Triglycerides are a type of lipid which derives from glycerol and three fatty acids.
They are found in many foods which we consume every day and form the main constituent of vegetable oil and animal fat. This means that someone who has a large amount of oil and fat in their diet will most likely have high triglyceride levels within their body.
This is because the body stores fat in the form of triglycerides as an alternative energy resource. These energy stores are vital as, when needed, they are broken down and liberated into energy; however an excess of triglyceride levels is bad news for one’s health.
It is essential that triglyceride levels are maintained in the body as they are vital to the proper functioning of the body. As well as being a key source of energy they are also the building blocks for cells. Triglycerides are the most productive source of energy available to the body as they produce twice the amount of energy per gram than any other form of energy such as carbohydrates and even proteins.
Despite their importance to the body and their key roles as an energy source and in cell formation an excess of triglyceride levels is a problem. High triglyceride levels can be caused by various factors. Of course the most common and easiest way for high triglyceride levels to be present in the body is the consumption of excess fat and oils.
There are other factors however which have been strongly linked with high triglyceride levels such as genetic factors, obesity and untreated diabetes. A diet lacking in protein and high in carbohydrates is also a leading cause of high triglyceride levels.
The health risks that come with having high levels of triglyceride content are very serious; they include heart attack, stroke and other serious cardiovascular disease.
Risk Factors For Low Triglycerides
People are very aware and often talk about the dangers of high triglyceride levels to one’s health but it is unknown to many that the effects of low triglyceride levels on the body is equally as dangerous, if not more so.
This is why it is vital to maintain a regular and normal triglyceride level in the blood which is best achieved via a balanced and healthy diet. Low triglyceride levels in the body are often caused by a condition called hyperthyroidism (which means an excess of the hormones triodothyroxine and thyroxine is present in the blood). Malnutrition and a general poor diet is also strongly linked with low triglyceride levels.
Research and statistics have shown that the main health problem caused by high triglyceride levels in the body is by far cardiovascular disease. High levels of triglyceride increase the chances of developing heart disease and also increase the risk of developing arthrosclerosis (thickening of the artery walls due to deposition of fatty acids).
Arthrosclerosis dramatically reduces the elasticity of the artery walls and therefore narrows them and increases the blood pressure; this is likely to contribute to a heart attack or stroke.