What Is The Difference Between Good Cholesterol And Bad Cholesterol
Good cholesterol is known as high-density lipoprotein . It removes cholesterol from the bloodstream. Low-density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol.
If your total cholesterol level is high because of a high LDL level, you may be at higher risk of heart disease or stroke. But, if your total cholesterol level is high only because of a high HDL level, youre probably not at higher risk.
Triglycerides are another type of fat in your blood. When you eat more calories than your body can use, it turns the extra calories into triglycerides.
Changing your lifestyle can improve your cholesterol levels, lower LDL and triglycerides, and raise HDL.
Your ideal cholesterol level will depend on your risk for heart disease.
- Total cholesterol level less than 200 is best, but it depends on your HDL and LDL levels.
- LDL cholesterol levels less than 130 is best, but this depends on your risk for heart disease.
- HDL cholesterol levels 60 or higher reduces your risk for heart disease.
- Triglycerides less than 150 milligrams per deciliter is best.
Lowering Your Triglyceride Levels
Making some simple lifestyle changes can go a long way in helping bring down your triglyceride levels, including:
- Losing weight. Dropping just five to ten pounds can help lower your triglycerides.
- Avoiding sugary and refined foods. Stay away from simple carbohydrates, such as sugar and foods made with white flour.
- Eliminating trans and saturated fats. Trans fats are found in fried foods and commercial baked products like cookies and crackers and saturated fats are found in meats. Instead, choose healthier monounsaturated fats found in plants, such as olive, peanut and canola oils, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and mackerel.
- Limiting alcohol consumption. Alcohol is high in calories and sugar and effects triglycerides. Even small amounts of alcohol can raise triglyceride levels.
- Maintaining regular exercise. Regular exercise can increase HDL cholesterol levels and lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week.
If making some lifestyle adjustments isnt enough to control your triglyceride levels, a medication may be necessary. Talk with your doctor to determine the best course of action for you to ensure a healthy heart.
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Causes Of High Triglycerides
A study that looked at 5.6k people who participated in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that about one-third of US adults had high triglyceride levels .
A similar study of 5.6k people found that only about 2% of adults experienced extremely high levels , the leading cause of pancreas inflammation in the US .
High triglyceride levels can be caused by lifestyle and dietary factors, genetics, and other diseases .
On a mechanistic level, triglycerides will rise too much if :
- Your liver is producing too much triglyceride-dense VLDL cholesterol
- Your diet is excessive and unhealthy
- You have low lipoprotein lipase activity, which is the enzyme that breaks down triglycerides
All the potential causes outlined below affect one or more of these conditions.
Causes listed below are commonly associated with high triglycerides. Work with your doctor or another health care professional to get an accurate diagnosis.
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What Are The Treatments For High Cholesterol In Children And Teens
Lifestyle changes are the main treatment for high cholesterol in children and teens. These changes include:
- Being more active. This includes getting regular exercise and spending less time sitting
- Healthy eating. A diet to lower cholesterol includes limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, sugar, and trans fat. It is also important to eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Losing weight, if your child or teen is overweight or has obesity
If everyone in the family makes these changes, it will be easier for your child or teen to stick to them. It is also an opportunity to improve your health, and the health of the rest of your family.
Sometimes these lifestyle changes are not enough to lower your child or teen’s cholesterol. Your health care provider may consider giving your child or teen cholesterol medicines if he or she:
- Is at least 10 years old
- Has an LDL cholesterol level that is higher than 190 mg/dL, even after six months of diet and exercise changes
- Has an LDL cholesterol level that is higher than 160 mg/dL AND is at high risk for heart disease
- Has an inherited type of high cholesterol
What Are The Risks Of A High Triglyceride Level
High triglycerides can lead to arteriosclerosis, which raises the risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease by thickening the arterial walls. Acute pancreatic inflammation can also happen due to elevated triglycerides .
The chance of heart disease and stroke increases by obesity and metabolic syndrome. Excess body fat around the waist, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol levels characterise it.
Triglyceride levels that are too high can indicate:
- Diabetes type 2 or prediabetes
- When high blood pressure, obesity, and high blood sugar all exist, it is known as metabolic syndrome, which raises the risk of heart disease.
- low thyroid hormone levels
- Some unusual genetic disorders impact how your body uses fat for energy.
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What Causes High Cholesterol
Many factors can increase your chances of having heart problems or a stroke if you have high cholesterol.
- an unhealthy diet in particular, eating high levels of saturated fat
- smoking a chemical called acrolin, found in cigarettes, stops HDL transporting cholesterol from fatty deposits to the liver, leading to narrowing of the arteries
- having diabetes or high blood pressure
- having a family history of stroke or heart disease
There’s also an inherited condition called familial hypercholesterolaemia. This can cause high cholesterol even in someone who eats healthily.
Thoughtful Talks With My Health Care Professional: My Cholesterol Treatment Plan
Your health care professional can help you reach your health goals, including keeping your cholesterol at healthy levels.
Making decisions with your health care team is the best way to create a treatment plan youll be more likely to stick to. If you dont understand something, ask for further clarification.
Heres a helpful checklist that you and your health care professional can go through to determine your risk and the best treatment options for you.
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How Are High Triglycerides Treated
The best ways to lower triglycerides include losing weight, eating fewer calories, and exercising regularly . Diet changes that may help include avoiding fats and sugar and refined foods . Also avoid alcohol and limit fats found in meats high in saturated fat, egg yolks, and whole milk products. Trans fats, found in fried foods and commercial baked products, are unhealthy. Eat healthy monounsaturated fatsolive, peanut, and canola oils. Eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids instead of red meat.
If diet changes and exercise dont work, medicines such as nicotinic acid , fibrates , and omega-3 fatty acids can help lower triglycerides. Niacin side effects limit its use. Cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins can also lower triglycerides, but their effect is limited.
Its also important to control diabetes since a high sugar level will also increase triglycerides.
Symptoms Of High Blood Cholesterol And Triglycerides
High cholesterol typically doesnt cause any symptoms. Symptoms may only appear after the increased cholesterol has caused significant damage.
For instance, symptoms may come in the form of heart disease symptoms, such as chest pain or nausea and fatigue. A heart attack or stroke may result from uncontrolled cholesterol, among other things.
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Note On Existing Studies
More research is needed to fully understand whether very high HDL levels increase the risk of death.
The authors of a 2019 study suggest that genetic mutations linked to very high HDL levels, impaired HDL function at high levels, and potential bias in research due to flaws in study design may contribute to the potential link found in some studies.
High Triglycerides: Risks Causes And Treatment
High triglycerides levels, also known as hypertriglyceridemia may not cause symptoms.
However, its high levels can indicate underlying issues and are risk factors that lead to a number of health conditions.
In people with other risk factors, regular tests for triglyceride levels are important.
This is because doctors can easily identify when they raise and check for related diseases including high cholesterol.
With the help of dietary changes and an increase in physical activity, you can form the first line of treatment to bring down high triglycerides.
Moreover, in some cases, doctors can also recommend medications to speed up this effect.
General guidelines recommend that most healthy adults should get a test to check the levels of triglycerides, cholesterol, and both HDL and LDL.
While the increase in levels falls into categories of Moderate hypertriglyceridemia: 150499 mg/dl, Severe hypertriglyceridemia: 500 mg/dl or more, and Very severehypertriglyceridemia: 880 mg/dl or more.
Keep on reading to learn more about high triglycerides.
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What Are Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a type of lipid, which are molecular compounds that your body uses to power a range of vital functions. Our bodies naturally produce many lipids, including triglycerides, while others are derived from the food we eat.
Triglycerides play an active role in helping your body convert calories to energy. Theyâre formed when your body receives more calories than it needs. The leftover calories, as well as sugar and alcohol, are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells until your body is ready to use the energy.
What Are The Symptoms
High blood triglycerides usually do not cause any symptoms. Untreated or uncontrolled high blood triglyceride levels may increase your risk of serious complications such as coronary heart disease and stroke.
Very high blood triglycerides can raise the risk of acute pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas that causes severe pain in the abdomen.
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Risk Of High Triglycerides Levels
It is important to note that triglycerides are a type of fat.
According to the American Heart Association, AHA, triglycerides are the most common type of fat in the body.
Though your body naturally makes triglycerides, some may come from the food you consume.
Moreover, when you eat a meal, your body takes the excess calories that it does not immediately need and turns them into triglycerides.
This can cause triglyceride levels to rise temporarily after a meal.
Your body stores this as fat to bur when it needs energy between meals.
Regular eating too many calories can lead to high triglycerides levels and if your body cannot burn off these calories, and stores them as fat, you can have higher triglyceride levels overall.
Furthermore, having consistent high triglyceride levels can increase your risk of some health issues like atherosclerosis.
In this condition, triglycerides mix with other substances in the blood, like cholesterol, and stick to the wall of the arteries.
This causes them to narrow.
Also, high triglyceride levels can also increase the risk of other issues in the organs.
These can include fat accumulation in the liver or pancreas.
A buildup of fat can lead to inflammation and dysfunction in these areas if you do not seek treatment.
Severely high levels of triglycerides can also cause pancreatitis.
Why Should I Lower My Cholesterol
Evidence strongly indicates that high cholesterol can increase the risk of:
- narrowing of the arteries
- transient ischaemic attack often known as a mini stroke
- peripheral arterial disease
This is because cholesterol can build up in the artery wall, restricting the blood flow to your heart, brain and the rest of your body. It also increases the risk of a blood clot developing somewhere in your body.
Your risk of developing coronary heart disease also rises as your bloods cholesterol level increases. This can cause pain in your chest or arm during stress or physical activity .
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What Causes High Triglycerides
There are many factors that can contribute to elevated triglyceride levels. In some cases, the cause can be as simple as a poor diet or unhealthy lifestyle choices. But in other cases, your genes, medical history, and medications can play a part.
To that end, here are some of the most common causes of high triglycerides and normal blood cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol And Healthy Eating
What we eat has an impact on our cholesterol levels and can help reduce our risk of disease. The Heart Foundation recommends following a heart-healthy eating pattern, which means eating a wide variety of fresh and unprocessed foods and limiting highly processed foods including take away, baked goods, chocolate, chips, lollies and sugary drinks. Not only does this help to maintain a healthy and interesting diet, but it provides essential nutrients to the body.
A heart-healthy eating pattern includes:
- plenty of vegetables, fruit and wholegrains
- a variety of healthy protein-rich foods , legumes , nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart-healthy eating pattern. If choosing red meat, make sure it is lean and limit to one to three times a week
- unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. People with high cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties
- healthy fats and oils. Choose nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking
- herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.
This way of eating is also naturally high in fibre, which is good news, because a high intake of dietary fibre can also reduce levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.
Also, be mindful of how much you are eating. Portion sizes have increased over time and many of us are eating more than we need which can increase our cholesterol and risk of heart disease.
Serving size can vary depending on age, gender and specific nutrition needs.
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Lifestyle Remedies For High Cholesterol
Many lifestyle changes can prevent the increase of Cholesterol in your body and thus prevent your risk of complications. You can adopt the following practices in order to manage your Cholesterol levels.
When To Seek Treatment
Deciding on whether you ought to be treated for high cholesterol or high triglyceride levels, whether that treatment ought to include drug therapy, and which drugs ought to be used is not always entirely straightforward. Still, if your cardiovascular risk is elevated, the right treatment aimed at your lipid levels can substantially reduce your chances of having a heart attack, or even of dying prematurely. So when it comes to treating cholesterol and triglycerides, it is important to get it right. You can read about current thinking on when and how treatment for blood lipids should be chosen.
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Be Careful With Pancake Toppings
Table sugar is not the only kind of sugar you need to be wary of when you have high triglycerides. Honey and maple syrup can increase your triglyceride levels, too. One tablespoon of honey has 64 calories and approximately 17 grams of sugar. One tablespoon of maple syrup contains 50 calories and approximately 13 grams of sugar. If you want to indulge in these sweeteners, use less of them or look for low-calorie or sugar-free maple syrup. Sugar comes in many forms. Read the labels and watch for brown sugar, corn syrup, corn sweetener, fruit juice concentrate, fructose sweetener, glucose, invert sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, maltose, lactose, malt syrup, molasses, sucrose, turbinado sugar, and trehalose. They are also bad for your blood sugar.
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Consult A Doctor For Your Cholesterol Problem
High Cholesterol and low Triglycerides can be caused by a lot of reasons. If you take Cholesterol and Triglycerides blood tests and the results are higher than 200 mg/dL for Cholesterol and lower than 0 mg/dL for Triglycerides, your physician may recommend more tests to figure out the problem. You might also get these tests if your physician thinks you have some other disease.
Symptoms Of High Cholesterol
Often, there are no specific symptoms of high cholesterol. You could have high cholesterol and not know it.
If you have high cholesterol, your body may store the extra cholesterol in your arteries. These are blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. A buildup of cholesterol in your arteries is known as plaque. Over time, plaque can become hard and make your arteries narrow. Large deposits of plaque can completely block an artery. Cholesterol plaques can also break apart, leading to formation of a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood.
A blocked artery to the heart can cause a heart attack. A blocked artery to your brain can cause a stroke.
Many people dont discover that they have high cholesterol until they suffer one of these life-threatening events. Some people find out through routine check-ups that include blood tests.