Gluten-free, dairy-intolerant, peanut allergies - you always need to think about your guests' dietary requirements when organising the food for a special event, so why not include some options for those who may be watching their blood pressure and following a low-cholesterol diet at your wedding?
Choosing your wedding menu
"I see no reason why you can't make the whole wedding breakfast a healthy one for everyone - you're celebrating love at a wedding, so surely it's important to look after the heart?!" says nutritional therapist and food writer, Joy Skipper.
"For cholesterol-friendly choices, go for good protein and healthy fats with plenty of vitamin- and mineral-rich vegetables. Guacamole and hummus with vegetable crudités would work well for canapés, or try prawns with Thai spices, served in little gem leaves: think, fresh, light and colourful. Heart-healthy poached salmon with vegetables and pesto dressing would be great for a main meal, and a dish like marinated tofu for vegetarians and vegans."
Ask your wedding caterers
"Wedding catering has come on in leaps and bounds," says Jules Kane from Crucial Food, who have catered for many different dietary requests at weddings and events. "People don't expect high-fat main courses and desserts any more. Clients are far more experimental with the food they choose for their guests too - many couples now opt for fat-free options or something like a massive paella rather than individual dishes."
Kane says we're all much more aware of unsaturated fats and healthy eating today, so wedding menus tend to reflect that shift, featuring low-fat, reduced-cholesterol and Mediterranean-inspired dishes.
"If you're really worried about guests with specific dietary needs, just ask your caterer; we're always happy to help," she says. "And if the bride or groom has concerns over cholesterol levels, why not make the whole wedding meal low-cholesterol so everyone eats the same? Healthy food can be absolutely delicious."
What about the wedding cake?
It's your special day, so have a wedding cake if you want one - your guests can choose whether they have a piece or not. You could also ask your caterer to look at a low-fat, gluten-free cake recipe, so everyone can indulge a little.
If you don't want a traditional three-tiered cake, a tower of mini cupcakes looks great and works well for guests watching their fat intake too. Another option is fruit kebabs or a light, fruit-based dessert for those who don't want to overdo it.
If you're a wedding guest
Plan the day so you can avoid any high-cholesterol pitfalls, advises Heart UK dietetic advisor Linda Main. "Make informed choices from the food on offer - this might be as simple as not eating the pudding, or asking for a piece of fruit as a replacement," she says.
Talk to the bride and groom about any cholesterol concerns before the big day, so they can make arrangements with the caterers well in advance. If you find out what's on offer, you can work out how it can be modified without causing any fuss on the day itself.
Other strategies include
- Decide your daily calorie limit in advance - and stick to it.
- Compensate by eating less before the wedding breakfast or afterwards.
- Eat more of the fruits and vegetables and less of the meat.
- Skip a course - entrées, starter or dessert.
- Limit alcohol and sugary drinks.
- Burn off some of that food on the dance floor afterwards.
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