The American Heart Association (AHA)
recommends that a triglyceride level of 100
mg/dL or lower is considered "optimal." The
AHA says this optimal level would improve your
heart health. However, the AHA doesn't
recommend drug treatment to reach this level.
Instead, for those trying to lower their
triglycerides to this level, lifestyle changes
such as diet, weight loss and physical activity
are encouraged. That's because triglycerides
usually respond well to dietary and lifestyle
Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your
blood. Your body uses them for energy.
You need some triglycerides for good health. But
high triglycerides might raise your risk of heart
disease and may be a sign of metabolic
Metabolic syndrome is the combination of high
blood pressure, high blood sugar, too much fat
around the waist, low HDL ("good") cholesterol,
and high triglycerides. Metabolic syndrome
increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes,
A blood test that measures your cholesterol
also measures your triglycerides. For a general
idea about your triglycerides level, compare
your test results to the following:
Normal is less than 150.
Borderline-high is 150 to 199.
High is 200 to 499.
Very high is 500 or higher.
High triglycerides are usually caused by other
conditions, such as:
Poorly controlled diabetes.
An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
Regularly eating more calories than you burn.
Drinking a lot of alcohol.
Birth control pills.
In a few cases, high triglycerides also can run
To reduce blood triglyceride levels:
Control your weight
Be physically active
Limit alcohol intake
Limit simple sugars and sugar-sweetened
Sometimes, medication also is needed.