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What Is the Connection Between Triglycerides and Diabetes?

Many people with diabetes have elevated levels of triglycerides in their bloodstream.
Diabetics should have their triglycerides tested on a routine basis.
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  • Written By: Brandon May
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 31 July 2014
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Research has shown that there is certainly a connection between triglycerides and diabetes, and many of those who suffer from diabetes often have elevated triglycerides in the blood. Excess carbohydrates, usually in the form of sugars, seem to elevate triglyceride levels in the blood. Consuming too many sugars and refined carbohydrates also contribute to metabolic syndrome and diabetes, providing a link between triglycerides and diabetes. Reducing daily calories that come from refined carbohydrates, as well as incorporating a healthy exercise program, will effectively lower triglyceride levels as well as blood sugar and insulin levels associated with diabetes.

Triglycerides are harmful fats that accumulate in the blood. High levels of triglycerides are strongly associated with the risk of stroke and heart disease. Many health experts recommend a low-fat diet to reduce triglycerides, but this often raises carbohydrate consumption. There is some very compelling research showing that carbohydrates raise triglyceride levels more significantly than fat consumption, as carbohydrates raise insulin levels. Insulin inhibits the metabolism of triglycerides in the blood to be used for energy, so high insulin levels over time can contribute to the accumulation of triglycerides.

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When carbohydrates break down, they raise blood sugar and insulin. Over time cells can become insensitive to insulin through chronic carbohydrate consumption. This leads to the development of unregulated blood sugar control and later diabetes. Insulin has trouble penetrating energy inside the cell to help bring down blood sugar, and stays elevated for quite some time with those suffering from diabetes and pre-diabetes. Triglycerides and diabetes are connected more strongly in this example, as high insulin levels seem to be a factor in contributing to high triglyceride levels.

Triglycerides and diabetes seem to correlate with each other in that both deeply contributing to heart disease risk. They seem to be connected through the effects of insulin and blood sugar control. Those suffering from diabetes usually have risk factors for diabetes such as obesity, genetics, diet and lack of exercise. Limiting sugar intake and foods high in refined carbohydrates can decrease uncontrolled blood sugar which is associated with diabetes, but may also help reduce triglyceride levels as well, according to research.

Reducing triglycerides usually comes down to reducing insulin through diet and exercise. The best way to do this is to decrease the consumption of sugar and to engage in strenuous activity every day. These activities effectively lower blood sugar and insulin in most individuals, even if they are not suffering from diabetes. This will ensure preventing obesity as well as the risk for heart disease from high triglycerides levels.

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