When you’re struggling with high cholesterol, you start to think more about everything you eat. Whether it’s a hamburger or a bowl of grapes, you wonder how the choice will impact your numbers. It’s usually tempting to skip snacks altogether, but a healthy snack can help to maintain your blood sugar, metabolism, and even cholesterol levels throughout the day. Here are some healthy snack ideas to get you started.
Almonds, walnuts, and even peanuts are great for your heart. Some studies have even shown nuts to slightly lower LDL cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends ¼ cup of nuts per day for heart health.
Vegetables are a fantastic source of essential minerals, vitamins, and fiber, which help lower LDL cholesterol. Although it might not be the first snack you reach for, you probably need more of them. Make veggie snacking easier by buying pre-cut vegetables or prepping some weekly. It’ll make snacking in the moment easier when you can just grab a handful of carrots to pair with hummus dip. Aim for 3 to 5 servings of vegetables per day (one serving is just half of a cup).
When you eat a smart serving size and avoid the butter and salt, popcorn can be low in calories. And it’s a whole grain that’s full of fiber. Air pop it at home and add some olive oil and a few seasonings or parmesan cheese for some extra flavor. Using olive oil in place of butter helps lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol.
If you’re looking for an easy way to improve your cholesterol, simply include a bowl of oatmeal in your daily diet. The soluble fiber in oatmeal helps to “soak up” cholesterol and move it through your body without it being absorbed. Whether you choose oatmeal for breakfast, or just a quick snack, it’s a good choice when you have high cholesterol.
Need an easy on-the-go snack? Grab a piece of fruit. Fruit can help to satisfy sugar cravings, and it’s a great snack when you have high cholesterol because it has high amounts of pectin, fiber, and potassium. Aim for 3 to 4 servings of fruit each day (one serving is just half of a cup).
Healthy snacks are often difficult to incorporate into your daily diet. But, choosing healthy snacks over higher fat or higher sugar snacks is important when you have a health concern like high cholesterol. The foods you eat can help to improve or maintain your cholesterol numbers. Just remember to plan ahead because most healthy snacks take a little bit of prep work.