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Understanding Your Triglycerides

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Triglyceride particles are different than the other two cholesterol particles. Triglycerides are one of the particles that transport fat around the body. Only about 20 percent of a triglyceride particle consists of cholesterol. And the relative contribution of triglycerides to the development of heart disease has been less clear, compared to the more definite roles of LDL and HDL.

 

Normal TG levels fall below 150 mg/dL.

 

How can you lower your triglycerides? It’s the old familiar recipe of good diet, exercise, and weight loss again — but with a couple of twists. Diet is especially powerful in influencing triglyceride levels. But not a low-fat diet. This might seem counterintuitive. (After all, triglycerides are primarily fat particles — right?) Yes, triglycerides are primarily fat particles, but they actually reflect an overabundance of carbohydrates rather than of actual fat in the diet.

 

Except in the situation where TG levels are extremely high (which tends to be genetically determined), TGs are around because they are efficient energy-storage particles. Taking extra carbohydrates and turning them into TGs (essentially condensing them) makes storage much more compact. So anytime we have excess carbohydrates or higher (storage-promoting) insulin levels, TG levels tend to go up. You can therefore see how a low-fat diet (which is almost always high in carbohydrates) would be counterproductive in this situation.

 

The answer is a low-saturated-fat, high-fiber, calorie-controlled diet. Sound familiar? Just remember that low saturated fat does not mean low fat. A diet that includes low saturated fat encourages consumption of olive oil, canola oil and the oils in nuts and seeds and fish. Low-carbohydrate diets actually work well in patients with high triglycerides, but for optimal health, a person must limit his or her consumption of saturated fats. High-saturated-fat intake is an often-overlooked side effect of many low-carb diets). TG levels are also quite sensitive to weight loss.

 

Changes in triglyceride levels can be dramatic from an absolute numbers standpoint. Whereas we deal with single-digit changes for HDL cholesterol and low double-digit changes for LDL, TG changes can often be measured in the 100s (especially when you start out with a very high number). Amazingly, such changes can be seen with lifestyle management alone. Nothing underscores the benefits of a healthy existence like the sound of one of your bad cholesterol components dropping like a brick! :common076[1]:

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Thanks Jerry for this info and I will read it when I am not freaked about lousy blood test results and a scolding by the stern locum who was subbing for my regular doc. I CANNOT seem to fix the triglycerides....she is blaming my coca cola :(..... If I have to jog an hour a day, I want to keep this one last addiction (well, I also need to work on reducing yummy foods....not sweets but too much of the 'almost right' stuff....). In the meantime, I get to eat more metformin as it seems I 'make sugar' overnight, despite fair A1C levels....how is THAT possible?? Sometimes this physiological stuff makes no sense at all!

 

jan

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LOL, well, today I walked for over an hour and a half...I am just upping the offered ante to keep my coke....:(

 

jan

 

PS On the other hand, I found out yesterday that my treadmill quit so I have a problem when the weather turns....

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They say walking is the best exercise. Bob goes out in all kinds of weather. Sun, cold or wind affect my skin so I can't really go out. We don't have room for a treadmill, so I'm trying the Tai Chi and also have a new low impact workout tape that I'm going to try.

 

Bob takes a prescription called Gemfibrozil which dramatically lowered his Triglycerides and has kept them low for 7 years so far. His numbers literally were off the charts...so high they couldn't register. Scary.

 

With the coke, is it the sugar that's causing the troubles?

 

Good luck with all of this,

Denise

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There is a lot of sugar in most soft drinks and most of them use corn syrup instead of sugar. Corn syrup will not give you the full feeling that sugar does so you can tend to drink more. It's more slowly digested than sugar so that's probably the main reason. I know that my blood sugar will spike a few minutes after I finish a soft drink. Some of the stores around here carry soft drinks made with real sugar and that's what I look for most of the time for my one or two weekly soft drinks but sometimes you just have to have the old favorite.

 

Really all cola drinks should be avoided and especially by women. Colas contain phosphoric acid (It's on the label) and that will affect bone density. Adele never did like colas so she never drank them. Her latest bone density test shows she has the same level as a teenager to 30 y/o and she is 58. So stop those colas and get your proper calcium, vitamin A and D and magnesium combination. Which is not that easy to do since you should also avoid sterates and steric acid.

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I looked up Triglycerides and sugar...apparently the sugars contribute greatly to elevated Triglycerides. The article that I read said that there's at least the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar in one cola!!!!

I never used to drink sodas until I got hooked on one every evening with TV the last few months. Guess that's another thing I'm having to drop.

Denise

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I hate body chemistry....:( !!

 

Also, I am OLD already...when do I get to be 'off the hook'?

 

You are all right, of course...:(

 

jan

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Getting "OLD" is weird. You are your same 20 something self in a strange body. You catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror and wonder "who is that old person?". People start calling you "ma'am" and helping you with your groceries and being VERY patient with you and your memory. I used to not even take out the garbage without my makeup on, now nobody gives a hoot and never gives me a second glance. I'm not eating more than I used to but am getting wider and heavier each year. I now have to shop the women's sizes, an area of the store that used to be foreign to me. Gravity is NOT my friend. Inside I feel I can run, but my body will only walk. I wish I could fly a kite again, ride a bicycle again, run with a child or dog again, but I know I won't

 

At 50 I felt like a bull's eye was suddenly painted on my chest (and back) and at 60 the darned arrows started hitting their mark.

 

All that being said, Jan, you are still quite young - at least compared to doddering (sp?) ol me.

 

My consolation is that a whole ton of other baby boomers are aging along with me, lol. All of us 60s flower children are now grandparents.

Denise

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Right and praying that our grand children don't have a 60s type thing like we did. Just like I found out that daughters are God's punishment to man for being seventeen.

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Thanks so much for this topic and the other two on HDL & LDL as well. My husband came home Thursday with the results of his bloodwork (which by the way were not great) and was confused over the types of cholesterol and how to get the good numbers for all of them. I knew right where to go to give him the answers he needed. So just wanted to say thanks a bunch!!

 

Vicki

 

:signs001[1]:

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Thanks Kalip, you did perfect :common076[1]:

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I saw on the national news the other night something about Africa. It seems that some of the missions are working as a lot of the lower class poor have now been elevated to middle class obese and diabetic. There is a new epidemic starting in Africa now so can heart disease be far behind?

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