5 Low-Cholesterol Snacks For Healthy Living
The fast-paced urban life involves too many things to do and leaves us with very less time to keep a check on our eating habits. There might be days where you skip a full-course meal and opt for a quick snack without checking its cholesterol value simply because you are late for work. These quick snacks intend to give you the energy that is nearly equivalent to a full-course meal, so the required energy comes from fats and carbohydrates. These snacks might lead you to develop health problems in the long run, like excess weight gain, heart disease, and diabetes.
The good news is that there are some healthier snack options to keep you energized throughout the day. These snacks are also known to help lower cholesterol levels and keep you healthy in the long run:
- Oatmeal or oat bran
One of the most sought-after snacking options that is both healthy and filling, oatmeal contains soluble fiber that reduces the absorption of Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the bloodstream. The lowering of bad cholesterol levels in the body helps in keeping heart diseases at bay. Adding fruits like apples, bananas, and berries to oatmeal will get you even more fiber.
- Almonds and other nuts
A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has concluded that almonds can lower LDL cholesterol levels and maintain High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. Consuming these high-fiber nuts on-the-go can keep you active and full between meals. You can also roast them and add your favorite herbs and black pepper to make them tastier.
Not all of you might cherish the idea of eating vegetables as snacks, but they are essential sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. To make vegetable-snacking easier, you can buy pre-cut vegetables or cut and refrigerate them in an airtight container the previous night. Adding your favorite low-carb salad dressing or hummus makes them tastier and filling. Eating them before meals will help you avoid unhealthy snacks and fast food that do not help to lower cholesterol.
This can be a smart snacking choice if you want all the fiber and HDL cholesterol in your daily diet. Popcorn, being a whole grain, has high-fiber content, which aids in digestion. It is also beneficial as it strips off excess LDL cholesterol from the walls of arteries and blood vessels. However, it is recommended that you avoid adding extra salt and butter as they can be counterproductive to the beneficial effects.
- Whole wheat bread
Need an easy snack on-the-go to help lower cholesterol? Whole wheat bread can satisfy your pre-meal cravings as it is high in fiber. While keeping you full, whole wheat bread also helps in regulating blood sugar and maintaining a healthy weight, along with lowering cholesterol levels. Add some cheddar or gouda cheese to treat yourself with calcium and gut-friendly probiotics, and of course, for the creamy taste.
Other changes in your lifestyle
Enjoying all the benefits of a low-cholesterol lifestyle require you to limit saturated fat and trans-fat from your diet. It is important to consult your dietician or a doctor to ensure that you are not allergic to a food item that you are including in your snack diet to help lower your cholesterol levels. Also adopting an active lifestyle by exercising while you keep track of your diet can help you lead a healthy life.