Harvard Heart Letter

The lesser-known fat in your blood

Triglycerides, the most common type of fat in the blood, may play a bigger role in heart disease than previously thought. Experts long assumed that a low level of “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL) was a culprit in the artery-clogging process at the root of most heart disease. But most people with low HDL also have high triglycerides. Genetic and other studies suggest that the true causal factor in atherosclerosis is high triglycerides rather than low HDL. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss, exercise, and smart food choices can lower high triglycerides. 
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