5 Triglycerides FAQs for the plus Size Woman

How come you can’t remember the topic of triglycerides from science classes? Well, because it is little known about in comparison to cholesterol and lipids…Well, it is time to remedy that, especially if you are already a little overweight!

So here are some of the simple facts about Triglycerides…

1. What are they?

Triglycerides are fats that are circulated in the blood. These fats come from the food we eat. In fact, most of the fats that we do eat, such as butter, margarines and oils, come in triglyceride form. Additionally, the extra calories, - either alcohol or sugar- in the body are also converted into triglycerides. These triglycerides are stored in the fat cells throughout our body.

Triglycerides are different from cholesterol, though both belong to the lipids category.

2. Why should you care?

Well asked. You should care because an increased level of triglycerides increases the chances of heart issues.

3. What does a high rate of Triglycerides mean? How to know for sure?

Now that you know the dangers of an increased level of triglyceride, the next is how you can keep tabs on your triglyceride levels. You can take a Lipid Profile test, and ideally, everyone aged above 20 should go in for this test every 5 years. The Lipid Profile test reveals your triglyceride level, the total cholesterol level, HDL cholesterol (that is, high-density lipoprotein or “good” cholesterol) and LDL (in other words, low-density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol) levels.

And just for the record, blood triglyceride levels tend to be high after a meal. So to ensure an accurate reading, maintain a gap of at least 12 hours before a Lipid Profile test is taken.

Other factors that can hamper and influence triglyceride levels are:

1. Alcohol intake
2. Diet
3. Exercise
4. Menstrual cycle

4. What are the normal levels?

“Guidelines for triglyceride levels in healthy adults are:

  • Normal: Under 150 mg/dl
  • Borderline High: 151– 200 mg/dl
  • High: 201 – 499 mg/dl
  • Very High: 500 mg/dl or higher”
5. How to tackle high levels of triglycerides?

  • Exercise:  the first means of lowering triglyceride levels is to lose weight. You can do this by doing vigorous aerobic exercises that increase your heart rate. So make sure to have at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise. You can take up brisk walking, stair climbing, or bicycling or even swimming.

  • Food and diet changes: Diets that are high in refined carbohydrates increase triglycerides. So ensure that you reduce your intake of sweets and foods like white rice and breads, pasta, and snacks made from white or semolina flour. What you can try instead, are whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. And do avoid Trans fats (“bad” fats), and limit your saturated fat intake to less than 7% of calories. About 25% to 35% of total calories should come from mainly monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil, and nuts. Stick to oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, anchovies, and tuna.

  • Supplements: B vitamin niacin can lower triglyceride levels and LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. Furthermore, The American Heart Association recommends fish oil capsules. But in either case, make sure to consult your physician before you jump the gun.

  • Lifestyle changes: include saying NO to alcohol, narcotics and bad habits. Make sure to follow a proper diet and keep up the regular exercise.

Now that you have most of the Triglyceride issues solved, when are you checking YOUR triglyceride levels?!

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