Raised triglycerides often go hand in hand with low HDL levels . The higher the triglyceride level the lower the HDL level. Why is this? The explanation is complex, but put simply; as the main triglyceride carrying particles give up their
triglycerides they also transfer cholesterol to HDL . When triglycerides are cleared from the blood less quickly, less cholesterol is transferred to HDL particles meaning HDL cholesterol levels remain low. This is why it is important to have a full lipid profile (total cholesterol, triglycerides and HDL cholesterol), know and understand your numbers.
In the intestine , following the secretion of lipases and bile , triglycerides are split into monoacylglycerol and free fatty acids in a process called lipolysis . They are subsequently moved to absorptive enterocyte cells lining the intestines. The triglycerides are rebuilt in the enterocytes from their fragments and packaged together with cholesterol and proteins to form chylomicrons . These are excreted from the cells and collected by the lymph system and transported to the large vessels near the heart before being mixed into the blood. Various tissues can capture the chylomicrons, releasing the triglycerides to be used as a source of energy. Liver cells can synthesize and store triglycerides. When the body requires fatty acids as an energy source, the hormone glucagon signals the breakdown of the triglycerides by hormone-sensitive lipase to release free fatty acids. As the brain cannot utilize fatty acids as an energy source (unless converted to a ketone ), [ citation needed ] the glycerol component of triglycerides can be converted into glucose , via gluconeogenesis by conversion into dihydroxyacetone phosphate and then into glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate , for brain fuel when it is broken down. Fat cells may also be broken down for that reason, if the brain's needs ever outweigh the body's.
As with cholesterol, eating too much of the wrong kinds of fats will raise your blood triglycerides. Therefore, it’s important to restrict the amounts of saturated fats and trans fats you allow into your diet. Triglyceride levels can also shoot up after eating foods that are high in carbohydrates or after drinking alcohol. That’s why triglyceride blood tests require an overnight fast. If you have elevated triglycerides, it’s especially important to avoid sugary and refined carbohydrates, including sugar, honey, and other sweeteners, soda and other sugary drinks, candy, baked goods, and anything made with white (refined or enriched) flour, including white bread, rolls, cereals, buns, pastries, regular pasta, and white rice. You’ll also want to limit dried fruit and fruit juice since they’re dense in simple sugar. All of these low–quality carbs cause a sudden rise in insulin, which may lead to a spike in triglycerides.