Cholesterol Part 7: Triglycerides


Triglycerides are the chemical form of the fat that is found in foods and in your body. When you eat a meal, any unused calories are converted to triglycerides and stored in your fat cells. Later, they will be released to meet the energy needs of your body.

The higher your triglyceride level the more LDL particles are required for a given amount of cholesterol and therefore the higher your risk of heart disease. LDL gets all the bad press, and high triglyceride levels are the cause of much of that.

Surprisingly, high triglycerides are often a direct result of high carbohydrate diets.

Your body rapidly digests simple sugars and refined carbohydrates, such as bread, breakfast cereals, or any kind of confectionary, causing a sudden spike in blood glucose. This causes your pancreas to release more insulin, because insulin helps your body to store different molecules. When your body has more glucose than it needs for energy, the increased insulin prompts the liver to convert the glucose into triglycerides, which are then transported to fat cells for storage.

Thus, when the amount of carbohydrate in the diet is increased, the fat (triglyceride) content of the blood rises, even if fat intake is reduced. This in turn increases LDL-P and with it the risk of heart disease.