Are Nonfasting Triglyceride Levels More Accurate Than Fasting Triglyceride Levels

What Is A Normal Non Fasting Triglyceride Level?

The average person’s blood triglyceride levels are between 140 mg/dL and 150 mg/dL. If you have a triglyceride level above 160 mg/dL, it means that your body is producing too much free fatty acids (FFA). These FFAs cause inflammation in the arteries. When this happens, the risk of heart attack or stroke increases dramatically.

How Does Not Fasting Affect Your Cholesterol Test Results?

There are two ways that fasting affects your cholesterol test results:

1) By lowering HDL cholesterol and increasing LDL cholesterol.

2) By raising total cholesterol and decreasing low density lipoprotein (LDL), which is the “good” cholesterol.

There are other factors besides fasting that may increase or decrease your lipid profile, but these two main ones will always be present when you take a lipid panel.

Fasting Increases Total Cholesterol And Decreases Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol Levels

When you fast, your liver produces less glucose. Glucose is needed for energy and to produce fat from protein. Without enough glucose, your body cannot use fat as fuel efficiently. You might think that if you don’t eat anything for several days, then your body will start burning stored body fat instead of storing it as excess body weight. Unfortunately, this does not happen because your body goes into starvation mode.

When the body becomes starved of food, it will store fat as an energy reserve. It also slows down the liver’s production of triglycerides which are a type of fat. The more fat you have in your diet, the less likely you are to lose weight or shed excess pounds. Fasting also lowers high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as the “good” cholesterol. HDL removes excess cholesterol from arterial walls and takes it to the liver where it is broken down and passed out of the body as part of your stool.

Your body’s response to food restrictions, such as fasting, is so dramatic that even a 3-day fast can decrease good cholesterol by 21 percent! This is enough to cause severe arterial plaque build up and begin the hardening of the arteries, which will lead to serious health conditions like heart disease.

Sources & references used in this article:

Nonfasting triglycerides and risk of myocardial infarction, ischemic heart disease, and death in men and women by BG Nordestgaard, M Benn, P Schnohr… – Jama, 2007 –

Genetically elevated non-fasting triglycerides and calculated remnant cholesterol as causal risk factors for myocardial infarction by AB Jørgensen, R Frikke-Schmidt, AS West… – European heart …, 2013 –

Clinical relevance of non-fasting and postprandial hypertriglyceridemia and remnant cholesterol by BG Nordestgaard, JJ Freiberg – Current vascular …, 2011 –

Non-Fasting Triglyceride Levels as a Superior Predictor of Cardiovascular Disease by H Chung, W Kim – Circulation Journal, 2020 –

Association of fasting and nonfasting serum triglycerides with cardiovascular disease and the role of remnant-like lipoproteins and small dense LDL by AFH Stalenhoef, J de Graaf – Current opinion in lipidology, 2008 –

Relation of triglyceride levels, fasting and nonfasting, to fatal and nonfatal coronary heart disease by LE Eberly, J Stamler, JD Neaton – Archives of Internal Medicine, 2003 –

Fasting versus nonfasting and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol accuracy by V Sathiyakumar, J Park, A Golozar, M Lazo, R Quispe… – Circulation, 2018 – Am Heart Assoc

Postprandial accumulation of chylomicrons and chylomicron remnants is determined by the clearance capacity by M Adiels, N Matikainen, J Westerbacka, S Söderlund… – Atherosclerosis, 2012 – Elsevier