Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Triglyceride Facts (Q&A)

A few facts about triglycerides, in Q&A format.  Interesting read:

Q. What are triglycerides?

A. Triglycerides are the main fat in foods, and they are also found in the bloodstream.  Even though they are fats, diets high in carbohydrates and sugars that contain fructose can raise triglycerides in the blood.

Q. How many people have high triglycerides?

A. About 1 out of every 3 adults have triglyceride levels of 150 or higher.

Q. So that means if my triglyceride level is under 150, I'm good?

A. Not necessarily.  The American Heart Association states that the optimal triglyceride level is under 100.  This means that your body is efficiently processing fats.

Q. Then why is the cutoff 150?

A. Your risk for heat disease increases if your triglycerides is above 150.  If it's above 300, then things really get serious.

Q. Why are triglycerides linked to heart disease?

A. The answer is very complicated, but in very simple terms, the triglyceride remnants cause plaque build-up in the arteries.  The build-up causes the arteries to harden, and therefore, less blood can flow through.  This can cause many problems, including atherosclerosis.

Q. Are high triglycerides as bad for women as for men?

A. High triglycerides are a better predictor of heart disease in women than men.  

Source: Nutrition Action Magazine July/August 2012


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