Tuesday, January 24, 2017

When your triglycerides are too high

My triglycerides are over the level that someone decided was the right amount, and I'm pleased because it's the only thing at which I've excelled.

My strategy for dealing with this situation is to not answer the phone when my doctor calls with the test results.

If you're in my situation but have a more mature attitude toward it, here is some help. First, a definition.
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).
Here's what you can do:

Quit eating so much. One way to lower triglyceride levels in the blood is to reduce the overall number of calories ingested every day. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), there is evidence that a 5-10 percent weight loss can decrease triglyceride levels by 20 percent. The decrease in triglycerides is directly related with losing weight.

Eat the right things. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds is a great way to increase the nutrients consumed, while also reducing calories. A diet that is good for the heart and the blood also includes reducing the amount of sodium, refined grains, added sugars, and what are known as solid fats in the diet.

Understand fats and carbs. Trans fats and saturated fats raise triglyceride levels, so people should try to replace them wherever possible. Unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), actually lower triglyceride levels. Limit their total carbohydrate intake to below 60 percent of their recommended daily calorie allowance. Diets with a carbohydrate intake above 60 percent are associated with a rise in triglyceride levels.

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 recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day, 5 days a week.

Here is pretty much the same advice from the Mayo Clinic.

If you don't get those triglycerides down, I can assure you that you will eventually die.

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