Sep 132010


Why Triglycerides are Important

“Triglycerides” is a word that you will encounter many times when you begin to research general health issues. And, if you are like many, the most information that you will retain about triglycerides is that they are in the blood stream and too many of them is not a good thing. All true as far as it goes!

But, do yourself a favor and extend your research to the point where you understand what triglycerides are and how they affect your health. The troubling information is that they are a large part of diabetes and some symptoms known as “metabolic syndrome”. As I said earlier, it is to your benefit to know more.

Quite simply, triglycerides are fat and our bodies store fat tissue which is made up to cells containing triglycerides. Although that certainly sounds bad, usually it is not. Triglycerides play a significant role in the healthy operation of the human body and we literally could not live without them because they are where the body goes for energy.

In the past, before the industrial revolution really took hold, the average person did much more physical labor than today and ate less food as well. The result was that, even though the body was storing energy in the form of triglycerides, the combination of eating less and more physical activity kept most people’s fat well under control.

Today, at the dawn of the 21st century, most of us are performing much less physical labor and eating more. The result is that our bodies are continuing to store energy in the form of triglycerides but now we aren’t burning it off nearly as quickly and we end up storing much more fat than we need for survival.

Additional problem start to occur because the body is not designed to store all this potential energy efficiently and a high level of unneeded fat cells can attract cells called cytokines which inhibit our ability to handle sugar and so increases the risk of developing diabetes. Another difficulty is that too much stored fat ends up in other tissues such as muscle and liver which compromises their ability to digest sugars correctly and, again, increases the risk of diabetes.

Having too high a level of triglycerides is very often an indicator of other conditions which are collectively known as the “metabolic syndrome”. In simple terms, these conditions are a set of risks for heart disease and diabetes. These symptoms include: High blood sugars, High blood pressure, Obesity, especially fat around the middle, and High levels of inflammatory proteins.

To begin to combat this issue you first need to know what your current level of triglycerides are and what the level should be. Knowing your current level will take a blood test so see your doctor. As for what your level should be, the accepted number is 150 or less. Any number above 150 is a problem.

Diet plays a very important part in reducing triglycerides. Doctors recommend a diet that is low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and simple carbohydrates. Foods that is better for you include those high in dietary fiber such as fruits and vegetables, brown rice, and whole grain breads.

In the end, preventing diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and high triglycerides its best to think about the amount of calories you eat with the goal of eating only as much as you burn. Or, if weight loss is your goal, eating fewer calories than you burn off.

Building a diet full of fruits and vegetables is the best way to remain in good health and maintain a healthy weight. Even though preparing meals of fruits and vegetables can be a bit challenging, making use of fruit smoothies is the best way to add fruit and vegetables to your daily diet.

Control your triglycerides with smoothies!

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