What are triglycerides and why are they important? Simply, triglycerides are fat found in the blood. Every triglyceride is made up of three fatty acids, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated. When we eat, the body converts the calories we do not need to eat right away into triglycerides which get stored in the fat cells for later.
So you can see why triglycerides are a an important measure of heart health. High triglycerides mean that levels are high in the blood, putting your heart at risk. Over time, high levels contribute to hardening of the arteries, and thickening of the artery walls. Which in turn, increases risk of heart disease and stroke.
Optimal triglyceride levels should be under 150 mg/dl. If you are looking to lower your levels through lifestyle changes, experts suggest eating a whole food, mostly planted based diet, limiting refined carbohydrates and sugars, and eating healthier fats, high in omega 3's. Also exercise regularly, lose weight, limit alcohol, and check with your health care provider of other options.