For those who suffer from high cholesterol, every bite counts. And, putting together a low cholesterol diet can be pretty challenging. Some people with high cholesterol think that cutting out snacks from your regular everyday diet is one way to go, but that’s not true.
Doctors say that those who suffer from high cholesterol must eat at regular intervals. Ideally, a person with high cholesterol should consume 5 small meals a day. Eating at intervals normalizes your blood sugar levels and keeps your metabolism moving throughout the day.
However, the problem faced by most people is that they don’t find foods that lower cholesterol to snack on. That’s why we have come to the rescue. Snacking is a great way to include foods that lower cholesterol in your diet. And just because you can’t reach out to those greasy packaged chips, doesn’t mean you can’t have healthy and nutritious snacks.
Believe us when we say that you aren’t stuck with tasteless choices. In this article, we have compiled a list of the best cholesterol lowering snacks that you can include in your diet. Read on!
7 best cholesterol-lowering snacks
Here are some incredibly tasty and healthy options for cholesterol-lowering snacks to include in your low LDL diet.
- Fiber-Rich Oatmeal
A simple first step towards a low cholesterol diet is eating a fulfilling bowl of fiber-rich oatmeal. It is wrong to think about oatmeal as just a breakfast food. You can eat it any time of the day as it is one of the best cholesterol lowering snacks out there. A bowl of oatmeal gives you one to two grams of soluble fiber that can soak up cholesterol and help it move through the digestive tract without being absorbed into the body.
Besides, oatmeal has fiber that links with bile acids that help in excretion. This forces your liver to make more bile and subsequently lowers cholesterol. Thus, a nutritious bowl of oatmeal is one of the best foods that lower cholesterol.
- Bean-filled veggie soup
Even though the soup isn’t anybody’s first choice when it comes to snacking, but it can be a satisfying pick-me-up snack. The best thing? It is easy to put together, one of the essential foods that lower cholesterol and is low in saturated fats. A bean-filled veggie soup can be a great cholesterol-lowering snack option. The beans have soluble fiber and protein that will keep you full and the veggies provide essential vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy phytonutrients. Besides, they are also low in calories.
You should gravitate towards beans like kidney beans, lentils, garbanzos, and black-eyed peas, etc.
The best thing to do is to prepare your bean-filled soup at home. There are hundreds of recipes available on youtube. But, if you don’t have the luxury, you can go to the market and look for low-sodium versions of vegetable soups.
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- Homemade Potato Chips
People usually tend to think that potato chips are off-limits when it comes to low cholesterol foods. But, homemade potato chips are one of the best foods that lower cholesterol, and they’re absolutely safe to eat if you suffer from high cholesterol. However, you should avoid the traditional greasy and store-bought potato chips, especially the ones that are fried. Potatoes are low in calories and filled with potassium. They can help to control blood sugar.
You should stick to the baked version of potato chips or it will be best if you prepare them at home. Although time-consuming, the recipe for homemade potato chips is really simple. Before popping them in the oven, season them lightly with herbs like rosemary, thyme, basil, and some virgin olive oil.
Most studies concerning foods that lower cholesterol has shown that eating nuts like walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and others are good for the heart. Research has proved that switching artery-clogging unhealthy saturated fat with healthful, monounsaturated fat-rich almonds not only lowers LDL or the bad cholesterol but can also be an ideal strategy for preventing LDL from oxidizing. Even though nuts are one of the best cholesterol lowering snacks, remember that they are high in calories. So, stick to a single serving.
- Whole fruits like apple, grapes, citrus, and strawberries
Citrus fruits and other fruits like apples, strawberries, and grapes are pectin and potassium filled foods that lower cholesterol. Thus, they make for some of the best cholesterol-lowering snacks to eat.
Next time you are craving something sweet on a low cholesterol diet, instead of reaching out to a candy bar, satisfy that sugar craving with some good old fruits. Fruits are rich in pectin and pectin is a type of fiber that is known to decrease your high LDL levels. They are easy to grab on the go and are very nutritious. Clementines also make for a good choice as they too are filled with potassium and help to lower blood pressure.
Did you know that the world’s favorite snack popcorn is actually one of the best cholesterol lowering snacks? Popcorn provides fiber and whole grains. Both popcorn and corn are considered whole grains. That means, they’re high in fiber and can significantly lower your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association has regarded popcorn as a good snack in the list of foods that lower cholesterol. They are also low-calorie so you don’t have to worry about putting on weight. Microwave your popcorn kernels, and instead of adding the butter and salt, go for olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh parmesan cheese.
- Fatty Fish
Last but not the least, we have fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout, herring, etc. Eating fish two or three times a week can lower LDL levels. By choosing to eat fish, you’re cutting down on the unhealthy meats and getting enough omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are known to reduce the number of triglycerides in your bloodstream and also protect the heart by helping to prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.
These were all the best cholesterol-lowering snacks that you can consume when on a low LDL diet. However, remember that water is as important as food when it comes to high cholesterol. Therefore, keep yourself hydrated and moving.