What are Triglycerides?
Triglycerides are another form of fat produced in the liver and found in the blood.
- High triglyceride levels are associated with high total cholesterol levels, which include a high LDL (bad) level and a low HDL (good) level. Many people with heart disease and/or diabetes also have high triglyceride levels.
How and where does my body get triglycerides?
Triglycerides are found in 2 places:
- Triglycerides are produced in your liver, after which they are found in the bloodstream.
- Triglycerides are also found in foods.
What causes high triglyceride levels?
- High levels of triglycerides in your blood can be any one or a combination of the following factors:
- Cigarette smoking,
- Being overweight or obesity,
- Excessive alcohol consumption,
- Physical inactivity
- A very high carbohydrate diet (a diet where 60% of total calories or more come from carbohydrates).
What are the numbers in my triglyceride count, and what do they mean?
- Recent research indicates that triglyceride levels that are borderline high (150–199 mg/dL) or high (200–499 mg/dL) may increase your risk for heart disease.
- Levels of 500 mg/dL or more need to be lowered with medication to prevent the pancreas from becoming inflamed.
- A triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL or higher also is one of the risk factors of the metabolic syndrome.
This helpful table outlines triglyceride numbers and what those numbers mean:
|Triglycerides Levels||What These Levels Mean For You|
|Below 150 mg/dL||Excellent – this should be your goal|
|150 – 199 mg/dL||Borderline High|
|200 – 499 mg/dL||Bad – High Risk for Heart Disease|
|500 mg/dL and above||Very High – High Risk for Heart Disease|
How can I reduce my blood triglyceride levels?
- To reduce blood triglyceride levels:
- Control your weight
- Be physically active
- Don’t smoke
- Limit alcohol intake
- Limit simple sugars in your diet
- Limit sugar-sweetened beverages you consume
- Sometimes, medication is needed to control triglyceride levels
Speak with your doctor to see what treatment options are right for you.Content Created/Medically Reviewed by our Expert Doctors