For my 1 year anniversary of starting this health and fitness blog, I will try to keep this one short and sweet…
When it comes to the health of adults, blood pressure and cholesterol readings seem to get most of the lime-light. Family physicians may point to your triglyceride number and explain what it means, but rarely will you be given much advice on how to lower that number. THAT number–not your cholesterol or BP reading–is MOST important for keeping heart and artery diseases at bay. High numbers of triglycerides causes inflammation; and inflammation causes heart disease.
“But, what exactly are triglycerides…?”
Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood. When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn’t need to use right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. If you regularly eat more calories than you burn–particularly “easy” calories like carbohydrates and fats–you may have high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia).
The higher end of normal to borderline would be considered 150-199 mg/dL. Generally, you want to keep your number below 200. If you are above 200, something in your diet needs to change.
“What’s the difference between cholesterol and triglycerides?”
Triglycerides and cholesterol are separate types of lipids that circulate in your blood. Triglycerides store unused calories and provide your body with energy, and cholesterol is used to build cells and certain hormones. Because triglycerides and cholesterol can’t dissolve in blood, they circulate throughout your body with the help of proteins that transport the lipids (lipoproteins).
Here are 5 types of foods that will lower your triglycerides if they become a steady part of your diet:
Omega 3’s: healthy fats that can be found in most fish (salmon, tilapia…) or via supplement (see previous post on supplements).
Here’s to lowering your triglycerides, having an even healthier 2014, and many more anniversaries of health and fitness blogging…
Move to the beat of your own drum.