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Triglycerides – Sugar disguised as Fat

Triglycerides are fats in the blood and in normal and healthy amounts they contribute to many vital physiological processes. While the lipid cholesterol (LDL and HDL) are very much associated with fats, triglycerides and sugar are also just as intimately related. In fact, sugar avoidance is one of the major factors to maintaining proper triglycerides levels.

When simple sugars are consumed, the body very quickly gobbles them up and converts them into energy, which leads to an instant spike in glucose levels, prompting the pancreas to begin releasing insulin. However, excess sugars that are not immediately used are stored. A maximum capacity for glycogen storage however can result in the liver converting this excess glucose into triglycerides. This can lead to a very rapid increase in the blood lipids, even causing the blood to become milky inconsistency. It is in this way that triglycerides and sugar are so closely related.

We need cholesterol and triglycerides as they are our energy source. They are used to transport necessary cholesterol throughout the body and they are also used for energy and they are helpful in storing it as well. But, in great abundance, they can be problematic and dramatically increase the risk for heart disease and resulting complications.

High triglycerides with normal to slightly high cholesterol is usually a sugar/carbohydrate issues and NOT a fat/cholesterol issue. High triclyerides and diabetes are highly related.  In fact, triglycerides and sugar intake are so related to diabetes that increased levels of them in the blood increase the chances of developing type 2 of the condition. The relationship is a little more complex however because high levels of triglycerides and sugar do not actually cause diabetes. Rather,

Triglyceride abundance signals that the body is not converting ingested foods properly and therefore points to an increased risk. This is because one common cause of elevated triglyceride levels is a resistance to insulin, which causes glucose to become more prevalent in the blood. Triglycerides and sugar are therefore very related to diabetes in that measuring them can signal precursors for developing the condition.

Sugar avoidance is therefore incredibly important on a triglyceride lowering diet since it can be directly responsible for increases of its levels in the blood. Refined sugars such as those found in cakes, donuts and candies are the biggest offenders. However, it is important to observe lesser known sources of simple carbohydrates as well and consider removing them as part of a triglyceride lowering diet. White starches like rice and bread are considered bad choices for those with high triglyceride as these foods can produce a markedly noticeable increase to their levels. Additionally, the empty calories and high sugar content of alcohol is also not welcomed in a triglycerides diet and it is one of the most important things to avoid. Eliminating these food options and incorporating better choices like whole grains can reduce the levels of triglycerides in the blood by up to half.


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