By Dr Harold Gunatillake - Health Writer
If your doctor detects high levels of triglycerides in your blood you need to take it seriously. You need triglycerides in your blood for good health, but too much can give you problems. It is another form of fat or lipid in your blood like good and bad cholesterol. They are all one big family and they team up to maintain a reasonable healthy level in your blood.
The problem with high triglycerides is that it can raise your risk of heart disease.
High triglycerides are a sign of metabolic syndrome, too-composed of high blood sugar, high blood pressure and waist-line obesity.
Normally, the triglyceride level in blood is less than 150, and considered high over 200. High triglycerides are found when your diabetes is not well controlled, or you suffer from hypothyroid disease where the gland secretes less hormones than required, obesity, eating high calorie foods and lastly indulging in excessive alcohol drinking.
Those who are on beta-blockers for high blood pressure may have a high triglyceride level.
Certain medications do increase your triglyceride level such as Tamoxifen given as a medication to prevent spread of cancer of the breast after treatment; Regular steroids administration for arthritis, asthma and other auto-immune diseases; diuretics prescribed routinely with high blood pressure medication; and the birth control oestrogen pill.
Cholesterol is a building material required to maintain the cell structures in the body and is an ingredient for hormone build-up.
Triglycerides have the habit of preventing good cholesterol (HDL) carrying the bad cholesterol (LDL) to be destroyed in the liver.
High triglycerides may be an indication of poorly controlled diabetes type 2, and you need to check your blood sugar levels more frequently and control with medication.
Foods to avoid
You may need to restrict fruits if you have high triglycerides. Fructose is converted into triglycerides in the liver. Canned fish packed in oil will increase your triglycerides.
So if you have high triglycerides you need to restrict your sugar and also saturated fats in your diet.
All triglycerides are not the same
Lauric acid in coconut oil is the most well-known out of the other three acids such as Caproic, Caprylic and Capril acid.
These acids have anti-microbial properties and are totally metabolised in the liver. Hence do not produce cholesterol in the liver. So if you have high triglycerides in your blood you can reduce by taking certain steps.
Your doctor will advise you on this. Most of all cut down on all sugars, including ice cream, fruit salads, and soluble sugars.
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