Why Is Your Triglyceride Level Important? 

Triglycerides are an independent risk factor for strokes and cardiovascular disease.  If you've got a lot of belly fat, you probably have high triglycerides.

Within one to four hours of consuming a high-fat McDonald's meal (Egg McMuffin®, Sausage McMuffin®, two hash brown patties, non-caffeinated beverage) your serum triglycerides will shoot up.

Triglyceride elevation caused by eating fats can cause the blood to clot, which increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and deep vein thrombosis.  With very high elevation of triglycerides, the risk of pancreatitis is also increased.

If your triglycerides are high, cut back on fats and animal foods.  If that does not lower your levels try also cutting back on alcohol, wine, beer, white flour products, sugars including dried fruit, honey, maple syrup, and fruit juice. A diet high in low-fat complex carbohydrates and low in simple sugars (even fruits and fruit juice) reduces triglycerides very effectively.  

If you are trying to lose weight, you may want to try to keep your daily intake of fructose to under 50 grams.  A cup of raisins has 30 grams of fructose, a glass of orange juice contains 14 grams of fructose, a tablespoon of honey contains 9 grams and a tangerine has only 2.4 grams.  Fruit can raise triglycerides in sensitive people. 

Besides eliminating processed foods containing various forms of fructose, exercise is an important approach for fighting elevated triglycerides. Exercise burns  fat in the muscle tissues, lowering triglyceride levels.

High-fat meals, in contrast to low-fat meals, can cause considerable increases in plasma triglycerides and plasma levels of blood coagulation factors which lead to a blood clot or thrombosis in the heart artery.   

If your triglyceride level is high, you must eliminate all fats, including olive oil and avocados. 

One recent study showed that adding 30 grams (1 ounce) of ground flaxseed per day to the diet, helped decrease waist circumference. 

To find out your triglyceride level you will need to check with your physician.  Alternatives include a visit to an "Any Lab Test" location in your town where you can pay $50 for a lipid panel which will give you your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

For more information about refined carbohydrates and triglyceride levels, read Dr. McDougall's newsletter.'

For a chart of various sugars, click here.

For a FREE chart that you can print off and fill in with your test results, click here. 

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