Triglycerides are the main type of fat, along with cholesterol, which is transported through the blood. They come to a greater extent from diet foods, although they can also be synthesized by the liver. They serve to obtain energy, although if they are not finally used they accumulate in the form of body fat. Triglycerides constitute the largest reserve of stored energy in our body. They are also good thermal insulators (in the form of grease) and their degradation produces heat.
The increase in blood triglycerides is called hypertriglyceridemia, and is itself a cardiovascular risk factor independent of other factors. Normal blood triglyceride levels vary with the sex and age of the person.
Normal levels are less than 150 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter). Levels of 200 to 400mg/dl are considered high. We must know that triglyceride levels are significantly altered after meals, so for a correct determination of triglycerides we must have fasted for at least 10 or 11 hours.
High levels of triglycerides for a long time can cause obesity, fatty liver and pancreatitis, the latter entity that can become serious. An important tip if you have high triglycerides is to eat a low-fat diet and foods with low glycemic index such as chard, broccoli or nuts. We must avoid fatty foods and industrial pastries, changing to a diet richer in fruits and vegetables. Sometimes this is not enough, so we must help with medication, always following the doctor's advice.
Dr. Joseph Perez. Doctor and team manager (- Z Rehab Medical Center)