What are Triglycerides?
Triglycerides are the most common type of fat found in the body, and they form when carbohydrates and other dietary fats are metabolized. Triglycerides play an important role in keeping our bodies healthy, as they supply energy for activities such as physical movement. But, when levels of triglycerides are too high, this may increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, or other health issues. In order to better understand how triglycerides affect your cholesterol levels, it’s important to understand what cholesterol is and how it works in the body.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in the bloodstream, and it plays an important role in keeping our bodies healthy. It helps the body build healthy cells, manufacture hormones, and absorb vitamins. But, too much cholesterol can cause blockages in your arteries, leading to heart attack and stroke. High cholesterol can come from foods you eat, or it can be produced by your liver.
How Triglycerides Affect Cholesterol Levels
Triglycerides and cholesterol work together in the body. Triglycerides feed cholesterol’s production in the liver and both may contribute to clogging of your arteries. High triglyceride levels can lead to high levels of total cholesterol, lowering the levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
Triglycerides, specifically, may contribute to a blockage in the arteries, since fatty tissue tends to accumulate on the walls of the arteries. As a result, the arteries become clogged and your heart has to work much harder to circulate blood. This can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.
How to Manage High Triglycerides and Cholesterol Levels
It can be difficult to know exactly when your triglyceride levels are too high, as there currently aren’t any reliable symptoms associated with high triglyceride levels. That’s why it’s important to have regular check-ups with your doctor to monitor your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Healthy Eating Habits
Making healthy eating habits is key to improving cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Avoid saturated fats and processed foods, and add more fiber and omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. You should also limit your sugar, salt, and alcohol intake.
Regular exercise is important for keeping triglyceride and cholesterol levels in check. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week. Also make sure you’re getting enough sleep, as a lack of sleep can lead to high cholesterol levels.
Medications and Supplements
In some cases, your doctor may recommend cholesterol-lowering medications, such as statins, or supplements such as fish oil. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any medications or supplements.
Triglycerides and cholesterol both play important roles in the body. But, high levels of triglycerides or cholesterol can lead to serious health issues, like clogged arteries and heart attack. To help keep triglyceride and cholesterol levels in check, it’s important to maintain healthy eating habits and get regular exercise, and talk to your doctor about medications or supplements. By taking the necessary steps, you can reduce your risk of health complications and too much cholesterol.