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Holiday Foods That Increase the Risk of Heart Palpitations

holiday foods that cause heart palpitations

Heart palpitations are never fun. They can not only stop you in the middle of the holiday celebration, but they can also make other people stop and take notice when you are clutching your chest and looking anxious. You have to explain that your heart palpitations might not be anything to worry about (although they might be, too – check with your cardiologist to see).

If you want to avoid a scene at this year’s holiday celebrations, it’s best to avoid foods that can trigger your heart palpitations. Here are some common foods people consume during the holidays that can cause heart palpitations.

Holiday Coffee Drinks

Around the holidays, many coffee shops, whether they’re local bakeries or international chains, offer unique holiday coffees. These taste so good that people seek them out in addition to other caffeine consumption, which can lead you to consume too much caffeine. This can trigger heart palpitations.

Note that some coffee beverages sold as a single serving can contain more than what is considered a safe amount of caffeine to drink in a day.

Holiday Cocktails

Wherever you go, it always seems that someone is pouring. If you hit multiple parties on a single day, you’ll probably be offered drinks at each one. So, it’s no wonder that alcohol is another common source of heart palpitations that people often consume more of during the holiday season. Many people who don’t drink much all year let themselves indulge a little bit over the holidays. This can lead to heart palpitations.

This phenomenon is so common that cardiologists have a name for it: holiday heart syndrome.

Candy and Holiday Desserts

holiday desserts causing heart palpitationsIt’s hard to resist all the tempting desserts people bring to holiday parties. The odds are good that you have several favorites you look forward to every year and want to make sure you enjoy them. Unfortunately, consuming a lot of sugar can also lead to spikes in blood pressure and heart palpitations.

Spikes from eating sugar are worse if you’ve been fasting and suddenly consume foods high in sugar and other carbs. We understand the temptation to try to fast so you can enjoy more of the special holiday meals but believe us: it’s best to keep eating at least a little bit of healthy food all day long. Whatever you do, don’t simply stand by the candy tray all day.

The Snack Tray

You might think, “If I can’t just snack on candy, I’ll head to the snack platter and have some cheese, salami, and pickles.” While that’s a better choice from the standpoint of avoiding sugar and carbs – as long as you aren’t eating too many crackers at the same time – it might trigger palpitations.

That’s because many of the food items you find on a typical holiday platter contain high levels of tyramine. Tyramine is a hormone that your body uses to control blood pressure. When you consume foods high in tyramine, it can cause blood pressure to spike. Foods high in tyramine include smoked and processed meats like salami and pepperoni, aged cheeses, and pickles.

If you are looking for a place to snack that won’t increase your risk of heart palpitations, stick to the veggie tray.

Let South Denver Cardiology Associates Help with Heart Palpitations

If you are experiencing heart palpitations regularly, it’s essential to talk to a cardiologist. Heart palpitations can develop into dangerous arrhythmias if you aren’t taking good care of yourself.

Here at South Denver Cardiology, we know that lifestyle changes are a great way to preserve your heart health before it leads to serious threats. We also offer diagnostic testing so you can understand the true health of your heart—no need to guess about whether it’s a good idea to have that grande peppermint mocha.

To talk to a cardiologist at South Denver Cardiology, please call 303-744-1065 or use our online form to request an appointment at our central location or one of our satellite locations.



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