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Triglycerides as Important as Cholesterol

Triglycerides as Important as Cholesterol

Q: My cholesterol levels are okay, but my triglycerides are off the charts. Does one balance the other?

A: Unfortunately, no. Triglycerides, a type of fat found in your bloodstream, haven’t gotten the same attention as cholesterol, but unhealthy levels (over 200 mg) can increase your risk of heart attack and heart disease.

Lifestyle changes can reduce high triglyceride levels, however, as a recent issue of the Harvard Heart Letter points out. First, be smart about your fats and carbs by cutting down on saturated and trans fats and avoiding sugary foods and refined grains. Whole grains and omega-3-rich fish can make a difference, too, so make these foods staples of your diet.

Getting regular exercise is also crucial, and if you’re overweight, losing 5 to 10 percent of your weight can help. While moderate drinking (especially red wine) can benefit heart health, for some people, alcohol dramatically increases triglyceride levels. If your levels are high and you drink, consider stopping for a few weeks and getting your levels tested again. Finally, certain supplements may be beneficial; talk to your doctor about fish oil and niacin.

Learn more:
Take Charge of Your Cholesterol
The Health Benefits of Omega-3s

Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting www.beekman1802.com.

Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at drbrent@care2.com.

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Dr. Brent

As an undergraduate, Dr. Brent Ridge majored in public health and environmental science, studying the way the state of the natural environment impacts our health choices. As a physician, he specializes in the field of aging. Send your health questions to Dr. Brent at drbrent@care2.com

15 comments

+ add your own
5:27PM PDT on Aug 7, 2011

Excellent article. Thanks for the great info.

1:04PM PDT on Jul 30, 2011

Thank you

11:23PM PST on Nov 10, 2010

it's great help for me.Thanks

1:28PM PDT on Jul 11, 2010

thanks for the information

10:06AM PDT on Mar 31, 2010

thanks great info

12:36AM PDT on Mar 24, 2010

thankyou

12:35AM PDT on Mar 24, 2010

thankyou

11:48AM PDT on Mar 18, 2010

Thank you!

8:04AM PST on Jan 22, 2010

thanks, good to know... =)

10:36PM PDT on Jul 27, 2009

"First, be smart about your fats and carbs by cutting down on saturated and trans fats and avoiding sugary foods and refined grains. Whole grains and omega-3-rich fish can make a difference, too, so make these foods staples of your diet." - Dr. Brent


I couldn't agree with you more on that point Doc.
Diet and exercise are two important factors in lowering a person's Triglycerides levels. Aside from these, taking fish oil capsules also help in reducing triglycerides levels and therefore avoid coronary artery disease.
Prevention is always worth more than any cure.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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