Triglycerides are the scientific name for the chemical formulation of animal and vegetable fats. A triglyceride consists of three molecules of fatty acid combined with a molecule of the alcohol glycerol. Some triglycerides circulate through our blood after eating a meal, providing fuel to our muscles. Excess triglycerides are stored in our adipose (fat) tissue. Triglycerides are commonly found in food high in calories and in alcohol. They enter the body not only through the fats we consume, but are also present in carbohydrates. The body naturally converts many carbohydrates into triglycerides. High triglyceride levels are associated with heart disease but are not considered to be a leading causal factor. However, excess levels of triglycerides are directly linked to obesity, diabetes and to pancreatitis.
Triglycerides are a normal component of the bloodstream. Every time we consume food, our body digests the fats from the food and releases triglycerides into the bloodstream. They are then transported throughout the body to be used as energy or stored as fat. The liver is also responsible for manufacturing triglycerides and has the ability to transform any source of excess calories into triglycerides.
Triglycerides are essential to the body because they provide concentrated energy. They also insulate from the cold and provide internal padding for the organs of the body to prevent them from damage. They also carry the essential vitamins A, D , E and K. Triglycerides stay in the stomach longer and provide a feeling of fullness or satiety. They also help prevent dehydration of the skin.
Diet for lowering Triglycerides
If your doctor tells you that you need to lose weight you should go on a calories restricted diet ( as set by your doctor) in order to achieve your goal weight. You should also include exercise of a part of your plan. The basis of your diet should be that you are reducing sugars and grains. In other words you will be on a low carb diet. Rather than eating six meals per day, try to eat every three waking hours. This will give most people between 5 and 6 meals per day. Your aim at every meal should be to consume ‘clean’ or low fat foods. You should especially limit saturated fats. You’ll have to get into the habit of reading food labels in the supermarket to know which products contain a lot of saturated fats. Those are the ones you’ll put back on the shelf. Even though unsaturated fats are much better than saturated fats, you should also use them sparingly. You still want a diet low in total fat.
You should also avoid sugar and high sugar foods. Your liver uses all of that sugar to increase it’s triglyceride production. A low triglyceride diet should also not include alcohol.Food to Lower Triglycerides
The American Association for Clinical Chemistry has officially stated that diets high in carbohydrates, especially sugar, lead to increases in triglyceride levels. As a result of this fact, those wishing to lower their triglyceride levels should remove the following foods from their diet:
- Concentrated sweets, sugar, honey, molasses, jams, jellies, candies, pies, cakes, cookies, candy, doughnuts, ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sweetened gelatin.
The following should also be eliminated:
- Alcohol, such as beer, wine, hard liquor, liqueurs as well as other foods, like sweetened cereals, flavored yogurts, and sports or energy bars.
The following foods should be reduced:
- Red meat, especially fried, changing it to broiled or roasted poultry (turkey, chicken), preferably free-range.
The following foods should be increased:
- Dark green leafy vegetables and fruits
- Beverages such as fresh fruit juice, herbal tea, black coffee. Drink lots of water.
- Fish and lean cuts of such meats as chicken, turkey and veal.