High Cholesterol? Here are Some Great Snacks
When you are struggling with high cholesterol, every bite counts, and this includes the snacks you consume in between meals. Many people think that cutting out snacks will help – it might be very tempting to skip snacks altogether – but in reality, eating at regular intervals is very important for keeping your metabolism moving and stabilizing your body’s blood sugar levels.
Physicians Premier, your Austin emergency room, shares some heart-healthy snack ideas that will help:
Nuts are a great example of nutrient-dense food. Many studies reveal that eating nuts like walnuts, almonds, and peanuts is good for the heart. There are even studies that suggest that eating two ounces of nuts per day can lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol. (1)
A word of caution: nuts are high in calories. For heart health, the American Heart Association suggests consuming ¼ cups of nuts daily.
You can eat oatmeal at any time of the day. Don’t think of it as a breakfast-only food. Oatmeal is a fiber-rich food that absorbs cholesterol and helps it travel through the digestive system without it being absorbed in the body. If you have high cholesterol, oatmeal is a great choice not only for breakfast, but also for a quick snack.
Rich in potassium, fiber, and pectin, fruits are a simple go-to snack. Aim to consume at least 3 servings of fruit daily. Strawberries, apples, citrus fruits, and grapes all have high pectin levels, which can lower your LDL levels.
Instead of reaching for that candy bar, go for popcorn. Just be sure to ditch the “movie theater” popcorn laden with salt and butter. Popcorn is a whole grain food that is rich in fiber. In fact, popcorn has more fiber and grain content than brown rice and whole wheat. Add some parmesan cheese, olive oil (in place of butter), air pop it at home, and you’re all set!
5. Homemade potato chips
Surprised? We are not referring to the traditionally-made salt- and grease-covered snack. Potatoes themselves are high in fiber, rich in potassium, and low in calories, all good for keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol in check. Prepare your snack at home, and stick to the baked version. You may choose to dress them up with herbs like rosemary and heart-healthy olive oil before putting them in the oven.
If you are looking to improve your health through lowering your cholesterol levels, incorporate these healthy snacks into your everyday diet. Remember that the foods you eat have a huge impact in helping improve and maintain your numbers.
Lowering and maintaining your cholesterol levels decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease (2). Need more heart-healthy advice? Feel free to reach out to us at Physicians Premier, your Austin emergency room.
(1) “11 Foods That Lower Cholesterol.” Harvard Health Publishing, https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/11-foods-that-lower-cholesterol.
(2) “Your Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol with TLC.” National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Dec. 2005, https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/chol_tlc.pdf.
(3) “Eating for Lower Cholesterol.” Heart UK, https://www.heartuk.org.uk/low-cholesterol-foods/choose-low-cholesterol-foods.