What are they?
Triglycerides are lipid molecules produced in the liver or introduced into the body also through foods such as offal, fatty and salty meats such as cured meats, sausages, bacon, sausage, egg yolk, seasoning fats such as butter, lard.
Their physiological function is to be stored as an energy supply, for times of emergency, at the level of the adipose tissue, but high levels of triglycerides in the blood predispose to the onset of cardiovascular diseases!
- A reference value of blood triglycerides must be less than 150 mg / dl;
- A value between 150-199 mg / dl is defined borderline;
- A value between 200-499 mg / dl is high;
- A value greater than 500 mg / dl is called severe hypertriglyceridemia;
The underlying causes of the presence of high triglycerides are different:
- A diet rich in saturated fat, cholesterol and carbohydrates;
- Absence of physical activity;
- High alcohol consumption;
- Metabolic syndrome;
- Type I or II diabetes;
- Insulin resistance;
- Kidney failure or nephrotic syndrome;
- Cushing syndrome;
- Cirrhosis of the liver;
- Medicines such as corticosteroids, thiazide diuretics, estrogens, beta blockers;
- Familial dyslipidemia.
Hypertriglyceridemia is a “pathological” condition that is almost always asymptomatic, only in cases where the values are greater than 500 mg / dl can the first more severe symptoms occur:
- Acute pancreatitis;
- Abdominal pain
- Lipemia Retinalis;
- Heart attack;
The diagnosis of high triglycerides is carried out with a simple blood test, which, however, is associated with the analysis of the entire lipid structure, therefore bad and good cholesterol.
This is because in the presence of high triglycerides, high LDL and low HDL, the cardiovascular risk in the patient is very high and critical.
Pharmacological therapy is prescribed especially when we have triglycerides greater than 500 mg / dl and risk of damage to the pancreas.
Among the main drugs prescribed we have:
- Statins, if in addition to high triglycerides there is also a condition of hypercholesterolemia;
- Cod liver oil as a supplement with a strongly hypolipidic action, due to its richness in omega 3;
- Niacin and fibrates with hypolipidic action.
There are several natural remedies that help lower blood triglycerides:
- Olive bud extract, it is an oil obtained from the olive tree, which acts on the lipid metabolism allowing to dispose of triglycerides and cholesterol;
- Blackthorn and rosemary also have a hypolipidic action;
- Artichoke, dandelion and burdock have a regenerative and detoxifying action for the liver, an organ involved in lipid metabolism.
Nutrition and lifestyle
The guidelines to follow, both regarding diet and lifestyle, in order to avoid hypertriglyceridemia conditions are the following:
- Losing weight: Losing between 5-10% of your body weight lowers blood triglyceride values.
- Consume few simple sugars: simple sugars introduced with food are transformed in the body into triglycerides, so they must be kept low in the diet, we should not exceed 15 grams per day (two and a half teaspoons).
- Follow a diet low in carbohydrates: in the same way as simple sugars, carbohydrates in our body are also transformed into triglycerides and stored in fat cells! Attention we must not eliminate them but focus on whole grains (with hypolipidic action), fruit and vegetable carbohydrates.
- Eat more fiber: the fiber present in fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, has a hypolipidic effect
- Practice sports: doing an aerobic sport such as brisk walking for 30 minutes a day, running, swimming, cycling, lowers blood triglyceride levels
- Introduce more soy: soy also has a hypolipidic action, it is good to include soy-based foods such as soy milk, soy yogurt, soy kefir, soy burgers or spaghetti in the diet.
- Check your blood sugar: a prolonged high blood sugar can lead to a condition of insulin resistance, which in turn causes an increase in blood triglycerides.
- Use extra virgin olive oil: extra virgin olive oil also has a hypolipidic action if you can use 4 tablespoons a day.
- Eat a portion of dried fruit a day: dried fruit is rich in omega 3 and fiber, two compounds with a hypolipidic action! Consuming one serving of 5 almonds or three walnuts a day keeps blood triglyceride levels low.
- Eat food rich in omega 3: fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and sea bass are rich in omega 3, a consumption of this type of fish at least twice a week keeps blood triglyceride levels low.