one area will help with the others as well. For example, exercise will lower blood sugar which in turn will lower triglycerides. Metabolic syndrome is really a collection of symptoms related to obesity.
The remdy for these issues is a healtheir lifestyle which is outlined in the steps below.
Lowering triglycerides is just as important as optimizing cholesterol. Several strategies are effective for reaching normal triglyceride levels, and they mirror the things you would do for optimizing cholesterol as well.
Lowering your sugar intake, including processed carbs and alcohol
- Exercise – 3 times per week for at least 15 minutes per session
- Niacin (vitamin B3) at dosages of 250-500 mg with food
- Fish oil 4000 mg/day of concentrated fish oil
- Eat high fiber foods such as oat bran and raw nuts
Fish oil alone can result in a reduction of triglycerides of 50%, and combined with a low sugar diet and regular exercise it is possible to reach normal triglyceride levels naturally, without using any medications.
There is also new evidence that a class of compounds called tocotrienols can help safely lower both low density lipoproteins and triglycerides. Using natural nutritional and lifestyle approaches should always be your goal, because medications carry dangerous and unwanted side effects which can cause serious health problems and even make some conditions worse!
It’s pretty safe to say that achieving normal triglyceride levels is one of THE most powerfully effective strategies for optimizing your cholesterol profile and protecting yourself from cardiovascular disease!