- People who have developed heart disease before the age of 50
- Women, especially pregnant women or women taking estrogen
- People who are obese
- Mexican-American men
- Native Americans
February 3, 2017
Lowering High Triglycerides – Part 2
Continued from yesterday's blog.
The types of carbohydrates in the diet can also contribute to triglyceride levels. Foods high in simple sugars, especially refined fructose, are known to raise triglyceride levels.
Drinks make a large contribution to overall carbohydrate intake. Fruit drinks, soft drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages are some of the main sources for added sugars in the diet. Added sugars should be avoided to help reduce triglyceride levels.
Added sugar comes in many forms, including: white sugar, brown sugar, honey, cane juice or cane syrup, corn sweetener or corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, fructose, dextrose, maltose, lactose, sucrose, syrups, such as maple, agave, and molasses.
Taking steps to avoid drinks containing added sugars could greatly reduce overall calories. Every 4 grams of sugar is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of sugar. The recommended daily maximum sugar intake for women is 24 grams (6 teaspoons) or 36 grams (9 teaspoons) for men.
Instead of drinks that contain high levels of added sugars, people can opt for low calorie drinks, such as water or tea. On a warm day, instead of reaching for a soft drink, a splash of 100 percent fruit juice to a glass of sparkling water is a better option.
Alcohol also has a direct effect on triglyceride levels in some people. In people with high triglyceride levels, refraining from drinking alcohol is a helpful step to reducing triglycerides.
People should work directly with their healthcare provider to gradually make any changes to the diet, and be certain there are no complications with any medicines they are taking.
Physical activity also plays an important role in reducing triglyceride levels. Burning calories ensures that more triglycerides from within the body are being used up.
Any exercise is beneficial, but the effects of exercise will vary based on initial triglyceride levels, the amount of exercise, and the level of intensity of the exercise. A 30-minute walk each day is a great way to begin, as is engaging in low-stress activities, such as cycling or swimming.
The AHA recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day, 5 days a week.
If the triglyceride levels in the body are too high, the risk of certain diseases and disorders is also increased. According to a study posted to the Lancet Diabetes Endocrinology, high triglyceride levels play a role in cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis.
This can happen because high triglyceride levels in the blood can cause a buildup of plaque in the arteries. Plaque is a combination of cholesterol, triglyceride fats, calcium, cellular waste, and fibrin, which is the material the body uses for clotting.
Plaque buildup increases the risk of heart diseases, as the buildup blocks the normal flow of blood in the arteries. Plaque may also break off, and the sudden clot formed can cause a stroke or heart attack. Triglycerides and cholesterol levels make up two of the most important things to monitor for a healthy heart.
There is also an increased risk of damage to the pancreas if the levels of triglycerides get too high.
The most common causes of high triglyceride levels relate to diet and metabolism. A study posted to Nutrients listed the most common contributing factors of high triglyceride levels. These include: family genes, obesity, high-calorie diet, high-fat diet, alcohol consumption, diabetes (mainly type 2), renal diseases such as uremia, pregnancy, some medications, such as oral estrogen, corticosteroids, antiretroviral drugs, and tamoxifen, among others
Statistically, some groups of people are more at risk for high triglyceride levels than others. These groups include: