Triglycerides are fats in the blood. Some are naturally produced by the liver, while others come from calories that the body doesn’t need to use immediately. The more calories a person takes in, the likelier they are to have a high triglyceride count.
Higher levels, calculated as above 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl), can increase a person’s risk of having a stroke or heart attackby causing a narrowing of the arteries.
Estimates suggest that around a quarter of the adult population of the United States may have triglyceride levels above 150 mg/dl.
Exceedingly high levels — above 500 mg/dl — can also result in inflammation of the pancreas, otherwise known as pancreatitis.
Thankfully, there are a few ways to reduce triglyceride levels. Getting regular exercise, reducing alcohol consumption, and eliminating sugar and refined carbohydrates can help, as can other steps to maintain a healthy weight, such as swapping saturated for unsaturated fats.