What Is a Normal Triglyceride Reading?

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Triglycerides, what the body converts unused calories into, are stored in fat cells and released when the body needs energy. According to the American Heart Association, a normal triglyceride reading is less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

Triglyceride Test

  • A lipid panel is used to check triglyceride levels. The same test used to check cholesterol levels, it requires blood to be drawn after a nine to 12 hour fast.

Guidelines for Triglyceride Levels

  • The National Cholesterol Education Program issued a set of parameters for evaluating triglyceride levels based on a fasting test: normal is less than 150 mg/dL, borderline is 150-199 mg/dL, high is 200-499 mg/dL and very high is 550 mg/dL or higher.

Dangers of High Triglycerides

  • High triglyceride levels are dangerous because they increase the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease by promoting atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries.

Causes of High Triglyceride Levels

  • High triglycerides can result from obesity, a combination of high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol, uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, low thyroid hormone levels, and liver or kidney disease.

Maintaining Healthy Triglyceride Levels

  • Some ways to maintain healthy triglyceride levels include maintaining a healthy body weight and caloric intake; choosing foods low in refined sugar, cholesterol and trans fat; eliminating alcohol, and getting plenty of exercise.

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