Cholesterol / Triglycerides

Cholesterol / Triglycerides

Cholesterol / Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol is an organic chemical substance classified as a waxy steroid of fat. It is an essential structural component that is produced by the liver in order to maintain good health. The blood Cholesterol level is significantly influenced by the amount of consumed Cholesterol and fat since Saturated Fat (i.e. contained in food such as red or white meat, milk and dairy) makes the human body subject to producing a higher portion of Cholesterol.

  • The higher the blood Cholesterol level, the greater the risk for developing cardiovascular diseases. Whenever the Cholesterol level is high in the blood, it starts to accumulate in the arterial walls which will lead, with time, to narrowing arteries or blocking the blood flow as well as oxygen and nutrients carried to the heart cells causing cardiovascular diseases. A total blockage of the arteries leads to a stroke or heart attack.

  • Triglycerides are important to human life and are the main form of fat in the body. They are the end product of digesting and breaking down fats in meals. Some triglycerides are made in the body from other energy sources such as carbohydrates.

  • Triglycerides are measured using a common test called a lipid panel. It's the same blood test that checks "good" and "bad" cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends that everyone over the age of 20 should get a lipid panel to measure cholesterol and triglycerides at least every five years.

  • Triglyceride levels are checked after an overnight fast. Fat from a meal can artificially raise the triglyceride levels on the test.

  • The National Cholesterol Education Program sets guidelines for triglyceride levels:
    1. Normal triglycerides means there are less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
    2. Borderline high triglycerides = 150 to 199 mg/dL.
    3. High triglycerides = 200 to 499 mg/dL.
    4. Very high triglycerides = 500 mg/dL or higher.
    5. High triglyceride levels may lead to heart disease, especially in people with low levels of "good" cholesterol and high levels of "bad" cholesterol, and in people with type 2 diabetes.

  • A healthy diet and exercise plan can lower triglyceride levels, improve cholesterol, and lower the risk of heart disease.