Triglycerides Information

Do you have elevated blood triglycerides level? Know the causes of high triglycerides, high triglycerides symptoms, their harmful effect on body, how to lower triglycerides and the foods to avoid for high triglycerides.

What is Triglyceride? Triglycerides Meaning

A triglyceride is a type of fat. Our blood also has triglyceride that circulates in lipoproteins. The triglyceride is stored as fat in our body. As most of the fats in food are triglycerides, the food we eat affects blood level of triglycerides.

When we eat fat, blood triglyceride increases 2-4 times and reaches to its maximum value in about 5 hours after the meal. Our liver also synthesizes it. Its concentrations in the blood vary considerably throughout the day, depending upon how much fat is eaten and how fast the body removes fat from the blood. Our bodies make triglycerides from excess carbohydrate in our diet.

Triglycerides Function

Cholesterol and triglycerides are necessary for our life. The triglycerides provide the fuel needed for body cells to function.

The eleveted levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are responsible for heart problems. A research reported in the December 26, 2007 online issue of the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, people with high triglycerides level and elevated "non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol" are more likely to have a stroke than those with low levels of these fats in the blood.

Sources of Triglycerides

  1. The food we eat: sugar
    animal products
    saturated fats in sweets, red meat, dairy products
    Dietary fats are absorbed through the intestines.
  2. manufactured within the body by our liver

Some people who have high cholesterol level also have high blood triglyceride. If your blood has high blood cholesterol as well as high triglycerides, the risk for heart disease is greater than if you only had high triglyceride levels or only high cholesterol but healthy triglyceride levels. High triglyceride levels may be associated with insulin resistance, low HDL cholesterol, high LDL cholesterol, liver disease and obesity.

Triglycerides Level

An overnight fast is necessary to reliably measure blood triglyceride level. The following table gives significance of different triglyceride values and range.

The American Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel's recommendation on fasting blood triglycerides level in adults (May 2001)

RiskTriglyceride Level
Normal, healthy Less than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L) is triglyceride normal level.
Borderline-high 150 - 199 mg/dL (1.7 - 2.3 mmol/L)
High200 - 499 mg/dL (2.3 - 5.64 mmol/L)
Very high More than 500 mg/dL (5.64 mmol/L)

The European guidelines on the fasting blood triglyceride levels in adults

No risk, normalLess than 1.7 mmol/L (150.1 mg/dL)
Suspect1.7 - 2.3 mmol/L (150.1 - 203.1 mg/dL)
Requiring attention or treatmentfasting 1.7 - 2.3 mmol/L (151.1 - 203.1 mg/dL)
Aggressive 2.3 - 4.6 mmol/L (203.1 - 407.1 mg/dL)
LDL cholesterol greater than 1.5 mmol/L (58 mg/dL)

Triglycerides Level Normal Range

The question is what is a safe triglyceride level count? Ideally the triglycerides in blood should be less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). It may be considered elevated if it is above 150 mg/dL and if you have other risk factors also for heart disease. Very high levels may be associated with liver disease.

Symptoms of High Triglyceride Level

Are there any symptoms for an elevated triglyceride? There are no symptoms in the initial stage. The symptoms appear when already significant damage has been done. The long-term symptoms include inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), liver enlargement, Spleen enlargement or fat deposits under the skin (Xanthomas, if your high levels are caused by a genetic condition). Pancreatitis can cause sudden, severe abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting and fever.

Triglycerides Units, Conversion from mmol/L to mg/dL

Serum triglycerides
Convert from millimole per liter, mmol/L

Conversion factor
multiply by
1/0.01129 = 88.57

to get values in milligrams per deciliter mg/dL

1.90 mmol/L
= 1.9 x 88.57
= 168 mg/dL

Causes of High Triglycerides

What causes high triglycerides? Basically the reasons for high triglyceride levels are the same as those for high cholesterol levels. You may have high blood triglyceride due to any of the following reasons.

"There is an inverse relationship between triglycerides and good cholesterol. When a person has high levels of triglycerides, he will have low levels of HDL." says Dr V. Mohan from Chinnai.
  1. Obesity and weight gain
  2. type 2 diabetes and/or fluctuations in the blood sugar.
  3. prolonged psychological stress
  4. long fasting
  5. eating too much refined carbohydrates such as white breads, starches, sugar, candy, honey and other foods high in sugar.
  6. a diet providing more than 60% of the energy from carbohydrates.
  7. heavy caffeine use, consuming on average 550 mg of caffeine from coffee, tea or Colas, etc. in a day.
  8. cigarette smoking
  9. excessive intake of high calorie value like fat, alcohol, sugars, etc
  10. lack of physical activity, no exercise, sedentary lifestyle
  11. any of the diseases like atherosclerosis, inflammation or infection of the pancreas, gout, chronic liver disease, underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), cystic fibrosis, etc.
  12. Some medications like corticosteroids, oral estrogen, anti-inflammatory drugs such as Hydrocortisone, Prednisolone and Prednisone; cholestyramins, intravenous miconazole, spironolactone, Quinapril, some acne medications, etc.
  13. Some genetic disorders

How to Lower Triglycerides? Diet To Reduce High Triglycerides

The present day research on triglyceride and their effect on health are not complete. More research is needed to provide clearer recommendations. In the meantime one may follow the following for reducing triglycerides :

  1. Exercising regularly
  2. Losing weight, if a person is overweight
  3. Improving diabetes
  4. Limiting alcohol
  5. Foods To Avoid for High Triglycerides : High Triglycerides Diet

    • Consume less food rich in saturated fats. Avoid coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, food made with margarines, coffee whiteners and nondairy creamers made with these oils, butter, cream, sour cream, whole milk, cheeses made from whole milk, etc. Use unsaturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in moderation. Moderately use foods made in canola oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, peanut oil, margarines, mayonnaise, etc.
    • Reduce intake of sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, jam, jelly, preserves, honey, syrup, molasses, pies, candy, cakes, cookies, pastries, colas, fruit drinks, soft drinks and punches. Sugar in our food goes rapidly to your blood. Eating desserts, sweets in excess and drinking sugary drinks may cause increase in triglyceride levels in blood. When there is excess sugar in blood, the liver uses it to make more triglyceride. Use complex carbohydrates like whole breads, rice, potatoes and cereals.
    • Increase dietary fiber intake like brown rice, whole grains, lentils, legumes, beans, vegetables and fruits.

Frank. Demarfio.,   on Thursday, December 10th, 2015

3 months ago tri was 166 know it's 336. I take lovaza 4. Pills a day I think I skipped a few times could that cause it ?

Tonya,   on Friday, November 6th, 2015

I had. 2 lipid panels done 4 days apart. My triglycerides went from 164 to 184. My HDL lol went from 41 to 39. Everything else is perfect. Why would there be a jump in triglycerides by 20 points in 4 days and decrease of 2 in HDl that quick. My diet remains the same. I am in my car all day driving so I normally eat something from fast food or a restraint. I am not afraid to even eat or drink anything. At 184 does. It mean there is plaque buildup taking place yet or just I need to do something before there is?
Admin:  You need to change your lifestyle and dietgto control your cholesterol and triglycerides.

Haresh,    on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

My Lipid panel: Cholesterol: 116; Triglyceride 195; HDL Cholesterol: 37; Non-HDL Cholesterol: 79; LDL Cholesterol (calc.): 79; VLDL cholesterol: 39. What to do for high Triglyceride?

rakesh,   on Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

I am having a high ldl 596
I am so used to junk food. I work 16 hours and no time go to gym. I am taking simply fish oil and omega3.
Admin:  Please change your life style and diet to reduce your cholesterol.

Connie Roberson,   on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

2 months ago my blood work was only showing problem with my thyroid. Monday's blood work now shows triglyceride level at 415. Will this be a lifetime thing now or will medicine cure it?
Admin:  Medicine and life style changes will control your triglyceride level and thyroid.

protap mazumdr,   11:14pm on Monday, February 9th, 2015

My triglyceride level is 227. What is the problem in my heart.
Admin:  Reduce intake of sugar and processed things like things made of refined flour and fried foods.

Greggor H,   on Friday, September 5th, 2014

I am a pretty healthy (visceral fat 7%, body fat 21%, BMI 25.3, skeletal muscle 39.3%) 23 year old male and had a biometric screening yesterday and my numbers came out as follows: Total Cholesterol- 202 mg/dL Triglycerides: 242 mg/dL LDL: 110 md/dL HDL: 43 mg/dL. So, all of my numbers are pretty good except the Triglycerides. In the past weeks I have been traveling for work, so I have been eating less healthy (not making my own food) and have been rarely able to exercise. Could that be the reason for my high numbers or is there more likely a more serious reason for this?
Admin:  Never rely on a single test report. eat healthy for a month and take another test.

Frederick Douglas,   2:33pm on Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

My triglyceride lexel is high but my cholesterol is low. Needed information on lowering the triglyceride level.

S.smith,   Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Just rec'd results-Total chol 220, HDL 94(at one time was 122), LDL 114, Triglycerides 60. I am 71 & overweight. Would like to improve total.

Deborah Knapp,    on Saturday, February 15th, 2014

My triglycerides were 372, Total Cholesterol 228, LDL 114 and HDL 40. I bought a treadmill and walk at least 15 minutes at a brisk pace, use truvia rather than sugar in my coffee, fat free milk, eat lots of fruit & green veggies, and no white rice or breads. Cholesterol is now 199, Triglycerides is 184, Hdl is 44 and LDL is 118. Not sure why LDL went up? But I am sticking with what I am doing and steadily increasing my exercise time. Get checked again in 3 months. Asthma and arthritis makes exercise difficult! But I think I am doing something right!!

Anjie,   Thursday, November 14th, 2013

My triglyceride reading went from 94 to 415 in a year. I started taking vyvanse for add. Wondering if this is the cause. I lost body fat and weight over the year so this is why I'm concerned.
Admin:  May not be due to Vyvanse though it has many side effects.

Francois Bona,   November 6th, 2013

I am tested with a 331mg/dL of triglyceride, my cholesterol is 213mg/dL, HDL 43mg/dL,LDL 104mg/dL. What should be my concern... is 300 mg/dL TG is a high risk factor for me? Please advice me.
Admin:  Triglyceride 331mg/dL is high. You should limit on sugar intake,cakes, cookies, pastries, soft drinks, fruit drinks, processed foods, etc. Try reducing your weight, if overweight. Your HDL and LDL are OK, but total cholesterol slightly more. You may reduce eating foods with high saturated fats.

Casey,    October 25th, 2013

My Triglycerides level went from 269 to a whopping 770 in 11 months. Is this even possible or common? Should I get re-tested?
Admin:  Triglycerides above 500 mg/dL is considered very high. It is not common to rise to such a high level in less than a year. You may have a second test. Very high triglyceride levels are a risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.

dee,    September 10th, 2013

I had a screening today my triglyeride reading was over 600. I have had a lot of stress over the last 2 years. I recently discovered I also have high blood pressure, are these two things related?
Admin:  Yes some of the reasons for the two are the same, mainly stress, unhealthy eating and lack of exercise.

Brad,   6:55pm on Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

My wife triglycerides are 687, she is 39 years old. How concerned should I be? I can't seem to make her understand this is dangerous.
Admin:  triglycerides level of 687 is dangerously high at any age. Please convince her to take advise of Doctors and follow the following tips: Keep a healthy weight, limit fats and sugars in diet, remain physically active and limit alcohol.

RAMESH,    May 15th, 2013

Hi my triglycerides is 54 . Is it a problem; too low?? TOTAL CHOLESTROL 184, HDL= 54 AND LDL=111.

Tracy D,   May 2nd, 2013

My lipid panel came back as "very good", chol/HDL ratio 3.3, chol 184, hdl 56, LDL 85, but triglycerides 213! I don't eat a lot of fat, probably eat too much sugar, but do drink a lot of coffee, how significant is caffeine? (I use cream, no sugar, and "cream is 1 part 1/2 and 1/2, 2 parts fat free 1/2 and 1/2, and 1 part skim milk, probably 6-8 cups a day.)
Admin:  You should minimize use of sugar in any form (desserts, drinks, tea, coffee, soft drinks, etc)and foods made of refined flour like white bread.

Roger,   on Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

My triglyceride level a year ago was 72. I just had a blood test, and the level was 173. I realized that I have been eating about a cup of roasted, salted nuts almost every night for the last year. I just checked the fat content on the cashews, Macadamias and peacans. They have to be the cause of the increase.

Pankaj Jha,   on Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Thank you very much for the info about Triglycerides.I have high level of this, so I need to read this article. Today my report is done by Ruban lab -- S Trig.-235 and VLDL is 47.

angel andrews,   7:21am on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Just had a blood panel done-all checked out in good numbers including my thyroid and white and red blood cells. My triglycerides were 230 and the only thing sugary I eat or drink is Milky way candy bars. My cholesterol is normal too. Just wondering why its so high.
Admin:  Cut down the things like white bread and any soft drinks and juices.

Kathleen Armstrong,   on Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

This is some of the best information without getting too technical that I have read. Are you aware of this condition among people with multiple sclerosis?
Admin:  Not exactly.

vijsy kumar,   on Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Please send specific reason for the rise in trygyceride level in human reason
Admin:  The reasons for high triglycerides are given on this page.

john .c.j. furtado,    on Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Thanks for your much needed valuble information.


  1. Triglycerides - Better Health Channel
  2. Triglycerides - American Heart Association
  3. Triglyceride - Wikipedia,

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