If your doctor has been warning you about your high triglyceride levels, the impending holiday season might start to seem like a minefield of candy bowls and potluck mystery dishes. According to the Mayo Clinic, triglyceride levels are a good indicator of overall heart health. This type of fat can be found in your blood (which is why your doctor needs to draw blood for regular health checks). They play a big role in storing those extra calories you might consume for use by your body at a later time to use up. Because of this, high triglyceride levels are a useful sign that you’re eating more calories than your body can use, which can lead to a variety of health problems.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with Halloween just around the corner, all is not lost! The Mayo Clinic has a few fairly easy recommendations to help you cut back on overeating — and hopefully cut down on those triglyceride numbers. It’s a good idea to avoid the highly refined sugary foods, especially drinks. Choosing monounsaturated fat, like that found in olive, peanut and canola oils, can also help. Alcohol is going to be ever-present at many of these parties, but it’s not only highly caloric in many cases, it can also limit your ability to make good food decisions. If you have children, taking them out trick-or-treating could actually be helpful too! A nice walk, especially after dinner, can help lower triglyceride levels.
Much of the healthy holiday cheer is about making smart swaps for your favorite foods. The Cleveland Clinic lists some common diet substitutions for people with high triglyceride levels. Let’s see how they can be used to keep you feeling satisfied this holiday season!
Whole Grains for Baking
If you’re baking pumpkin loaves or other holiday treats, consider swapping out the refined white flour for its whole wheat cousin. There are tons of recipes out there for lower sugar versions of the classics, but if you have a family recipe you could just start by substituting half the original amount.
Whole Fruit vs Fruit-Flavored
If you find yourself reaching for the fruit-flavored candy or treats this Halloween, consider grabbing the real thing instead. The sweetness of ripe fruit is perfect for that candy craving, but it also offers health benefits like vitamins and fiber for fullness. The same goes for fruit juices, too. Chewing your fruit is often much more satisfying than drinking it! If the fruit has been dried, keep an eye on serving sizes since it’s easy to accidentally overeat when the water content has been removed.
Stock Up on Good Fats
We mentioned earlier that you should incorporate more monounsaturated fats into your diet to help lower triglyceride levels. Replacing trans fats with those plant-based options high in omega-3s is probably the easiest substitution you’ll find!
Remember, you don’t have to give up on your health or sit out on the festivities this Halloween. With some simple lifestyle changes, you can have fun while keeping your triglyceride levels in check!