I’ve been discussing the production of triglycerides in the liver as one of the ways our body handles excess sugar in the diet. It’s simply aIMG_20141117_092215 way to store energy and lower potentially toxic sugar levels. So, what goes wrong with this process and why are high triglyceride levels such a serious warning sign?

When our bodies are healthy and active, we can eat a high carb meal and burn some of the sugar for energy, store some in the liver and muscles as glycogen and produce fat from the remainder. This fat can also be utilized for energy or can be stored for use in the near future. The pancreas secretes just the right amount of insulin to help with these processes. Sugar, insulin and triglycerides are all at normal, heathy levels. Our bodies are working as designed.

When exposed to the typical modern diet of high carb processed foods and sweetened beverages, our bodies become sugar overloaded. The pancreas diligently secretes insulin to bring down these sugar levels. Our cells, having had enough sugar, resist the attempts of insulin to introduce more sugar. This is called insulin resistance. Glycogen storage depots are full, so large amounts of sugar must be converted to triglycerides – way more than the body can burn or quickly store. We now have a situation where sugar levels are slightly high, insulin levels are high and triglycerides are slightly to extremely high. A perfect storm is brewing in which all of the fine-tuned metabolic machinery in our body is awry! Numerous mechanisms are now triggered to cause damage to blood vessels leading to heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and more. Will explain more about all of this on Wednesday.