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 or other nut butter
Why make the switch: The English muffin breakfast has fewer calories (helping you keep your weight in check). The nut 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. And adding veggies is always a good choice when it comes to your health.
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,fat-free milk or low-fat soymilk, unsweetened tea
Why make the switch: Sweetened drinks contribute to weight gain, which can raise your triglyceride levels. Now that America is aware of the risks of sugary drinks, the beverage aisle has more options than ever for sparkling waters, and other unsweetened (or lightly sweetened) drinks.
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. Bonus, they pack a punch of protein to keep you feeling full longer than a sugary snack.
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. For a protein boost you can add beans, salmon, or other heart-smart protein sources.
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, and still offers the yummy creamy texture of refried beans or other fat-laden spreads.