High Triglyceride level – Causes and control

Triglycerides are a certain type of fat that is present in our blood. Small amounts of triglycerides are needed to carry out regular body functions but an excess will cause in heart diseases.

A higher level of triglycerides can also exist as a result of a metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a condition in which a person has a combination of high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high Triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol. This condition increases the risk of stroke, diabetes and heart diseases.

Test and measurement

  • The amount of triglyceride can be measured using the same blood test used to measure cholesterol.
  • Normal range is considered to fall below 150 (mg/dL)
  • 150-199 (mg/dL) is the borderline high
  • 200-499 (mg/dL) is supposed to be high
  • Anything above 500 is considered very high

Causes
Triglycerides can be caused by other underlying conditions. Certain medicines can also increase the count of triglycerides in the blood. In rare cases, triglyceride abnormality can also be hereditary.

Here are some of the main causes:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  • Eating more calories than required regularly
  • Drinking high quantity of alcohol
  • Use of birth control pills, steroids, estrogen
  • Controlling Triglycerides
  • Instead of relying on medications, it is better to control triglycerides with a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle. Being more active and controlling body weight also
  • helps in bringing down triglyceride levels.

Diet
Diet is always an important part in maintaining our health. With proper diet and exercise, it is possible to bring down the triglyceride count.
These are few foods and components that you should control in your diet for high triglycerides.

Sugar
Cut down on sugar. High intake of sugar can result in the increase of triglyceride count. An optimum range of 150 grams for men and 100 grams for women is the intake that should be maintained on a daily basis.

Carbs
Replace carbohydrates and sugar with fiber. Focus on fiber-rich food like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

Fructose
Control your fructose intake. Fructose is one of the main reasons for the higher count of triglycerides in the blood. High-fructose corn syrup should be avoided as far as possible. Raisins and other dry fruits have a higher level of fructose and should be avoided. Fruits like peaches, banana, strawberry have a comparatively lower level of fructose.

Fats
Cutting down of saturated fat from red meat is found helpful in bringing down triglyceride levels. It’s best to lower the amount of poultry fat, milk, cheese, coconut and palm oil in your diet. Canola and olive oils can be used instead.

Alcohol
Limit the intake of alcohol. Occasional drinks are fine, but it can be really harmful if consumed on a daily basis. Increasing the consumption of foods with omega-3 fatty acids can help bring down the high triglyceride levels. Fishes like sardines and tuna have a higher amount of fatty acids. Eating fatty fish at least twice a week can be really helpful.