ALWAYS MONITORE YOUR TRIGLYCERIDES!

Triglycerides are an important measure of heart health. Here’s why triglycerides matter — and what to do if your triglycerides are too high.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, there’s something else you might need to monitor: your triglycerides.
Having a high level of triglycerides, a type of fat (lipid) in your blood, can increase your risk of heart disease. However, the same lifestyle choices that promote overall health can help lower your triglycerides, too.
What are triglycerides?
Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood. When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn’t need to use right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, particularly “easy” calories like carbohydrates and fats, you may have high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia).







What’s considered normal?
A simple blood test can reveal whether your triglycerides fall into a healthy range.
-Normal — Less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or less than 1.7 millimoles per liter (mmol/L)
-Borderline high — 150 to 199 mg/dL (1.8 to 2.2 mmol/L)
-High — 200 to 499 mg/dL (2.3 to 5.6 mmol/L)
-Very high — 500 mg/dL or above (5.7 mmol/L or above)
Your doctor will usually check for high triglycerides as part of a cholesterol test (sometimes called a lipid panel or lipid profile). You’ll have to fast for nine to 12 hours before blood can be drawn for an accurate triglyceride measurement.

THE TRUTH ABOUT CHOLESTEROL AND EGGS

Chicken eggs are high in cholesterol, and a diet high in cholesterol can contribute to high blood cholesterol levels. However, how much the cholesterol in your diet can increase your blood cholesterol varies from person to person. Although eating too many eggs can increase your cholesterol, eating four egg yolks or fewer on a weekly basis hasn’t been found to increase your risk of heart disease.
When deciding whether to include eggs in your diet, consider the recommended daily limits on cholesterol in your food:
-If you are healthy, it’s recommended that you limit your dietary cholesterol to less than 300 milligrams (mg) a day.
-If you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes or a high low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) blood cholesterol level, you should limit your dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg a day.
One large egg has about 186 mg of cholesterol — all of which is found in the yolk. Therefore, if you eat an egg on a given day, it’s important to limit other sources of cholesterol for the rest of that day. Consider substituting servings of vegetables for servings of meat, or avoid high-fat dairy products for that day.
If you like eggs but don’t want the extra cholesterol, use only the egg whites. Egg whites contain no cholesterol. You may also use cholesterol-free egg substitutes, which are made with egg whites.






FOODS TO FIGHT CHOLESTEROL

Foods that fight cholesterol often have high amounts of dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Most of these nutrients can be found in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, which should already be included in your daily diet. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is called “good cholesterol” because it removes excess cholesterol from your arteries and sends it to your liver for disposal. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), you should consume four to five servings of vegetables and fruits daily to maintain your cholesterol HDL level.
Dietary Fiber
Dietary fiber consists of two different types of fiber: insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber promotes movement in your intestines, relieving constipation and other bowel disorders. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can find insoluble fiber in wheat bran, whole-wheat flour, dark and leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds. Soluble fiber breaks down in water and changes into a gel, which helps lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad cholesterol.” Soluble fibers take longer to digest, which makes you feel full longer, therefore causing you to eat less. You can find this nutrient in oranges, apples, barley, oatmeal, carrots and legumes.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart due to their cholesterol-lowering qualities. According to “Controlling Cholesterol for Dummies,” these polyunsaturated fatty acids prevent triglycerides, chemical forms of fat, from converting excess calories into fat by lowering triglyceride levels in your body. Omega-3 fatty acids are also high in HDL. You can find Omega-3 fatty acids in fish, especially salmon, albacore tuna, herring and trout.
Monounsaturated Fats
Whole milk, red meat, eggs, butter and some margarines contain saturated fats and trans fats. Monounsaturated fat, meanwhile, is unsaturated fat that does not increase your LDL. In fact, according to the AHA, monounsaturated fat may lower your cholesterol when used as a replacement for saturated fat and trans fat. You can find monounsaturated fat in fish, nuts and vegetable oils, but limit consumption to 25 to 35 percent of your caloric intake.






PERILS OF OBESITY

If you’re obese, you’re more likely to develop a number of potentially serious health problems, including:
-High cholesterol and triglycerides
-Type 2 diabetes
-High blood pressure

-Metabolic syndrome — a combination of high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and high cholesterol
-Heart disease
-Stroke
-Cancer
, including cancer of the uterus, cervix, ovaries, breast, colon, rectum and prostate
-Sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts
-Depression
-Gallbladder disease
-Gynecologic problems
, such as infertility and irregular periods
-Erectile dysfunction and sexual health issues, due to deposits of fat blocking or narrowing the arteries to the genitals
-Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which fat builds up in the liver and can cause inflammation or scarring
-Osteoarthritis
-Skin problems, such as poor wound healing
Quality of life- When you’re obese, your overall quality of life may be lower, too. You may not be able to do things you’d normally enjoy as easily as you’d like. You may have trouble participating in family activities. You may avoid public places. You may even encounter discrimination.
Other weight-related issues that may affect your quality of life include:
-Depression
-Disability
-Physical discomfort
-Sexual problems
-Shame
-Social isolation






Cholesterol and Fatty Livers

Although fatty liver can be caused by regularly drinking too many alcoholic beverages, the high prevalence of fatty liver in modern society is unrelated to alcohol consumption, and it can progress to a metabolic disorder called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. Fatty liver is an excessive accumulation of triglycerides and cholesterol in your liver. The amount of cholesterol in your diet has very little bearing on the development of fatty liver, but a fatty liver can raise the triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in your blood.
Estimates indicate that 20 to 30 percent of the adult population in the United States may have a fatty liver or NAFLD. The disorder can begin to develop in early childhood. If you have Type 2 diabetes, there is a 50 percent chance that you have too much fat in your liver, and if you are overweight with excess fat around your waist, your likelihood of having fatty liver is 75 percent. The best way to detect fatty liver is through a liver biopsy.
Fatty liver is often associated with excess belly fat, also called abdominal fat. Triglycerides in your abdominal fatty tissues can be recycled to your liver and contribute to fat content.
People with fatty liver usually have high blood triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and elevated levels of small, dense LDLs and LDL cholesterol. Too much liver fat and this type of blood lipid profile is strongly associated with Type 2 diabetes, and it is a feature of insulin resistance.