Lifestyle Changes Reduce Triglycerides
People Who Take Proper Steps Can Reduce Unhealthy Blood Fat Levels
Diet Changes Not Enough; People Need More Physical Activity, Too
The statement says that people with triglyceride levels in the borderline to high range of 150-199 milligrams per deciliter also should incorporate physical activities such as brisk walking for at least 150 minutes a week.
Such physical activities may result in reducing triglyceride levels by 20% to 30%, the researchers write.
“Triglycerides are an important barometer of metabolic health,’’ says Neil J. Stone, MD, a professor in the Fienberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. “When the clinician sees an elevated triglyceride level, there needs to be an important conversation about risk factors and the need to eat less, eat smarter, and to move more on a daily basis to improve triglycerides and the metabolic profile.”
Testing for triglycerides is quite simple. It involves a blood sample, which is traditionally taken after a 12-hour fast.
The statement authors recommend using non-fasting triglyceride testing as an initial screen.
New Optimal Level for Triglycerides
They say that though the cutoff for elevated triglycerides is still 150 milligrams per deciliter, a new optimal level of 100 milligrams per deciliter has been set to acknowledge the protective effects of a healthier lifestyle.
Elevated triglyceride levels represent a major problem in the United States, the statement says.
About 31% of adults have elevated triglyceride levels of more than 150 milligrams per deciliter. This varies by ethnicity and is highest among Mexican-Americans at 36%. Whites have the second-highest rate at 33%, while African-Americans have the lowest at 16%.
The researchers say it is worrisome that triglyceride levels have been rising in young adults between 20 and 49, mirroring the increased rates of obesity and diabetes occurring at earlier ages.
The statement is published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.