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The Difference Between Triglycerides and Blood Sugar

by
author image Sarah Currie
Sarah Currie is a New York City-based dietitian, personal trainer and triathlon coach. Currie has been writing health and fitness-related articles since 2006 for Physical Equilibrium LLC, a New York City-based personal training company. Currie holds a Master of Science in nutrition from New York University and is certified through National Academy of Sports Medicine and USA Triathlon.
The Difference Between Triglycerides and Blood Sugar
A doctor is testing the blood sugar of a patient. Photo Credit jarun011/iStock/Getty Images

Triglycerides are the major storage form of body fat while blood sugar is the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. Glucose is the simplest form of carbohydrate and is a monosaccharide, also referred to as a simple sugar.

Structure

Triglycerides, also called triacylglycerols, are comprised of a glycerol backbone with three fatty acids attached.

Diet

Nearly 95 percent of dietary fat comes from triglycerides. They are a highly concentrated form of energy and are important in transferring that energy from food to cells.

Heart Health

Like cholesterol, triglycerides are another type of fat in the blood which can be checked to measure risk of developing heart disease. Ideally, triglycerides should measure less than 150 mg/dL in the blood.

Blood Sugar

Carbohydrates are broken down into sugar in the blood. Unless you are glucose intolerant or have been diagnosed with diabetes, you don’t need to regularly monitor your blood sugar. It is important to maintain blood sugar levels however by eating regularly spaced meals throughout the day.

Carbohydrate/Triglyceride connection

Eating too many refined carbohydrates, simple sugars, or drinking too much alcohol can increase blood levels of triglycerides.

Lowering Triglycerides

It is recommended to maintain a healthy weight, exercise, and cut back on simple carbohydrates and alcohol. Eating a diet low in both saturated and trans fats and high in fiber is also beneficial.

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