Did you know that according to the American Heart Association, 43 million women in America are affected by heart disease? Do you know what your risk factors are outside of obesity? This week I will take a look at some of the risk factors that are attributed to coronary heart disease and other cardiac risk factors that we can and should address.
First, have you had an annual physical examination in the past 12 months? If not, why not? As women/mothers we all get busy with jobs, helping our children with schoolwork and activities, and being involved in our community. But how many of these things can be accomplished if we are in the hospital stricken with heart disease? Make an appointment to see your physician today! While at the physician’s office request to have your triglycerides and cholesterol checked.
Why are triglycerides important in the recognition of cardiovascular disease precursors?
- Triglycerides are a unique marker that works in tandem with identified risk factors for heart disease, stroke and other chronic disease processes. This risk is doubled when an individual also has low HDL-cholesterol (this is the positive cholesterol) and elevated levels of LDL-cholesterol (this is the negative cholesterol) along with Type 2 diabetes risk factors.
- Even if you are tested and your triglyceride levels are normal, eating too many simple sugars (these are the refined grains, added sugars and alcohol intake) triglycerides will naturally compound and increase.
- Visceral obesity, that fat that lies deep inside your abdomen, referred to as the “muffin top” or “spare tire” near the waistline, can be a tale-tale sign of high levels of triglycerides. This is critical, as this visceral fat is strongly linked to insulin resistance and can be a pre-cursor to many risk factors including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.