Triglycerides A Blood Fat Which Can Be As Bad And Harmful As High Cholesterol..

What are triglycerides?

Triglycerides are the chemical form of fat found in food as well as in your body. They're also present in blood plasma and, together with cholesterol, form the plasma lipids.

Triglycerides in plasma are extracted from the fats we eat from foods, or are made in the your body from other energy sources like carbohydrates. Calories eaten in a meal and are not used immediately by the tissues are converted into triglycerides and transported to fat cells and are stored. Hormones in your body then regulate the release of triglycerides from fat tissue so that they can meet the body's needs for energy between meals.

Why and how is an excess of triglycerides harmful?

The excess triglycerides in plasma is called hypertriglyceridemia. It's linked to the cause of coronary artery disease in some people. Elevated triglycerides may be a result of other diseases, such as untreated diabetes mellitus. Similar to cholesterol, increases in triglyceride levels can be traced by plasma measurements. However these readings should be made after an overnight food and alcohol fast for a more accurate accessment.

The National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines for triglycerides are:

Normal is less than 150 mg/dL

Borderline-high 150 to 199 mg/dL

High 200 to 499 mg/dL

Very high 500 mg/dL and above

These are based on fasting plasma triglyceride levels.

American Heart Association Recommendation And Dietary treatment goals

Changes in lifestyle habits are the main therapy for hypertriglyceridemia. These are the changes you need to make:

1. If you're overweight, cut down on calories to reach your ideal body weight. This includes all sources of calories, from fats, proteins, carbohydrates and alcohol.

2. Reduce the saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol content in your diet. 3. Reduce your intake of alcohol to a barest minimun. Even small amounts of alcohol can lead to large changes in plasma triglyceride levels.

4. Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and nonfat or low-fat dairy products.

5. Do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five or more days each week. People with high triglycerides may need to substitute monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats are mostly found in canola oil, olive oil or liquid margarine — for saturated fats.

In some people, replacing carbohydrates for fats may raise triglyceride levels and may decrease HDL ("good") cholestero. Using fish high in omega-3 fatty acids instead of meats high in saturated fat like in hamburger. Fatty fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Other risk factors for coronary artery disease can increase the hazard from hyperlipidemia. It is also very important to control high blood pressure and avoid cigarette smoking.

If medication/drugs are used to treat hypertriglyceridemia, dietary management is still important. Patients are adviced to follow the specific plans laid out by their physicians and nutritionists strictly.

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