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Heart disease, one of the leading causes of death, is associated with elevated cholesterol levels in the blood.
A healthy diet is one of the best ways to tackle high cholesterol. It lowers cholesterol and gives you all the nutrients your body needs daily.
Fiber is a key component of a healthy diet to reduce cholesterol levels. So, when you’re hungry, try to find something that contains fiber. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat meats like chicken or fish, and plenty of healthy fats, usually found in nuts and seeds, are good options for your heart.
Healthy snacks are those that have little or no cholesterol and saturated fats.
Saturated fats are often considered unhealthy, given their correlation with high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood. However, even if a food contains some saturated fats, you can still enjoy them in moderation, ideally not consuming more than 6% of your daily caloric intake. For someone consuming 2,000 calories daily, that equates to about 15 grams of saturated fats.
Below are some good foods to eat to keep your cholesterol in check.
Nuts, like walnuts and peanuts, are nutrient-dense and have plenty of unsaturated fats, also known as “good fats.” Many studies¹ have found that consuming nuts lowers your cholesterol levels while providing the energy you need to go about your day.
Vegetable oils generally contain more unsaturated than saturated fats and are good foods to fight against high cholesterol.
When trying to lower cholesterol, one of the goals is to improve lipid profile — the amount of different fat and cholesterol types in your blood. Oats and oatmeal help lower cholesterol and improve your lipid profile, partially because of their fiber content.
Fruits are a great snack to satisfy your sweet tooth and support healthy cholesterol levels. Fruits also have high levels of fiber which helps keep your cholesterol within a healthy range.
Whole-grain toast with avocado on top is a tasty and healthy snack. Avocado is a great source of unsaturated fats, which have been shown to reduce² LDL cholesterol. In turn, the whole grains provide plenty of fiber to help your body naturally manage cholesterol levels.
Tuna is a great way to get your protein in without the unhealthy saturated fats of red meats and dairy products. The nori contains fiber, which helps control cholesterol but also tastes great.
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fats, commonly known as healthy fats. Healthy omega-3 fats also contribute to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.
Oats and oatmeal help lower cholesterol because of their fiber content. There are plenty of different recipes for oatmeal-based snacks so take some time to find something to your liking.
The unsaturated fats in avocado and the fiber in vegetables will provide a double hit of cholesterol control.
Legumes, like chickpeas, are an excellent way to consume healthy fats and fill you up simultaneously. Try different mixes of spices before roasting your chickpeas to find something you enjoy.
Common flavorings include curry powder, lemon zest, black pepper, and paprika.
Edamame, also known as soybeans, is a tasty legume that will help you keep your cholesterol levels under control.
You can make your trail mix at home using whatever nuts, seeds, or dried fruits you like to eat. The fiber and healthy fats will keep your gut happy and your cholesterol at the right level.
Fresh slices of apple with creamy nut butter of your choice are always a tasty snack. On top of tasting good, the combo of healthy fruit sugars, fiber, and fats will contribute to healthy cholesterol levels, keeping you fit and happy.
Sometimes we don’t have the time or energy to make our healthy snacks. But don’t worry, some healthy pre-packaged food can help you out.
Below is a short list of healthy snacks you can eat to keep you up and feel great.
Beanitos Black Bean Chips
The Good Bean Crispy Fava Peas
Trader Joe's Crispy Crunchy Okra
Black Jewell Simply Sea Salt Popcorn
Flackers Flax Crackers
A healthy diet is one of the best ways to fight high cholesterol. Making smart choices will minimize your risk of raising your cholesterol levels while keeping your stomach full.
Consuming healthy fats and fiber and avoiding unhealthy fats should be the goal. Healthy fats are found in fruits, vegetables, legumes like chickpeas, and lean meats like poultry and fish.
You might also consider eating fiber since it has been found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels. Fiber can be found in fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
Snacking doesn't have to be unhealthy. You can still enjoy delicious snacks while keeping your cholesterol levels in control.
The top 10 causes of death | World Health Organization
Prevention and treatment of high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia) | Heart Attack and Stroke Symptoms