Do High Triglyceride Levels Cause Atherosclerosis
Whether elevated triglyceride levels in the blood lead to atherosclerosis and heart attacks is controversial. While abnormally high triglyceride levels may be a risk factor for atherosclerosis, it is difficult to conclusively prove that elevated triglyceride by itself can cause atherosclerosis. Elevated triglyceride levels are often associated with other conditions that increase the risk of atherosclerosis including obesity low levels of HDL cholesterol insulin resistance poorly-controlled diabetes and small, dense LDL cholesterol particles.
What Is High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a lipid, or type of fat. It helps the body perform many normal functions. Cholesterol is made in the liver and carries fats in the bloodstream.
In the body, cholesterol forms fat-protein chemicals called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are grouped as very low-density lipoproteins , low-density lipoproteins , also known as bad cholesterol, and high-density lipoproteins . HDLs, good cholesterol, help remove lipids from the bloodstream, so higher HDL levels are better.
VLDLs and LDLs can clog arteries. High levels of cholesterol, LDLs, and triglycerides increase the risk for hardening of the arteries and heart disease.
How Is It Broken Down
Once in the blood stream, some cholesterol will be returned to the liver and broken down. Its used to make bile acids which are released into the intestines to help with digestion bile acids break down the fats in food.
A small amount of bile acids will be removed from the body as a waste product in your poo. But most will be absorbed back into the blood, returned to the liver and used again for digestion.
Some treatments for high cholesterol work by stopping bile from being absorbed back into the blood. The liver has to take more cholesterol out of the blood to make more bile, lowering your cholesterol levels.
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Healthy Diets To Lower Cholesterol Blood Pressure
Mediterranean Diet: Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet can lower your LDL and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It may also lower your risk for cancer, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The American Heart Association recommends the Mediterranean Diet.
This diet also encourages daily exercise and social activity, especially when sharing meals with others.
The traditional cooking style of the countries around the Mediterranean sea is a focus of this diet. It is recognized by the
Products used include:
- Whole grains
- Low fat dairy, low-fat Greek or plain yogurt
- Fish and poultry as “heart-healthy” options at least twice a week, and limiting red meat to only a few times per month or less. Choose fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon and lake trout which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Grill or bake rather than fry.
- Daily exercise
- A small glass of red wine . This is optional. If you don’t drink, do not start for health benefits, as drinking is not without risks.
DASH Diet: Research shows that the DASH diet lowers high blood pressure and improves levels of cholesterol. Limiting your salt intake is important for blood pressure control and overall heart health. Exercising daily and not smoking are other important tools. The American Heart Association also recommends the the DASH diet.
In this diet you have to meet certain numbers:
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Work In Some More Movement To Your Daily Tasks
Do you need to start running every day? Do you need to join a gym or buy a bunch of home fitness equipment? If you want to, go ahead! But there are many other choices, and finding a routine that works for you is whats most important.
Ideally, you want to aim for at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity every week. You can break that up however you like. You might focus on doing something every day, or you could dedicate yourself to just a few days per week. The key is to just get started.
For example, do you usually take the elevator? Take the stairs instead. Do you walk your dog every day? Go a little farther than usual, or walk at a faster pace. Need to go shopping? Park farther away than you normally do. Catching up on your favorite TV series? Try stretching, dumbbells or kettlebells while youre watching rather than just sitting on the couch. Also look for chances to bring motion into your daily life, such as walking while you talk on the phone.
If youre feeling good, work up to more intense physical activity, like lap swimming, jogging or hot yoga. Dont overexert yourself, but remember that regular and consistent exercise has benefits beyond managing your cholesterol. It also helps reduce blood pressure and builds your overall physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Even if you just go a little farther or a little faster than you usually do, that extra activity will be a big step in the right direction for your health.
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What Is Hdl Cholesterol
HDL cholesterol is frequently known as the good cholesterol. In addition to transporting cholesterol around the body, HDL collects cholesterol that is not being used by cells and brings them back to the liver to be recycled or destroyed.
Additionally, HDL cholesterol may have anti-inflammatory effects. A recent research study published by De Nardo et al shows that HDL may be responsible in reducing inflammatory activity by regulating immune system cells called macrophages. Furthermore, epidemiological studies have noted an inverse association between levels of HDL and certain forms of cancer.
More research needs to be performed to investigate the source of these relationships as well as the molecular mechanisms through which HDL operates. However, there is a general consensus among clinicians and scientists that HDL-cholesterol is healthy for the body and that higher levels of HDL-C are healthy for the body. In fact, one study observed that, with every 1 mg/dL reduction in HDL cholesterol, diabetes risk increased by 4%.
Living With High Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, you are twice as likely to develop heart disease. That is why it is important to have your cholesterol levels checked, especially if you have a family history of heart disease. Reducing your LDL bad cholesterol through good diet, exercise, and medicine can make a positive impact on your overall health.
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Understanding The Highs And Lows Of Cholesterol
You know that too much is dangerous. But what is cholesterol, anyway? Where does it come from? And is it all bad?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in every cell in the body. Its either made by the body or absorbed from food. Your body needs cholesterol to make important steroid hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and vitamin D. Its also used to make bile acids in the liver these absorb fat during digestion.
So some cholesterol is necessary but bad cholesterol is something you can do without. Excess bad cholesterol in the bloodstream can deposit into the bodys arteries. These deposits are called plaques and result in atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. This is the major cause of heart attacks, strokes and other vascular problems.
Your total cholesterol level is a measure of the total amount of cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream, which includes several components:
- LDL cholesterol: LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. This is known as the bad cholesterol, which directly contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries. Very low density lipoprotein, or VLDL cholesterol, is another type, which is a precursor to LDL.
- Total cholesterol is VLDL cholesterol plus LDL cholesterol plus HDL cholesterol.
- HDL cholesterol: HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. Experts think at optimal levels it might help the body get rid of LDL cholesterol.
And guess what? This buildup can start as early as your 20s.
Prepare Your Food A Little Differently
Its not only what you eat its how you eat it. Just as you can change what you buy in the grocery store, you can also choose healthier ways to make your food that help lower your cholesterol naturally. For example:
- Trim fat and remove the skin when cooking meat or fish. This helps you get the protein while reducing fat intake.
- Focus on boiling, broiling, baking, poaching or grilling. These are better methods of preparation than deep frying or breading, which can bring in extra fat.
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What Is Cholesterol And Why Can It Be Bad For You
Cholesterol is a type of fat in the blood. Made in the liver, cholesterol plays an important role in how your body works, from being needed to manufacture certain hormones to keeping the walls of your bodyâs cells flexible and in good condition. Having a high level of lipids in your blood can lead to serious health concerns such as heart attack and stroke.
Cholesterol is carried around the body with molecules called lipoproteins, which carry cholesterol and fat around the blood. There are a few kinds of lipoproteins, which have different effects on our health.
High density lipoprotein HDL is the good type of cholesterol because it helps to prevent disease . HDLâs job is to carry cholesterol away from the bodyâs cells and back to the liver, to be broken down and removed from the body.
Low density lipoprotein
LDL contains lots of cholesterol and is often called bad cholesterol, since too much of it in the blood can be linked to health problems. LDLâs job is to transport cholesterol to the bodyâs cells where it is needed. To take it one step further, new research goes even further to suggest that LDL isnât necessarily all bad because there are different subtypes of LDL cholesterol:
Very low-density lipoprotein
In order to reduce our cholesterol, we therefore need more large LDL particles and as little small, dense LDL and VLDL particles as possible, whilst maintaining high levels of protective HDL .
Substitute Healthy Oils In Place Of Butter And Margarine
Of course, its not always realistic to avoid fats when youre whipping up a tasty meal.
When you do need to add fat for cooking, baking or pan frying, use healthy oils instead of solid fats like butter, margarine, shortening and lard. Solid fats are high in saturated fats, but oils are high in unsaturated fats, which remember are better for you. The American Heart Association recommends using oils that have less than 4 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon .
Many times, its easy to swap a solid fat to a healthier one. Try using olive oil, sunflower oil or grapeseed oil in place of a solid fat.
For example, if youd rather use olive oil than butter, substitute ¾ the amount of butter in a recipe with olive oil. You might also bring out some new, surprising, subtle flavors, too.
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Are You Serious About Reducing Cholesterol
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What Are Ldl/hdl And Total/hdl Ranges And Ratios
The total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio is a number helpful in estimating the risk of developing atherosclerosis. The number is obtained by dividing total cholesterol by HDL cholesterol. .
High total cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol increases the ratio and is undesirable. Conversely, high HDL cholesterol and low total cholesterol lowers the ratio and is desirable. Ideally, one should strive for ratios of 2 or 3 .
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What Is Vldl Cholesterol Vs Ldl And Hdl
HDL, LDL, and VLDL refer to different types of lipoproteins that are made of protein and triglycerides. These three different kinds of cholesterol structurally differ based on the amount of protein and triglycerides that comprise each type.
High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is regarded as the good kind of cholesterol. HDL plays an important role in transporting LDL and VLDL cholesterol to the liver to be metabolized and prepared for removal from the body. Therefore, its important to have sufficient amounts of HDL cholesterol to also maintain healthy levels of LDL and VLDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol particles are comprised of a higher proportion of protein and lower proportion of triglycerides, in comparison to LDL and VLDL cholesterol.
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol are regarded as the bad kinds of cholesterol that contribute to cardiovascular disease. LDL cholesterol particles have more triglycerides and less protein than HDL cholesterol particles. Because they are less dense, LDL particles are also larger than HDL particles. VLDL particles have the highest ratio of triglycerides to protein and are the largest of the three types of cholesterol.
How Do Triglycerides Get Into The Blood
When we eat foods containing triglycerides, such as meat, dairy products, cooking oils and fats, they are absorbed by our intestines and packaged into parcels of fats and protein called chylomicrons . These carry the triglycerides in the blood stream to our tissues to be used for energy straight away, or stored for later.
The body also makes its own supply of triglycerides in the liver. This form is carried in a different type of lipoprotein known as VLDL cholesterol.
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Whats The Difference Between Hdl Ldl And Vldl
Cholesterol is a lipoprotein made of fat and protein. It is divided into three categories: high-density lipoprotein , low-density lipoprotein , and very low-density lipoprotein , and each impacts your body differently. HDL is considered good cholesterol as it helps move bad cholesterol from other parts of your body to your liver for removal. LDL is considered bad cholesterol because high levels can lead to the buildup of plaque in your arteries, said Chiadika. VLDL is considered bad cholesterol as well but it mainly carries triglycerides, the most common type of fat in your body. Excess levels can also contribute to health complications such as heart disease.
Why The Ketogenic Diet Optimizes Cholesterol Levels: The Impact Of Specific Fatty Acids
Now that we know about the effect that the ketogenic diet has on cholesterol levels a finding that seems to contradict everything we thought we knew about cholesterol and fat lets find out how such a high-fat diet actually optimizes cholesterol levels.
The most convincing piece of evidence can be found in a 2003 meta-analysis. In this meta-analysis, researchers compiled the data from sixty trials that quantified the effect that feeding different types of fats to humans had on the total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio . But before we look through the results, we must first understand what this ratio is.
The total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio is found by dividing your total cholesterol level by your HDL-C, and it is essentially the same thing as an LDL-to-HDL cholesterol ratio since most non-HDL cholesterol is LDL cholesterol . The researchers of the 2003 meta-analysis used this ratio because it is a better cardiovascular risk predictor than total cholesterol levels .
Now that we have a superficial understanding of the total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio, lets look at the results of the meta-analysis. The two findings that the researchers highlight most are the effects that lauric acid and stearic acid have on the total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio. Both of these fatty acids improved the total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio more favorably than carbohydrates .
Because of these findings, we can infer that the low-carb, high-fat diet optimizes cholesterol levels for two main reasons:
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What Is Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all the cells in your body. Your liver makes cholesterol, and it is also in some foods, such as meat and dairy products. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. But having too much cholesterol in your blood raises your risk of coronary artery disease.
What Is A Heart
In general, choose these options for a heart-healthy diet:
- Limit the saturated fat and trans fats you eat is an important step in your diet to lower cholesterol. Use vegetable oils high in monounsaturated fat .
- Avoid hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats . FDA regulators have banned the use of artificial trans fats in processed foods. Read labels to choose sources of oils low in bad fats.
- Poultry, fish, and lean cuts of meat. Remove the skin from chicken and trim the fat from meat. Eat less organ meat .
- The AHA recommends at least two servings of fish a week, and fatty fish with omega-3 fatty acids can help lower triglyceride levels and be healthy for the heart overall, although omega-3 fatty acids won’t lower cholesterol
- Fresh fruits and vegetables without added fats, salt or sugar.
- Foods high in fiber, such as whole grain breads and cereals, oats, bran, whole wheat pasta, rice, peas and beans. Avoid white bread or pasta which is loaded with sugar but lacking in fiber. Adults should aim in consuming at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day.
- Eat fewer egg yolks as whole eggs or in prepared foods .
- Skim milk instead of low fat or whole milk.
- Low-fat or no-fat cheeses . Cut down on full-fat processed, natural, and hard cheeses.
- Fewer commercially prepared and processed foods made with saturated or hydrogenated fats or “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” .
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Increase Your Intake Of Unsaturated Fats
Studies show that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can reduce blood triglyceride levels, especially when they are replacing carbohydrates in your diet .
Monounsaturated fats are found in foods like olive oil, nuts, and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats are present in vegetable oils and fatty fish, as well as nuts and seeds such as walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia.
One older study analyzed what 452 adults in a specific population of indigenous people in Alaska had eaten over the past 24 hours, focusing on several types of saturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Researchers found that saturated fat intake was associated with increased blood triglycerides, while polyunsaturated fat intake was associated with lower triglyceride levels .
Another review of 27 studies reported that olive oil could significantly decrease levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol compared with other types of plant oil .
To maximize the triglyceride-lowering benefits of unsaturated fats, pick a heart-healthy fat like olive oil and use it to replace other types of fat in your diet, such as trans fats or highly processed vegetable oils .
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can decrease blood triglyceride levels, especially when they are consumed in place of other fats.