Got high triglycerides (a bad form of cholesterol)? The culprit is likely consistently overeating or eating too much sugar, saturated fat, or refined carbohydrate, such as white bread.
You can naturally lower your triglycerides by making the following simple food swaps. They'll help you get your triglycerides under control and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Instead of: Bagel with cream cheese
Choose: Whole wheat English muffin with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
Why make the switch: The English muffin breakfast has fewer calories (helping you keep your weight in check). The peanut butter has good fats, which replace the bad fats you'd get from the cream cheese.
Instead of: Cheese omelet
Choose: Egg-white omelet with spinach, onions, peppers (or any vegetables you like), with or without one slice of whole wheat toast
Why make the switch: Skipping the yolks and the cheese lowers the saturated fat and the sodium in this breakfast.
Instead of: Sugar-frosted, honey-dipped, or chocolate cereal
Choose: 100-percent whole grain cereals, such as shredded wheat, Total, Kashi, or oatmeal; fat-free milk; and 1 tablespoon of chopped almonds
Why make the switch: Whole grain cereals help manage triglycerides and blood sugars.
Tip: Eating fewer carbohydrates in general and focusing on healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grain breads and brown rice, can help lower triglycerides by as much as 28 percent.
Instead of: Soda or fruit drinks
Choose: Flavored seltzers, diet sodas, fat-free milk or low-fat soymilk, tea
Why make the switch: Sweetened drinks contribute to weight gain, which can raise your triglyceride levels.
FYI: Women, if your waist measures 35 inches or more (or men, 40 inches or more), you are at risk for developing high triglycerides.
Instead of: Roast beef on rye with mayo
Choose: Turkey breast on whole grain bread with lettuce, tomato, and mustard
Why make the switch: Swapping sandwiches saves you 12 grams of fat and 214 calories, both significant factors in your triglyceride levels.
Instead of: Cookies
Choose: One handful of unsalted nuts (about 10-12 nuts) with a cup of tea, fat-free milk, or water
Why make the switch: Nuts are high in healthy fats and heart-healthy compounds like vitamin E and resveratrol.
Instead of: Potato chips
Choose: 10 Soy Crisps crackers or carrots with 2-3 tablespoons hummus
Why make the switch: Soy Crisps have heart-healthy fiber and are low in fat. Carrots and hummus have fiber and contain healthful beta-carotene.
Instead of: Spaghetti and meatballs
Choose: Whole grain pasta primavera with broccoli, onions, carrots, and peas lightly sauteed with garlic and olive oil
Why make the switch: Meatballs have saturated fat and sodium. Whole grains and vegetables add fiber and heart-healthy compounds.
Instead of: Cheese and beef burrito with refried beans
Choose: Vegetable burrito (whole wheat) with black beans (no lard or butter), 2 tablespoons of guacamole
Why make the switch: Cheese and beef are high in saturated fat. Lower the fat content by adding vegetables and beans. Guacamole comes from avocados, a heart-healthy food.