What exactly are triglycerides, what does it mean when your blood test shows high numbers and what can be done to bring these numbers to a normal range?  That's what I am up against right now with my recent blood tests showing high numbers.  Keep in mind, this does run in my family and I am determined to get back to my healthy self as quickly as possible.

First the definition.  According to the Mayo Clinic,  "Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood. When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn't need to use right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells."

Normal range is 150 milligrams, with borderline high 150 to 199, high being 200 to 499 and very high is anything over 500.  If you have high tri's, you have a greater risk of having a heart attack, diabetes or stroke.

If you have high cholesterol and/or high triglycerides, your doctor will most likely monitor your numbers and usually prescribe a medication to lower these numbers. I don't want to do this so my doctor is working with me to lower my numbers in a more natural way.

Here's my plan to lower my cholesterol and tri levels:

Lose weight -- While my weight number is pretty stable, I can afford to lose about 5 or 6 pounds.  I need to join the gym again and this should be no problem.  Just doing this alone can reduce my triglycerides by 20%. I'm not a cardio fan unless I am on a beach but I love weight lifting with free weights.  Say hi if you see me working out in Binghamton.

Change diet -- Everybody can look at their diet and see what may not be considered healthy choices.  I don't drink soda and I try to stay away from fried foods.  I know last time I had this issue, my numbers tumbled when I did Steal Cut and Old Fashioned Oats every morning with a dash of honey or maple syrup to naturally sweeten my breakfast.  More fruits and veggies and cutting back on desserts.  Remember,high-fructrose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners are evil.  If you need a sweeter, stick with honey, maple syrup, cinnamon or stevia. Prescriptions or supplements -- While I want to try to do this naturally, I usually take the natural route.  I don't recommend this for everyone but for me I am taking garlic, fish oil and turmeric supplements. My research shows that this could really help.   To summarize:

  •    Lose weight = back to the gym, with cardio and lifting weights.
  •    Eating better = more natural diet with more fiber and less sugar.

[via MayoClinic.org]