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Triglycerides

A gym client asked me about triglycerides. I believe many people are now plagued by high levels of triglycerides—unhealthy lifestyle. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood. When you eat food, energy is produced by oxidation of food. However, the excess calories that your body does not exhaust convert into a form of energy called triglycerides which are stored in fat cells of the body. Your body uses them for energy when required.

However, the story doesn’t end there—high triglycerides can jeopardize your health. High triglycerides can raise your risk of heart disease and may be a sign of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a name for a group of risk factors–the combination of high blood sugar, too much fat around the waist, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol and high triglycerides. Metabolic syndrome increases your risk of heart diseases, diabetes, and stroke.

Other conditions that cause high triglycerides:
1) Obesity
2) Poorly controlled diabetes
3) Hypothyroidism.
4) Kidney disease.
5) Regularly eating more calories than you burn.
6) Drinking a lot of alcohol.
7) Smoking cigarettes.

Now, you want to ask me the all important question—how can I reduce high triglyceride levels?

You have to lead a healthy lifestyle. You may ask me, what is that? Generally, a person leading a healthy lifestyle doesn’t smoke cigarettes and drinks alcohol. Perhaps, he might consume alcohol, but never in excess. He is at a healthy weight. He eats healthy foods. He exercises regularly.

So, what are the choices you need to make to lead a healthy lifestyle?

Lose fat: You have to lose fat. Losing five to ten kilograms of fat can help lower your triglycerides.

Cut back on calories: Remember that excess calories are converted to triglycerdies. Reducing your calories may reduce triglycerides.

Avoid sugar and refined foods: Simple carbohydrates such as sugar and highly processed foods can increase triglycerides.

Choose healthier fat: The topic on consuming healthier fats cannot be addressed in a single paragraph. It will defeat the purpose. I will address this issue at a later stage.

Eliminate trans-fat: Trans-fat are found in commercially baked food products and fried foods. Do not eat them.

Limit alcohol consumption and quit smoking: Alcohol is known to have a potent effect on triglycerides. Even small amounts of alcohol can raise triglyceride levels. Smokers have significantly high levels of triglycerides when compared with non-smokers. Smoking also reduces HDL (good cholesterol).

Exercise regularly: I believe you have a lot of choices to make. You can hit the weights, walk long distances, bicycle, and swim—move your body vigorously. Exercise is well known to increase your HDL. That in turn will reduce your LDL (bad cholesterol).

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