Understanding Triglycerides Cholesterol Triglycerides are the liquid form in which most fat exists both in food and in the body. They can also be found in the blood stream. They are carried through the blood stream to various parts of the body. Most fat in the body is stored as triglycerides which is stored for use as energy. Having triglycerides is important for good health, but too many can result in heart disease.
Eating too many saturated fats or refined carbohydrates can elevate triglycerides in the body. Most triglycerides are obtained from food or are synthesized by the liver. Triglycerides are one of the three major sources of metabolic fuel for the body. The others are carbohydrates and proteins.
Having too many triglycerides in the body is known as hypertriglyceridemia and is commonly associated with atherosclerosis.
To avoid triglycerides you should avoid food with simple sugars, alcohol and saturated fats. To help the body maintain a normal level of triglycerides increasing physical activity and taking fish oil or flax seed oil has shown to be beneficial.
Cholesterol is also needed by the body, but only in the correct amounts. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that waterproofs cells and many other things in the body. LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein is considered the bad cholesterol where high amounts is correlated with disease. 160mg and up is considered too high. HDL or High Density Lipoprotein is considered the good cholesterol. Keeping this type higher helps your body avoid the bad cholesterol and helps to keep you healthier. 40mg or lower is considered too low.
Research has shown that increasing aerobic exercise, losing weight, avoiding smoking, cutting out trans fats and saturated fats, increasing monounsaturated fats in the diet and fiber helps to increase the HDL or good cholesterol in the body. This also helps to lower the LDL or bad cholesterol helping to avoid heart disease and keeping you healthy.
Total cholesterol is LDL plus HDL and one fifth of triglycerides. Research shows that it is best to keep this level below 200. Borderline is considered to be around 200 to 239; anything over 240 is considered to be high.
Statin drugs have been shown to reduce bad cholesterol in the body. However, Statin drugs have been linked to serious side effects such as muscle inflammation and injury. Some people use Red Yeast Rice which is a natural statin and supplement. It has been used in China since 800 A.D. The dosage is 1200mg twice daily.
- Nathan Leavitt DC
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