The best snacks for people with high cholesterol are low in cholesterol and saturated fats. Trans fatty acids should be avoided. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality states that fats need to be limited to 35 percent of total calories per day for individuals who need to lower their cholesterol levels. The key is to reduce high fat dairy products, oils, sugars and fried foods. The “TLC” or Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet was designed by the American Heart Association to assist individuals who are at risk of cardiac disease due to elevated cholesterol levels. These guidelines restrict cholesterol consumption to 200 mg per day. These snack ideas are great options for individuals who must reduce their levels. They offer the filling qualities of a snack without the unhealthy fats.
Whole grains snacks are a wonderful option for individuals with high cholesterol due to the fact that they are often very portable. Whole grain versions of snack crackers, tortilla chips, pretzels and even slices of flavored bread make great snack choices. Many cereal companies offer whole grain varieties which can be stored in sandwich bags for excellent on-the-go snacks.
Fruits contain valuable soluble fiber which can help decrease the absorption of “bad” cholesterol. The most obvious examples of fruit as a snack would be simply a piece of fruit. Dried fruit pieces such as bananas or apples are also good examples of snacks for individuals with high cholesterol. Sugar-free Jell-O, low-fat yogurt and other related products with fruit added are convenient for those on-the-go.
Vegetables are another amazing source of soluble fiber. Many people do not enjoy eating vegetables as snacks, or they smother their vegetables with a fat-laden dip or cheese. Vegetables can be enjoyed without adding “bad fats” to the diet. Common examples are carrots and celery using low-fat or fat-free ranch dip or cheese. Small snack sized salads with low-fat or fat-free dressings are another healthy way to get a daily serving of vegetables on-the-go. Vegetable and fruit juice concoctions created in a juicer are an excellent way to include vegetables in the diet for those who cannot bear to consume them.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds can be an excellent snack for people with high cholesterol. The key is moderation. Nuts such as walnuts, almonds and pecans are naturally high in monounsaturated fats as well as heart healthy fiber. They can generally be very high in calories therefore it is best to not overeat them.
Seeds such as flaxseed, sesame seeds and chia seeds have all been connected with regulating blood pressure, as well as lowering cholesterol due to their rich supply of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They make excellent snacks due to their portable nature. Flaxseed can be added to other foods due to the fact that it has no strong flavor. Sesame and chia seeds are often excellent when toasted.
National Institute of Health https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/cholesterol.html
National Library of Medicine https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/cholesterol.html
Government of Saskatchewan www.health.gov.sk.ca/cholesterol
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality https://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/ehc/products/11/351/Lipids%20consumers.pdf
National Institute of Health https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/chol/wyntk.htm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/what_you_can_do.htm
Wheat Foods Council https://www.wheatfoods.org/AboutWheat-list-of-grain-snacks/Index.htm
Office of Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services https://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/heart-disease.cfm
American Heart Association https://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4764