Triglycerides are a molecule that the liver makes to move fats, and things that can be turned into fats, around the body through the blood stream. These triglycerides can be used as fuel for our cells or stored as fat.
Triglycerides are measured in the lipid panel along with your cholesterol. They are a marker, or indicator, for how efficiently our body is functioning at handling sugars and fats, and increased levels are associated with heart disease, fatty liver disease and diabetes. This test should always be done fasting as the levels vary drastically due to the types of foods we eat. High fasting levels over 100 mg/dl indicate that our body is having a problem.
Elevated triglycerides indicate that our body and our cells are becoming insulin resistant. Insulin is needed to get the triglycerides inside our cells so that it can be processed into fuels. When we become insulin resistant, our cells do not readily allow insulin to do its job. This is one of the indicators that describe what is termed “metabolic syndrome”. This terminology is used to describe a group of disorders including elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure, high blood glucose (sugar), elevated Hgb A1c (marker for diabetes), weight gain in the mid section (tummy fat, beer belly), etc. All of these markers are associated with heart disease.
Sugars come in many forms form simple to complex. By the way, not all sugars are sweet. If we look at table sugar, the white stuff you may be putting in your coffee for instance, we have about 50% glucose, not sweet, and 50% fructose, very sweet. Glucose can be used in its original state and does not need processing. Fructose is another animal all together and has to be processed by the liver before it can be used. Too much of a good thing, especially sweet tasting things, and we become insulin resistant. The next step is diabetes. Let’s not go there.
Things that will help lower the triglycerides, and and help prevent heart disease and diabetes, are limiting or eliminating foods that turn into triglycerides rapidly. This includes all things that taste sweet, including fruits. Fruits can provide good antioxidants and other nutrients, but too much of a good thing and you know the rest of the story. Grains are another problem, even though not sweet tasting, as they elevate blood glucose and triglycerides and can lead to that extra belly fat that is so hard to loose.
What is a person to do? Diet, or as we like to call it, lifestyle changes are the first step. Limiting or eliminating those things that cause the problems. This will include all sugar, grains, cereals, and yes, even the fruits. Fun fact: the average American consumes 2.5 pounds of sugar per week. That works out to 130 pounds per year. Just think about the exercise alone needed to keep that under control!
Once we have the lifestyle under control we can do other things to help manage the problems associated with “metabolic syndrome”. The omega 3 fish oils are one of the best supplements anyone can take. They help reduce insulin resistance, lower triglycerides, feed the brain and are anti-inflammatory. The anti-inflammatory effect is one of the most important effects they can provide for our body, as most cooking oils are omega 6 and can increase inflammation. Oh, and a little exercise is very important too. It is never too late to start, just make sure you start slowly if it hasn’t been part of your routine before.
Something you can do to determine your specific needs is the proper lab work (blood tests). Doctor’s Nutrition can help you with choosing the correct lab testing for you and your condition, and once the results are back, we can help you with the right lifestyle choices, and supplementation specifically for you. We call this ‘evidence based nutrition’. Here is a link to our web page with lab tests: http://www.doctorsnutrition.com/store/pc/viewcontent.asp?idpage=1 (Copy and paste to your browser)
Doctor’s Nutrition has all the natural products that you might need to help with any of the sugar handling issues like high triglycerides. All our products are the highest purity available. We offer free consultation to help determine the best methods for you and your condition. Give us a call today and let’s get started on a healthier you.