What affects triglyceride levels?


Quick Answer

Alcohol consumption, weight, diet and physical activity affect triglyceride levels, reports Mayo Clinic. A high triglyceride level may increase the risk for heart attack, stroke and heart disease.

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Full Answer

Drinking even a small amount of alcohol has the potential to increase triglyceride levels, states Mayo Clinic. Fat, sugar and cholesterol consumption also help determine a person's triglyceride level. Choosing unsaturated fats, reducing cholesterol intake and avoiding sugary foods may help lower triglyceride levels that are too high. Because extra calories are converted to triglycerides, the number of calories consumed each day also influences triglyceride levels.

Someone who is overweight should aim to shed excess pounds, recommends Mayo Clinic. Losing just 5 to 10 pounds can have a positive effect on the amount of triglycerides in the blood. Regular exercise helps control triglyceride levels, so getting enough physical activity is important. Medications are available to treat high triglycerides if lifestyle changes do not work.

A normal triglyceride level is less than 150 milligrams per deciliter, states WebMD. Higher-than-normal triglyceride levels are associated with obesity, kidney disease, excessive alcohol consumption and hypothyroidism. For many people, an elevated triglyceride level does not cause any symptoms. If high triglycerides are due to the presence of a genetic disorder, fatty deposits may develop under the skin.

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