High triglycerides — Causes, Symptoms, Diet and Tips

Blood test

Along with high cholesterol and high blood pressure, high levels of triglycerides in the blood is a major cause of heart disease. Triglycerides are fat that is created by the body when you consume more calories than you expend. They get into the bloodstream and are used to carry power to the entire body. However, when levels are very high, they can cause arterial and heart disease.

When we eat, the body transforms the calories you do not need to use the time triglycerides which are in the bloodstream on hand to distribute energy to all cells. When the body needs energy, this fat is used.

The triglyceride molecule of glycerol is a chemical form that contains three fatty acids. These molecules are broken in the small intestine and are then regrouped to circulate in the blood.

When the person constantly eats more calories than necessary, mainly through carbohydrates, triglyceride level increases. This can cause buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries that can lead to a heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease, and liver doeça and pancreatitis.

What is considered normal?

The same blood test that identifies cholesterol levels will inform the level of triglycerides in the blood. Less than 150mg / dL is considered normal, up to 199 mg / dL is considered moderate-high, up to 499 mg / dL is considered high and above 500 mg / dL is very high.

The triglyceride level recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) as "optimal" is 100 mg / dl (1.1 mmol / L) or less. According to the institution, this level improves heart health. However, the AHA does not recommend using medication to achieve that goal, only suits the lifestyle, eating better and doing regular exercise.

As ate after the level of triglycerides increases, it is necessary to fast prior to testing. Ideally, this examination is done regularly, even in young and thin people.

What triglycerides and cholesterol have to do?

Cholesterol and triglycerides are identified in the same examination for both are lipids that circulate in the blood and the test done is actually a lipid profile.

While triglycerides are responsible for storing energy not used by the glass, cholesterol is used to build cells and hormones. Since neither of the two substances dissolved in the blood, they are loaded into the bloodstream by proteins.

Both are essential to the functioning of the body but can cause serious problems when they are found in excess.

high triglycerides

Experts believe that high levels of triglycerides in the blood increases the risk of heart disease, multiplying the problems caused by high cholesterol level, high blood pressure and diabetes. Triglycerides help block the arteries, causing problems such as heart attack and stroke.

Studies show that women are more affected by high triglycerides than men, however, both should take care indicators.

A high triglyceride level can be sign of diabetes 2 uncontrolled, liver disease and kidney or a rare genetic condition that affects how the body converts fat into energy.

The high triglycerides are also associated with metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk of developing diabetes, a heart attack and heart disease. A person has metabolic syndrome when it has at least three of these factors: excess abdominal fat, high blood pressure, high glucose level in the blood, little good cholesterol (HDL) and high levels of triglycerides. So if you have excess triglycerides, stay tuned.


A high level of triglycerides in the bloodstream has no symptoms. Who does not screened regularly you may find that has a high level only after suffering a cardiac event.

Only those who have excess triglycerides due to a genetic condition may have visible symptoms: the Xanthomas - yellow and red spots on the skin that are fat deposits. In rare cases, high triglycerides may lead to pancreatitis.


Excess triglycerides can be caused by factors such as uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, genetic disease, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption and unhealthy diets.

When motivated by food, the problem is that the person is eating more calories than you need, causing the body to store the excess. In addition to the amount of calories, the type of food matter.

In addition, some drugs like tamoxifen, steroids, beta-blockers, diuretics, estrogen and birth control pills can also be a cause.

How to reduce the high level of triglycerides

Below you will see a number of tips that impact the body's triglyceride level:

With the best

The most important factor is to balance your food so you do not consume more calories than you expend. However, reduce the consumption of some foods and increase other is key to reducing the amount of the substance in the blood. Check out some tips:

- Reduce consumption of saturated fat and trans

When shopping, check the nutritional information of the food if they do not have large amounts of these fats. If so, avoid.

- Eat less carbohydrates and sugars

Decrease the amount of sugary foods and prepared with white flour in the diet. They get fat, offer very few nutrients and increase the amount of triglycerides in the blood.

- Drink alcohol moderately

The alcohol can also increase the level of triglycerides to the liver to produce more fatty acids. However, if consumed in moderation (one drink portion per day) can help balance the level of triglycerides and increase good cholesterol level.

- Invest in healthy fats

Fat is important for the body. Search sources monossaturada fat and polyunsaturated which are found in olive, peanut, sunflower, corn, avocado, almond, seeds such as pumpkin and sesame oil and fish rich in omega-3

- Eat more fiber

Fiber helps lower the level of triglycerides and cholesterol naturally. They slow down digestion, helping the body turn food into energy rather than fat, and reduce the absorption of saturated fats.

- Beware of fructose

Large amounts of fructose can increase triglyceride levels to unhealthy levels. Studies showed that participants who consumed large amounts of concentrated fructose had an increased triglyceride level. However, it is not necessary to avoid fruits. Although fructose is the main sugar in fruit, it is a moderate and healthy amount. And the fiber found in fruits help lower high triglycerides. Industrialized sugary products is that they are the greatest villains of fructose, such as syrups and corn syrup.

Make exercise and lose weight

To lower the level of triglycerides, you need to stop consuming more calories than you expend. There are several tips to do this, including increasing the amount you spend through exercise. Just 30 minutes of exercise four times a week can lower the level of triglycerides and increase the amount of good cholesterol.

Furthermore, studies show that lose between 5% and 10% by weight can reduce excess triglycerides significantly. Stay tuned: abdominal fat is also associated with high levels of subtância.

Stop smoking

If you have high cholesterol, high triglycerides or high blood pressure, smoking will only increase the risk of heart disease. Smoking cigarettes causes inflammation throughout the body, which can contribute to atherosclerosis, blood clots and the risk of heart attack. Smoking worsens every day all heart health indicators.


If even with the mudaça lifestyle your triglycerides remain high, it may be appropriate to use medication. The remedies should always be prescribed by a doctor, who will also analyze your cholesterol level.

The most common medications are:

statins: Are used by those who suffer from low levels of good cholesterol (HDL), high level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and high triglycerides. The doctor may also indicate a combination of remedies. However, look out for muscle aches, nausea, diarrhea or constripação - if you experience any of these symptoms, tell your doctor.

fibrates: They are used to decrease triglycerides. They work best in people who have levels above 500 mg / dL. However, it must be used with caution by those who also use statins. Before starting treatment, make sure that your liver and kidneys are working well. The combination of both drugs, especially when these organs are not well, can cause a problem called rhabdomyolysis can lead to kidney failure.

Omega-3 supplement: Who needs lower triglycerides need to consume enough omega-3. However, it can be difficult to get the required amount of omega-3 by diet. Therefore, the doctor may indicate a supplement. Take care when taking this type of medication on their own, as it can affect the effects of other medicines.

Additional references:

  1. Miller, Michael, et al. "Triglycerides and cardiovascular disease a scientific statement from the American Heart Association." Circulation 123.20 (2011): 2292-2333.
  2. Skulas-ray, Ann C., et al. "Dose-response effects of omega-3 fatty acids on triglycerides, inflammation, and endothelial function in healthy persons with moderate hypertriglyceridemia." The American journal of clinical nutrition 93.2 (2011): 243-252.
  3. Stanhope, Kimber L., et al. "Consumption of fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup Increase postprandial triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein-B in young men and women." The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 96.10 (2011): E1596-E1605.
  4. David Wang, D., et al. "Effect of fructose on postprandial triglycerides: A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled feeding trials." Atherosclerosis 232.1 (2014): 125-133. site:
  5. Wierzbicki, Anthony S., et al. "Triglycerides: the case for treatment ?." Current Opinion in Cardiology 27.4 (2012): 398-404.
  6. Collins, M. W., et al. "Association between triglyceride and high density lipoprotein cholesterol Following fibrate therapy change." Diabetes & Metabolic syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews (2014).

You've found the level of high triglycerides in your exam? Your doctor has some diet foods and specific exercises for the case? Comment below!