Most people get tested for cholesterol and end up confusing triglyceride levels with cholesterol. It is important to know the difference between triglycerides and cholesterol since it can give you a better understanding of your own body. Since many are unaware of what triglycerides are let us first take a look at it.
Do you wonder what happens to your food when you eat? The answer is that a part of the food is broken down to provide your body with the energy it needs to function. But the fats that are not used up by the body is converted in triglycerides immediately. This is then saved up in our bodies. Since our pre historic ancestors barely got any food, this was a survival mechanism that our bodies adapted to survive. Today we do not have to spends days on end without food hence we do not require reserves of fat. So if we eat a lot of carbohydrate and fat rich food frequently and at the same time if we do not give our body sufficient physical work, then the triglyceride level in our body rises. The excess of triglyceride in our body is known as hypertriglyceridemia.
When you get tested for cholesterol, you get your lipid profile tested which also gives your triglyceride levels. Here are the ranges of triglyceride levels:
- If your triglyceride is less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or less than 1.7 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) then your triglyceride level is normal.
- If it ranges from 150 to 199 mg/dL or from 1.8 to 2.2 mmol/L, then it is borderline.
- If the measurement ranges from 200 to 499 mg/dL or from 2.3 to 5.6 mmol/L, then it is high.
- If the tests show triglyceride levels exceed 500 mg/dL or 5.7 mmol/L, then it is alarmingly high.
As per the American Health Association the optimal triglyceride level is 100 mg/dL or 1.1 mmol/L and lower. A healthy lifestyle can ensure that your triglyceride levels are optimal. If you have high triglyceride readings then you need to find ways of lowering it, this reduces the chance of health problems like cardiac arrests. So, maintaining the optimal triglyceride label can help you have a longer and healthier life.
Difference between triglyceride and cholesterol
There are various kinds of lipids that are there in our blood. Lipids are insoluble in water hence are carried by our blood. Both cholesterol and triglyceride are kinds of lipids that are found in our blood. They both differ when it comes to their chemical composition. But apart from the chemical composition we see that triglycerides and cholesterol are differing in other aspects. As we have seen before, triglycerides are the fats that our body saves up for future use. Cholesterol is the cell building and hormone making lipid. It is waxy and fatty and there are both good and bad cholesterol. So we see that both the kinds of lipids have different functions and effects on our body. Yet both the lipids are similar in many ways and the excess of both can be fatal.