High cholesterol has become a common problem with eating habits and modern-day lifestyles. According to PubMed, high levels of cholesterol increase the chances of heart disease, the leading cause of death worldwide.
Our diet must consist of fiber and heart-healthy fats that can help maintain cholesterol levels. Few foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and fish can help the body stay within a healthy range. But you should know that high fiber intake can reduce your cholesterol levels by up to 10% (US NIH).
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting the intake of saturated fats from foods like meat and dairy if you also suffer from high cholesterol problems.
Today we have a list of snacks you can enjoy in between meals that will be tasty yet healthy enough to maintain cholesterol levels.
Avocado on a Toast
According to Healthline, avocado is rich in unsaturated fats that are responsible for lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol. Each half of an avocado contains nearly 5 grams of fiber. You can eat it with a whole-grain toast to make sure you have more fiber.
You just need to toast your favourite whole grain bread and top it with the thinly sliced avocado, you can add a few drops of lemon juice or sprinkle fresh herbs for that extra flavour.
Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, have always been on a list of healthy foods and snacks for any health condition. They are versatile, tasty legumes, loaded with fiber, and plant protein. You can enjoy them after roasting to make them crunchy and perfect for snacking.
You can spread the chickpeas evenly on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle salt and toss it with olive oil and roast them at 400° F (205°C) for about 30 minutes until they become crispy. You can later add spices and black pepper for flavor.
Half a cup (92 grams) of roasted chickpeas provides 8 grams of fat, no cholesterol, and 6 grams of fiber.
Edamame beans are immature soybeans that are convenient, heart-healthy snacks that require near to no preparation.
You will have to steam frozen edamame until they’re properly cooked, then sprinkle some salt on it but make sure you do not overdo it and watch your sodium intake. You can eat them right away or keep it in your bag and enjoy them in between meals at work.
According to FoodData Central, about 1 cup (160 grams) of cooked edamame contains 12 grams of total fats, 2 grams of saturated fats, 8 grams of fiber and no cholesterol.
One apple a day keeps the doctor away and has many other health benefits as well. You can enjoy apple slices with nut butter to enhance its taste and nutrients.
Apples are packed with fiber and a variety of important nutrients like vitamin C and potassium. Almond, peanut, or sunflower butter can add extra fiber, protein, and lots of heart-healthy fats.
According to US NIH, one medium apple (200 grams) with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter provides 8 grams of fats with 2 grams of saturated fats, 7 grams of fiber, and 0 cholesterol.
According to MedicalNewsToday, dark chocolate contains cocoa which has flavonoids, a group of compounds found in many fruits and vegetables. They possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to health in multiple ways.
Research proves that regular consumption of cocoa reduces LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure while increasing HDL cholesterol levels. However, eat dark chocolate in moderation since they are rich in saturated fats and sugar as well.