Understanding Triglycerides

High triglyceride levels are linked to coronary artery disease.  When your doctor does blood work to check cholesterol levels he will also be checking your triglyceride levels for a more complete picture of your health.

Triglycerides are a chemical form of fat particles in your blood that are used for energy.  Unused calories are converted to triglycerides and then stored in fat cells.  Hormones release triglycerides from fat tissue into the blood stream for energy the body can use.

Compare your overnight fasting triglyceride values to the chart below.

Normal                                 less than 150 mg/dL

Borderline                     150-199 mg/dL
High                                             200-499 mg/dL
Very High                       500 mg/dL or more

High triglyceride levels increase risks for:  Atherosclerosis, Diabetes, Stroke, Heart Attack, Heart Disease and Metabolic Syndrome.


Causes of high triglyceride levels:

  • Obesity
  • Untreated or poorly treated diabetes
  • Low levels of thyroid hormones.
  • Kidney Disease
  • Genetics
  • High alcohol consumption

Medicines that can affect triglyceride levels are:  Tamoxifen, steroids, beta-blockers, diuretics, Estrogen, and birth control pills.

Lifestyle choices for reducing triglycerides:

  • Lose excess pounds and get to your ideal body weight. Click here to compute your ideal body weight.
  • Reduce your consumption of foods that are high in saturated fat, trans-fat and cholesterol.
  • Avoid sugary foods.
  • Avoid alcohol or at least reduce your consumption.
  • Exercise regularly the American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of physical activity 5 or more days per week.
  • Eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon) while reducing beef consumption.
  • Get high blood pressure under control if necessary.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke.

There are medications available if good healthy lifestyle choices aren’t working.  Your doctor may prescribe a fibrates medication, nicotinic acids, or cholesterol lowering statin in combination with a fibrate.


HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years. Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles. Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

Natural Triglyceride Reducer
31. July 2009
Natural Triglyceride Reducer
31. July 2009
I agree with you. Our lifestyle determines our health. One should lead a good lifestyle to keep a healthy body. Thank you.

Triglycerides too high
27. July 2009
Triglycerides too high
27. July 2009
Nice analysis on triglycerides. The life style choices are worth considering. Thanks for sharing.


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