Cholesterol isn’t the crystal ball it’s been made out to be, says a recent study in the International Journal of Cardiology. Rather, triglyceride levels may be the best predictor of hearth-disease risk in young, healthy men.
Researchers analyzed 2,500 people’s blood samples, then tracked their health for the next 13 years. Men with high triglycerides were nearly 1.5 times more likely to develop heart disease than those with low levels, regardless of their cholesterol scores. “Triglycerides gauge the number of small, dense LDL particles in the blood, which are readily absorbed by the arterial walls,” says lead study author Altan Onat, M.D. If your triglycerides are above 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl), hit the gym; lifting weights 3 days a week can lower triglycerides by 20 percent.
Men’s Health June 2012