One of the most unappreciated dangers to good health is high levels of triglycerides, which can contribute to hardening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls, which increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease.
Triglycerides are a type of lipid that stores most body fat. These lipids circulate in the blood plasma. They are obtained from food you eat or are released from your liver and are used to meet short-term energy needs.
When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn't need to use right away into triglycerides. If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, you may end up with high triglycerides.
High triglycerides are often a sign of other conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. These include obesity, type 2 diabetes, low levels of thyroid hormones, or the side effects of certain medications.
Foods that may contribute to high triglycerides include refined grains, starchy foods and sugars (including naturally occurring fructose). To combat high triglycerides doctors recommend limiting consumption of these foods, including enriched or bleached white bread, wheat bread, pasta, sugary cereals, instance rice, bagels, pizza, pastries, cookies, cakes, alcohol, and high-calorie foods.
To help reduce triglycerides, some studies suggest that essential fatty acids can be helpful. This type of fat is found in fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna. These fatty acids are also found in walnuts, flax seeds, canola oil, and foods made with soy. A diet rich in fiber, including most vegetables, can also be helpful.
At Blue Hills Natural Foods Market, a variety of options are available to help you battle high triglycerides. Among several options, we recommend the following: