Recently I was talking with one of our physicians about triglycerides. The conversation then shifted to wondering what our patients actually know about this topic. The conclusion we reached was that triglycerides are not commonly discussed, and that people do not have a solid grasp of what they are and what they do. So I thought I would put together a little something for all of our patients to become more educated on this topic.
Let’s begin with what a triglyceride is. It is a glycerol molecule on which 3 fatty acids are stuck. So what does that mean? It is the major transporter of fat in the body. Triglycerides are made by the liver. They serve important functions in the body when at the appropriate levels coming from appropriate sources. Triglycerides are also very harmful if present in excess, and can lead to heart disease. Triglyceride levels are higher in your body when you are consuming too many high-glycemic carbs and bad fats.
How do we combat triglycerides? It is really not that hard. Make healthier food choices such as organic grass feed beef, organic poultry, and wild-caught fish. Get more of your fats from good oils (olive, grape seed, avocado) and stay away from vegetable oils like canola. Lose body fat. Drink less alcohol! Get the excess sugar out of your diet. Get rid of high-glycemic carbs. Supplement with quality fish oil. Last but not least, workout at high intensity. Making these simple lifestyle changes will help you to have a healthy triglyceride level and reduce your disease risk.
Jared Sparr, CSCS
Nutrition & Exercise Counselor