When you go to your doctor to have your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked – and I hope that you do – you may find that your HDL and LDL levels are the main points of discussion.
If they’re in the “normal range”, you walk away feeling reassured about your risk for heart disease. But what you really need to know is your triglycerides to HDL ratio, which tells the rarely mentioned, but real story about your heart health.
Your triglycerides to HDL ratio is a major predictor of both heart disease and insulin resistance. In fact, a high ratio leaves you at a whopping 16x greater risk of heart disease!
What Are Triglycerides Anyway?
They are a type of fat, or lipid, in your blood. Your liver takes the fats, oils and sugars you eat and immediately converts them into triglycerides. These sticky particles act like glue, causing your red blood cells to clump and stick together. Your small capillaries then become blocked, leading to oxygen starvation of the tissues and organs served by these capillaries. Excess triglycerides are also the way in which your body stores fat in the connective tissues – usually right around your waistline.
It’s bad enough that our triglycerides and cholesterol levels increase naturally as we age, but they also weigh in heavily when it comes to heart disease risk. Unfortunately, the standard “good and bad” cholesterol tests most doctors have been routinely ordering for decades, simply do not give enough pertinent information about the state of your heart health. Ask your doctor for a more current state-of-the art cholesterol test called the NMR particle test, or NMR Lipo-Profile. This test will tell you not only how much HDL or LDL cholesterol you have in your blood, but what kind and how many of the particles may be damaging your heart.
You really want your triglycerides to HDL ratio to be around 2 or less (for example: 100 triglycerides to 50 HDL). You are at a significantly increased risk for heart disease if your ratio is 5, (for example: 200 triglycerides to 40 HDL). You can make a huge dent in your cardiovascular disease risk by just lowering your triglycerides – even if your HDL level remains the same.
Get On The Bandwagon
Thankfully, diet and lifestyle choices can make a HUGE difference towards lowering triglyceride levels. Lack of exercise, chronic stress, too much caffeine, nicotine use, and certain drugs such as diuretics wreak havoc on triglyceride and HDL levels. But following a healthy diet and lifestyle plan such as my New Fat Flush Plan or Radical Metabolism program can drop your cholesterol numbers, reduce unwanted belly fat and banish the effects of insulin resistance. I want your heart to beat long and strong and your triglyceride to HDL ratio to stay in a healthy range no matter your age!
Supplement With Super-EPA
One of the best ways to support a strong and healthy heart is to supplement with omega-3 rich fish oil. Since it’s almost impossible these days to get all of the omega-3s you need from diet alone, I recommend adding Super-EPA, from Uni Key Health to your daily regimen, at 2 soft gels daily. This molecularly distilled fish oil is packed with a pure, concentrated source of omega-3s with 480 mg of EPA and 240 mg of DHA in a perfect ratio. Great care has been taken to keep it safe from toxic levels of heavy metals, PCBs and dioxins. It’s also crucial for the health of your nervous system, brain development, vision, immunity and joints while helping protect your cardiovascular health.
For more leading-edge research into heart health, read my recent blog on Lp(a), The Little Known Cholesterol Test That Could Save Your Life and do check out my Podcast with Dr. Joseph Mercola.