Mardi Gras is a time of great fun and revelry for citizens of Louisiana – in fact, it’s the only state that declares Mardi Gras a legal holiday! The celebration calls for eating, drinking, dancing – sometimes all three at the same time!
But when you’re indulging in all that festive food, it can be easy to forget about your health. That’s why we’ve put together some tips to make sure you have a heart-healthy Mardi Gras. So, if you’re looking forward to celebrating Fat Tuesday without worrying about negative effects on your health, read on!
What’s Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday”, is a holiday celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, the last day to indulge before the start of Lent. The first American Mardi Gras was held on March 3, 1699, after French explorers landed near present-day New Orleans. After celebrating their arrival, they dubbed the spot Pont de Mardi Gras. These days, it’s celebrated with parades, parties, costumes, and lots of food and drink.
Tips to Stay Heart-Healthy During Mardi Gras
Indulge with caution
Mardi Gras is an exciting and indulgent time of year, full of delicious food like muffuletta, jambalaya, and king cake – however, if you have heart problems, it’s important to remember to eat with caution! Most traditional Mardi Gras dishes are loaded with salt for flavor, fat for richness, and sugar for sweetness. Eating too much of these items can increase your sodium levels and put added strain on your heart.
Weakened hearts can make it difficult for your body to regulate fluid. When eating foods that contain excess salt, the body will retain more fluids. This can cause swelling of the legs, called edema. The extra fluid can also begin building up in your lungs, called pulmonary edema, which can cause shortness of breath. With just a bit of caution, you can still enjoy all the excitement of Mardi Gras but in a way that is safe for your body.
Avoid drinking too much alcohol
With Mardi Gras season in full swing, the urge to join in on the festivities can be tempting! While it can certainly be tempting to indulge in the festivities and have a few drinks, those with heart issues should avoid having too much alcohol during Mardi Gras.
Instead, focus energy on having fun with friends and exploring the vibrant Mardi Gras culture. Consider opting for non-alcoholic beverages like colorful Mardi Gras mocktails. With all the excitement Mardi Gras brings, it’s easy to forget that your health comes first!
Don’t skip the medicine
Mardi Gras is a time of celebration and joy, with parades full of elated laughter and people dancing in the streets. If you have to take medications for heart-related issues such as high blood pressure, however, don’t forget to bring your prescription with you while you’re enjoying the festivities. Though Mardi Gras should be fun, it can easily become overwhelming if you don’t take care of yourself and your health by staying on top of your needed medications. That way, you’ll be able to get up and back out in the Mardi Gras crowds in no time!
Read also: Valentine’s Day Heart Health
Mardi Gras is a time for joy, but it’s also important to be mindful of your heart health. With so many events and parties happening, it’s easy to let your healthy habits slide. But there are plenty of ways to enjoy all the festivities while still keeping your heart healthy. By following these simple tips, you can have a fun and safe Mardi Gras season. And if you do find yourself in need of a heart doctor near you in Lafayette, LA, Dr. Corwin A. Thomas is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help keep your heart healthy and happy during Mardi Gras and all year long!