With all the attention placed on reducing body fat (and rightly so), blood fat is sometimes ignored by our population. Make sure you are not one of those who are unaware of the importance of monitoring blood fat levels.
A certain amount of blood fat, or triglycerides, is needed for good health. If you have a full physical exam, you will find out the level of your blood fat. Surprisingly, many people have never heard of triglycerides.
According to WebMD.com, "High triglycerides can raise your risk of heart disease and may be a sign of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is the combination of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, too much fat around the waist, low HDL ("good") cholesterol and high triglycerides. Metabolic syndrome increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
"A blood test that measures your cholesterol also measures your triglycerides. For a general idea about your triglycerides level, compare your test results to the following:
--Normal is less than 150
--Borderline-high is 150 to 199
--High is 200 to 499
--Very high is 500 or higher"
Your overall health and fitness are primarily dependent upon you making consistent, healthy choices throughout life. I like to keep things simple by using a few, clear steps to reach goals. You need willpower and smarts to reach your health and fitness goals. If you have the desire and guidance, you can reach your goals if you:
1. Exercise hard and smart
2. Eat healthy and smart
3. Take care of your body by making healthy life choices
This is a simple process but life sometimes gets confusing and complicated. If you will do the three things just mentioned, you will feel and look better in any situation life brings.
If your triglycerides are too high, "The Harvard Heart Letter" notes that “lifestyle changes are usually the best place to start.” Here are there recommendations:
1. Beware of bad fats. Cut back on saturated fat (found in red meat and full-fat dairy foods) and trans fat (in some fried and commercially prepared foods).
2. Go for good carbs. Eat whole grains and cut back on sugary drinks and foods.
3. Check your alcohol. Moderate drinking is good for the heart, unless you are a "responder" in whom alcohol dramatically boosts triglycerides. To determine if you're a responder, avoid alcohol for three weeks and have your triglycerides tested.
4. Go fish. Omega-3 fats in some fish lower triglycerides. Have fish twice a week.
5. Aim for a healthy weight. If you are overweight, aim to lose at least 5 percent to 10 percent of your weight to lower triglycerides.
6. Get moving. Exercise lowers triglycerides and boosts HDL.
7. Stop smoking. Smoking isn't good for triglyceride levels (or anything else).
8. Get help from a medication. Niacin, fibrates, fish oil, and cholesterol-lowering statins have all been shown to lower triglycerides.
When was your last full physical exam? Schedule one today, if needed.
Harvard Heart Letter
Harvard Health Publications
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES, CPT is a Certified Personal Trainer and former NCAA Division I athlete. Mark is the owner of My Fitness Hut, Her Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut and My Nutrition Hut. Mark’s Fat Blaster Athletic Training System has been proven to give his clients the fit, sculpted and athletic-type bodies they want. Visit Mark’s main site:
Your Fitness University http://yourfitnessuniversity.com