June 25, 2012

How Sugar Affects Triglycerides

Posted in LIFESTYLE CHANGES tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:51 pm by PCOSLady

PCOS Lady:
Do you have questions on triglycerides? I sure did like how do i lower them, what are they, etc…
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http://conditions.aolhealth.com/triglycerides/site-map
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Triglyceride FAQs
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1. What are triglycerides?
Triglycerides are a type of fat derived from the food we eat. Any calories we take in that aren’t used right away for energy are converted into triglycerides. Triglycerides move through the blood and are stored in fat cells. Our hormones regulate when triglycerides are released from fat cells to be used as energy between meals.
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2. Why should I care about my triglyceride level?
A high blood triglyceride level–called hypertriglyceridemia–increases your risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. It’s linked to an increased risk for diabetes. High triglycerides are also a risk factor for chronic pancreatitis–inflammation of the pancreas.
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3. What causes high triglycerides?
Excess triglycerides occur most often due to inactivity and being overweight. But they can also be triggered by high alcohol consumption, diabetes, or an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Hypertriglyceridemia can also be a side effect of some medications, including birth control, corticosteroids, beta blockers, and others. High triglycerides also can stem from a genetic condition.
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4. How do I know if I have high triglycerides?
A simple blood test, called a fasting lipid profile, measures cholesterol and triglycerides. If you’ve had your cholesterol tested and know your numbers, it’s likely your triglycerides were included. Doctors usually recommend men and women have the test at least every five years, beginning at age 20. People who have high triglycerides or are at risk for heart disease may need to have the test more often. Ask your doctor when you should be tested.
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5. What does my triglyceride level mean?
Everyone has triglycerides in their body. And at normal levels, triglycerides are healthy. Talk to your doctor if your levels are above normal.
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Below are the ranges for triglyceride levels:
Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL
Borderline-high: 150 to 199 mg/dL
High: 200 to 499 mg/dL
Very high: 500 mg/dL or higher
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6. What lifestyle changes can I make to lower my triglycerides or keep them under control?
If you’re overweight, reduce your calorie intake to achieve a normal weight. Exercise at least 30 minutes each day. Eat a diet low in saturated and trans fats. Drink alcohol only in moderation–one drink a day for women and two for men at most. And try to reduce your carbohydrate intake to no more than 60 percent of total calories. A diet high in carbohydrates raises triglyceride levels.
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7. Are there medications that can help?
Lifestyle changes are the primary treatment for hypertriglyceridemia. But there are medications that may help some people. If your doctor prescribes medicine for high triglyceride levels, it’s still very important to exercise and eat a healthy diet.
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How Sugar Affects Triglycerides
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From Every Day Health site – story is deleted
Triglycerides Health Center
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High-Fructose Corn Syrup May Lead to High Triglycerides
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Open your fridge or cupboard, and take a look at the labels on your food. Chances are you’ll see high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a common form of added sugar. The U.S. food supply provides a whopping 53 pounds of HFCS per person each year. That adds up to a lot of empty calories. Now a new study from Princeton University suggests that it may also lead to higher triglycerides.
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Is HFCS Bad News?
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HFCS is made by processing corn syrup to create a blend of two simple sugars: fructose and glucose. The result is a cheap sweetener used in a wide array of sugary drinks and processed foods, such as regular sodas, energy drinks, sweetened fruit drinks, candies, desserts, canned fruits, jams, yogurt, condiments, soups, spaghetti sauce, crackers, cereals, and breads.
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In the Princeton study, rats given HFCS gained more weight than those given sucrose (a.k.a. table sugar). This was true even when their calorie intake was the same. Over a period of months, rats fed HFCS also developed higher triglycerides and abnormal increases in abdominal fat. When such changes occur together in humans, they increase the risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
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The Effect on Triglycerides
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Scientists are just starting to sort out how HFCS and triglycerides might be linked.
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Fructose vs. Glucose
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There has been little research done comparing the effects of HFCS with those of pure fructose or pure glucose. Pure fructose—found naturally in fruit—is broken down and used by the body differently from glucose.
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Studies show that eating a lot of fructose may raise triglyceride levels after meals. If this eating pattern continues for weeks, it may lead to higher triglyceride levels at other times, too. The triglyceride-raising effect may be stronger in men and in women after menopause than in younger women. Compared to glucose, fructose also may decrease insulin sensitivity and increase belly fat—risk factors for heart disease and diabetes that often go hand-in-hand with elevated triglycerides.
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HFCS vs. Sucrose
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In real life, most sugar in the U.S. diet isn’t pure fructose or glucose. Instead, it’s HFCS or sucrose. The latter are both compounds made of fructose and glucose, but there are key differences between them. First, sucrose contains equal parts fructose and glucose. But HFCS contains unequal amounts and often is a bit heavier on the fructose side. Second, the fructose molecules in HFCS, unlike those in sucrose, are “free” and “unbound.” This means they’re easier for the body to use.
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Theoretically, these differences could account for the different effects seen in rats fed HFCS or sucrose. Researchers think similar effects may occur in people as well. But more research in humans is needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn.
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Short and Sweet Advice
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What does this mean for you? To help manage not only your triglycerides but also your weight, it’s best to limit all added sugars. That’s any form of sugar put into a food or drink during processing, cooking, or serving. The American Heart Association says such sugars should add up to no more than 150 calories (about 9 teaspoons) per day for men or 100 calories (about 6 teaspoons) per day for women.
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Reaching this goal isn’t easy; the average American currently gets more than two to three times that many calories per day from sugar. But every little bit helps.
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Keep reading those food labels. If you see HFCS listed there, you might want to give your food or drink choice a second thought.

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