Just like cholesterol, you need to have triglycerides. And, just like cholesterol, there are health dangers when you have above the normal triglyceride level. Let’s look at why you need triglycerides and why you should not have too many.
To your body, triglycerides are energy. Your body needs energy to do everything, from walking and running to simply just sitting there, digesting or thinking. You need energy.
We normally think of calories as our energy, and they are. We eat the calories and we burn the calories- hopefully! Calories are basically a measure of energy with one calorie being one unit of energy.
When we eat calories, our body needs to take the food energy and convert it into a form it can use. So, it takes the calories and turns them into triglycerides. Then our body gets the energy from the triglycerides.
Carried in the bloodstream, the triglycerides float throughout the body waiting to be called to be used for energy. If there is no immediate need for energy, or if the body has taken what it does need, the triglycerides then get stored for later use.
The way it gets stored is as body fat. If you continually eat more calories than you need, your body keeps accumulating the energy from the calories as more fat. And, as you do that every day, the more fat you get.
So, if the body stores the excess triglycerides as fat, why are the triglycerides still floating around in the blood when you get your blood tested for it? Well, that is because you are eating way more triglyceride-producing food that your body can even process within the normal time for digestion. And that is not good.
When you have your blood tested for triglycerides, you are told to not eat anything for about eight to twelve hours before the test. So, if you fast as you are instructed and you still have triglycerides over 100 mg/dl in your blood, you are at a risk for a number of health problems.
The major health problem most people have heard about is heart and vascular disease. That includes heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure and other problems with your veins and arteries.
Other diseases that can be a result of high triglycerides are diabetes, pancreas and liver diseases and even liver cancer. Triglycerides, in excess, appear to be more dangerous that high cholesterol in that there is a larger variety of health problems that can result from high levels.
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