Triglycerides are a chemical formation common to both animal and vegetable fats. Triglycerides consist of three individual fatty acids that are bound together in a single large molecule. In our bodies these are conveyed via blood plasma, while molecules that are unused are deposited and stored as fat. Almost fats that occur naturally do have triglycerides. There is a lot of misinformation and apprehension about triglycerides but a normal intake of the lipoproteins is encouraged, and it is only higher than normal levels that are regarded as being medically unsafe. The main sources of energy in our diet are proteins and carbohydrates, while triglycerides are a source of twice that amount.
There is a common assumption that triglycerides are present in our bodies as an outcome of the consumption of fats, though this is not entirely true, as carbohydrates are converted into triglycerides as a natural process in the body. For this reason, even a low fat diet that is high in carbohydrates can cause a rise in triglyceride levels. High levels of triglycerides are generally associated with the increased risk of cardiovascular disease or heart attacks, but they are not a primary cause. For any increase in the risks of cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, or strokes the body would need to have a high level of LDL or low-density lipoproteins, and a low level of HDL or high density lipoproteins. A triglyceride count alone is therefore not a very accurate indicator for the risk of heart conditions, but a test that measures both LDL and HDL levels, while providing a triglyceride count can be useful.
Excessive levels of triglycerides are however linked with conditions like obesity and pancreatitis. Most health care providers therefore recommend a diet of moderation, with both fat and carbohydrate intake being moderate. High protein diets that usually contain a lot of fat are advised against. These could include diets like the Atkins or South Beach diet as they result in elevated triglyceride levels, resulting from a a consumption of proteins like bacon. Healthier dietary guidelines focus more on serving size or portions rather than on specific nutrients.
To ensure healthy levels of triglycerides it would therefore be wise to ensure a balanced intake of both protein and complex carbohydrates. When considering triglyceride levels it may help to keep in mind this info:
- Normal levels of triglycerides would be lower than 150 mg/dl.
- A reading of 150-199 mg/dl would be a borderline high.
- readings of 200-499 indicate high triglyceride levels,
- any reading of 500 plus would indicate very high Levels
Submitted by M T on January 6, 2010 at 09:01