Understanding Triglycerides and What You Can Do to Keep Them in Check.
Written by OmegaXL on May 15, 2014
Simply put, triglycerides are the main form of fat found in the human body. Some triglycerides come from fats in the foods we eat. Others are made in our livers from excess carbohydrates. Triglycerides are broken down and burned as fuel in cells, or are stored in fat cells so they can be used for energy later. When we talk about triglyceride levels, we are referring to the amount of fat in the bloodstream. These levels are routinely checked as part of the same lipid panel that measures cholesterol levels.
Whereas triglycerides are necessary for our survival, many people have elevated levels that are considered unhealthy. High concentrations of triglycerides in the blood are associated with many health problems.
There are two main factors that contribute to high triglyceride levels: lack of exercise and diet.
Getting regular exercise requires your body to burn more sugars and stored fat for energy. This alone will help lower triglyceride levels somewhat. It is also very important to limit foods that contribute to the problem. Cutting down on fats may help, but most people don’t realize how critical it is to limit sugar and simple carbs if they want to lower triglyceride formation and fat storage in general.
Research shows that omega-3 fatty acid consumption can reduce triglyceride levels. Experts agree that most people should consume omega-3s each day. Studies show that people who are trying to lower their triglyceride levels should consume twice the normal recommended amount. This can be difficult to achieve – especially in the typical Western diet. For those who don’t consume fatty fish or grass-fed meats daily, a high quality omega-3 supplement can help.
Reducing triglyceride levels through dietary changes and exercise is proven to be associated with better overall health and lower risk of devastating health problems.