Risks of High Triglycerides
Among your blood lipids, doctors tend to pay the most attention to LDL Cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is one of the most well known and well-studied markers of heart disease.
Professionally Reviewed by Charles Li, MD

What are Triglycerides?

A Hidden Sign of Heart Disease
Among your blood lipids, doctors tend to pay the most attention to LDL Cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is one of the most well known and well-studied markers of heart disease.

When our LDL is too high, doctors prescribe drugs to help us lower it.

Triglycerides are another type of fat in blood that doctors measure. New research is beginning to show us just how important keeping a healthy level of triglycerides is.

Why It Matters

Triglycerides and Heart Disease
Studies have shown that having a lot of triglycerides in your blood can be a sign of heart disease risk.

Those who have higher levels tend to have a greater risk of developing heart attacks and strokes.

However, your level of triglycerides tends to correlate with other markers, such as your cholesterol, which is why doctors tend to look at cholesterol first.
Triglycerides & Heart Disease Risk

A meta-analysis found that men and women who have high triglycerides also have a much higher risk of heart disease. Much of this risk is driven by triglyceride's relationship with HDL, the good cholesterol. Generally, triglyceride levels rise and fall in-line with other types of cholesterol.

Data Source

" Based on combined data from prospective studies, triglyceride is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease for both men and women in the general population, independent of HDL cholesterol. These finding demonstrate the necessity for clinical trials to evaluate whether lowering plasma triglyceride decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease."

Source: Plasma Triglyceride Level is a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease Independent of High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Level: A Metaanalysis of Population-Based Prospective Studies

Recommended Levels

Triglycerides in Men and Women
When you get your blood drawn for a lab test, it will often show your triglyceride level, along with your cholesterol results.

While triglycerides tend to receive less attention than cholesterol, it can still be an important marker of heart health.

Generally, the lower the better.
Triglyceride Chart

Generally, the lower your triglycerides the better. Those with more than 150 mg/dl of triglycerides are classified as borderline. Those with more than 200 mg/dL of triglycerides are considered to have high triglyceride levels.

Lowering Triglycerides

How to Reduce Your Risk
Heart disease is preventable. Below are some tips that we've gathered from top sources on how to reduce your risk of heart disease if you have high triglycerides.


"Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most or all days of the week. Regular exercise can lower triglycerides and boost "good" cholesterol. Try to incorporate more physical activity into your daily tasks — for example, climb the stairs at work or take a walk during breaks."

Source: Mayo Cliic

Watch Your Carbs

"Easily digested carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, cornflakes, and sugared soda) give triglycerides a definite boost. Eating whole grains and cutting back on sugared soda can help control triglycerides."

Source: Triglycerides: A big fat problem

Cut the Butter

"Eating saturated fat, found in animal products, and trans fats, found in some commercially baked cookies and crackers and microwave popcorn, can raise your cholesterol level. Foods that are high in cholesterol, such as red meat and full-fat dairy products, will also increase your cholesterol."

Source: Mayo Clinic
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