Causes of High Triglycerides

      What really are the causes of high triglycerides?

     Most fats in our bodies and in the foods we eat are in the form of triglycerides.   They are found not only in the body but in vegetable and animal fats.   They are used for energy but they also can be stored as fat on the body.

    Fats provide building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones.   They are carriers for fat soluble vitamins.  Fats are essential for our health and well being.  We need lots of unrefined fats in our diets.  We need more plant fats than animal fats.

     The causes of high triglycerides in the body can be linked unmistakably to how we eat.   When triglycerides (blood fat) are too high they are linked to atherosclerosis, heart disease, obesity and insulin resistance. The optimum range for triglycerides is less than 150 mg. Borderline high triglycerides is 150 to 200 and over 200 is considered high.

     Here is the simple answer to the causes of high triglycerides.

  Many studies have been done demonstrating that "the amount of fat the body absorbs after a meal is greater when that meal includes sugar."  The increase in fat absorption raises triglycerides. *

     The main cause of high triglycerides is the combination of a high fat meal, food, bar or drink along with sugar or other high glycemic sweeteners.   If you have a high level of fat AND a high level of sugar, sucrose or glucose there are devastating consequences for weight gain and triglyceride levels.

     So it’s not just more calories or more fat in your is the combination of sugar and fat that is so disastrous for your health and weight.   So, contrary to popular belief, fats alone are not the culprit as far as weight gain and high triglycerides.

     There has been so much misinformation about the role of fats in our diets and the lack of sound nutritional principles when it comes to this subject, that it is easy to be confused. The causes of high triglycerides do not include eating saturated fat unless it's combined with sugar.

      Most of us can benefit from more high quality, unrefined fats in our diets, especially the essential fatty acids, the omega 3s.   But good quality animal fats are important too.   Avoid all processed foods containing hydrogenated fats and refined polyunsaturated oils.  Use virgin olive oil and coconut oil or animal fats for occasional frying.   Good quality butter is fine in small amounts.   Fats give us energy and help us to feel full.

     The percentage of people eating low fat foods actually increased fourfold from 1978 - 1991 but the rates of obesity went up! Low fat foods do not help Americans lose weight, in fact they made people gain weight.

     If you are fat you have high triglycerides.   The causes of high triglycerides are not obesity and prediabetes but rather eating improperly leads to all 3 problems.   However, if you are eating a low glycemic diet already and have high triglycerides see a doctor to determine if it could be caused by dysfunction of your thyroid, kidney or liver.

     Nutritional researchers have found that we actually need to eat fat (the essential fatty acids especially) in order to lose fat. Most Americans do not eat enough of the essential fatty acids. The omega 3s actually help in lowering your cholesterol and triglycerides so you should eat more raw nuts, avocados, fish, seeds, and flaxseed meal. The causes of high triglycerides have to do with poor food choices. Eat low glycemically and  do not eat sweets with your fats.

     Too often the experts are influenced by the producers of refined food products, the food processing industry.

      This is an industry that gave us soft drinks, bleached, white flour and hydrogenated margarines, harmful preservatives, flavorings and coloring agents!

       In 1980 a study was done that showed that almost half the leading officials at the FDA had previously worked for organizations the FDA is mandated to regulate.

    There was a study conducted at Purdue University in which the researchers found that the amount of fat absorbed from sugar sweetened foods and drinks was 38% to 60% more than the unsweetened food and drink. It was the combination of the sweets WITH fat that triggered increased triglycerides and fat storage.*

     When considering the causes of high triglycerides it's important to think about what they have to do with insulin resistance. There are studies that have been done that show a direct relationship between insulin resistance and high triglycerides. They are in fact an indicator, along with a fasting glucose test, that insulin resistance is present.

     Insulin resistance causes decreased insulin function throughout the body which means the additional fat turns into stored fat and the excess insulin turns into triglycerides and hyperinsulinemia. Hyperinsulinemia is an increase in blood insulin which is toxic and leads to diabetes mellitus and heart disease. *

     When taste buds in the mouth sense high intensity sweetness it can cause insulin stimulation and explains why even non-caloric, highly sweet chemical or synthetic sweeteners trigger an insulin response.   If something tastes sweet don’t eat it is the safest strategy for someone who is borderline insulin resistant.   When your blood insulin is high you will experience increased hunger pangs and a strong desire for food, mainly sweet foods or salty crunchy foods.    Hence, the addictive nature of these foods.   When combined with fats in one meal you have one of the main causes of high triglycerides.

     Elevated triglycerides in the blood have been positively linked to proneness to heart disease, but these triglycerides do NOT come from dietary fats; they are made in the liver from any excess sugars that have not been used for energy.

     The source of these excess sugars is any food containing carbohydrates, the high glycemic carbs, particularly refined sugar and white flour.

     When you read that what causes high triglycerides is obesity, low thyroid function or diabetes, consider what causes these conditions!    It's a diet high in sugar and low in other nutrients needed for proper endocrine function and normal weight that gives rise to all of these conditions.   When sugar is combined with fat at any given meal it results in high triglycerides.

     Lifetime Fat Loss is your guide to eating low glycemically and living at your optimal goal weight in a healthful way.

     If you are concerned about your inability to lose weight and keep it off, take advantage of an HOUR long weight management consultation with a certified weight management advisor. You will get an assessment of your specific weight management problems and given written, individualized recommendations for an aggressive, comprehensive, Lifetime Fat Loss Low Glycemic Plan. It even comes with 3 months of coaching to ensure that you incorporate all the recommendations!


* Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1999;18.

* Dr. R. Mattes, professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University 1999.

* The Complete Guide to Fat-Storing Carbohydrates, 2001, The Glycemic Research Institute;30.

Return from Causes of High Triglycerides to Insulin Resistance.

Return from Causes of High Triglycerides to Lifetime Fat Loss home page.

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.
Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Scanner

Like Lifetime Fat Loss? Please tell a friend!

Subscribe to our Free monthly newsletter, "Nothing to Lose But Fat!"

  Learn the latest tips for losing fat, get recipes to balance your blood sugar and find out how so many others are losing weight permanently!

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Nothing To Lose But Fat!.

Archived Newsletters

April 17, 2014  "At Last...Healthy Snack Foods" - issue 029

December 22, 2013 "Lose Weight During the Holidays?" - Issue 028

November 5, 2013 "Biggest Barrier to Losing Weight?" - Issue 027

September 2, 2013 "Fresh Peach Smoothie Recipe" - Issue 026

August 5, 2013 "Cold Gazpacho soup - A Perfect Summer Recipe!" - Issue 025

July 18, 2013 "Drinking Water to Lose Weight" - Issue 024

June 5, 2013 "Thai Coconut Chicken Soup, Are Saturated Fats Ok Now?" - Issue 023

May 9, 2013 "When Are Foods With a High Glycemic Index Ok?" - Issue 022

April 17, 2013 "Do Calories Count?" - Issue 021

March 28, 2013 "A Tabouli Recipe" - Issue 020

February 3, 2013 "Low Fat Fish Soup Recipe" - Issue 019

January 6, 2013 "Get Skinny With Detoxing!" - Issue #018

December 17, 2012 "What's For Christmas Dinner? - Issue #017

November 19, 2012 "Low Glycemic Breakfast Burrito" - Issue #016

October 26, 2012 "Juicing For Weight Loss" - Issue #015

September 30, 2012 "Healthy Munchies for the Low Glycemic Plan" - Issue #014