Triglycerides and Sugar – Why Sugary Foods Should Be Avoided?

Triglycerides and Sugar

Triglycerides are fats in the blood and in normal and healthy amounts they contribute to many vital physiological processes. For instance, they are used to transport necessary cholesterol throughout the body and they are also used for energy and they are helpful in storing it as well. But, in great abundance, they can be problematic and dramatically increase the risk for heart disease and resulting complications. While the lipids are very much associated with fats, triglycerides and sugar are also just as intimately related. In fact, sugar avoidance is one of the major factors to maintaining proper triglycerides levels.

When simple sugars are consumed, the body very quickly gobbles them up and converts them into energy, which leads to an instant spike in glucose levels, prompting the pancreas to begin releasing insulin. However, excess sugars that are not immediately used are stored. A maximum capacity for glycogen storage however can result in the liver converting this excess glucose into triglycerides. This can lead to a very rapid increase in the blood lipids, even causing the blood to become milky inconsistency. It is in this way that triglycerides and sugar are so closely related.

Sugar avoidance is therefore incredibly important on a triglyceride lowering diet since it can be directly responsible for increases of its levels in the blood. Refined sugars such as those found in cakes, donuts and candies are the biggest offenders. However, it is important to observe lesser known sources of simple carbohydrates as well and consider removing them as part of a triglyceride lowering diet. White starches like rice and bread are considered bad choices for those with high triglyceride as these foods can produce a markedly noticeable increase to their levels. Additionally, the empty calories and high sugar content of alcohol is also not welcomed in a triglycerides diet and it is one of the most important things to avoid. Eliminating these food options and incorporating better choices like whole grains can reduce the levels of triglycerides in the blood by up to half.

It is not a wonder that sugar’s involvement in blood lipid spikes means that triglycerides and diabetes are also very closely related. In fact, triglycerides and sugar intake are so related to diabetes that increased levels of them in the blood increase the chances of developing type 2 of the condition. The relationship is a little more complex however because high levels of triglycerides and sugar do not actually cause diabetes. Rather, their abundance signals that the body is not converting ingested foods properly and therefore points to an increased risk. This is because one common cause of elevated triglyceride levels is a resistance to insulin, which causes glucose to become more prevalent in the blood. Triglycerides and sugar are therefore very related to diabetes in that measuring them can signal precursors for developing the condition.

Thankfully, diet can play an important role in both reducing the risk for the development of Type 2 diabetes as well as increases in triglyceride levels. Considering a low glycemic diet is one option. Since carbohydrates are related to both the increased risk of developing high triglyceride levels as well as diabetes, a low glycemic diet is ideal for staving off both conditions. Measuring differences in the ways that carbohydrates are processed within the body is the framework of the diet. Simple sugars cause quick and rapid spikes in blood sugar, whereas complex carbohydrates provide a slow rise in blood sugar levels. It is because of the relationship between triglycerides and sugar that this diet is effective for the elevated lipid condition as well. The same foods high in simple carbohydrates that are considered avoidable on a low glycemic diet for diabetes are also best avoided for people with high triglycerides. And, these similarities mean that some recipe options geared toward diabetics can also double as triglycerides lowering recipes because they focus on the same main principals of incorporating more whole and healthy foods and reducing as much simple sugar as possible.

One important consideration worth mentioning for those that are interested in the relationship between triglycerides and sugar and making dietary changes accordingly, is the use of sugar substitutes. Not only are they linked to unpleasant side effects like bloating and diarrhea, they also provide absolutely no nutritional benefit. Natural substitutes like honey and molasses may seem like better choices than table sugar; however they have actually been shown to increase triglyceride levels and should be avoided.

The importance of high triglycerides and sugar intake reduction cannot be emphasized enough. Itis one of the major contributors to elevating the lipids within the blood. And, like the glucose related condition diabetes, long term effects can have serious consequences. It is always best to discuss high triglycerides and their association with increased risk of diabetes and heart disease with a doctor in order to better understand the dietary changes and lifestyle adjustments that need to be made in order to get triglycerides under control before they negatively impact health.

References:
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/prevention/nutrition/triglycerides.aspx
http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/conversion-carbohydrates-triglycerides-2218.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/artificial-sweeteners/

 

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