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Low Cholesterol... On The Go?

For people who have high cholesterol, every bite counts — including the little ones between meals. You may think cutting out snacks is the way to go, but eating at regular intervals is actually important for normalizing your blood sugar levels and keeping your metabolism moving throughout the day. Snacking is also a great way to include foods that may help lower your cholesterol, as long as you choose wisely. Just because you can't reach for greasy chips, fries, doughnuts, cakes, and cookies doesn't mean you're stuck with tasteless choices. Here are eight healthy snacks you'll actually enjoy that are good for your heart health, too.

Here are some great on the go options for you.

  • Popcorn: Popcorn high fiber and whole grains

Corn and popcorn are both considered whole grains, which means they're high in fiber that can help lower your cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association. Not only does popcorn have more fiber than whole-wheat bread or brown rice, but this cholesterol buster is also a low-calorie snack when prepared properly and eaten in moderation. Microwave or air pop kernels sans oil, and skip the butter and salt toppings. For a little flavor, try a spray of olive oil and a dash of Parmesan cheese.

  • Nuts: Healthy heart fats to lower bad cholesterol and raise the good cholesterol

Nuts can be a great snack option when you want to lower your cholesterol. “Research has shown that replacing artery-clogging saturated fat with healthful, monounsaturated fat-rich almonds not only lowers LDL (the “bad” cholesterol), but is also an ideal strategy for preventing LDL from oxidizing — a recognized step in the atherosclerotic process.

  • Veggies with Hummus: Vitamin rich and delicious!

Veggies are Mother Nature’s finest, and Americans are not getting enough of them. Not only are they great for you if you have high cholesterol because they’re full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals — which contribute to good health — they’re also low in fat, sodium, cholesterol, and calories, which all contribute to heart disease. You don’t necessarily have to switch to a vegetarian diet to lower your cholesterol, but be sure to eat vegetables in a wide range of colors for the most health benefits. Try pairing them with hummus, which you can buy prepared or make at home from chickpeas or white beans. Hummus offers a healthy dose of fiber, protein, and antioxidants, among other benefits.

  • Homemade Potato Chips: Added Fiber and Potassium

People tend to consider potato chips off-limits when it comes to keeping high cholesterol under control — and indeed it's best to avoid the traditionally made grease- and salt-covered, fried snack we all know and love if cholesterol is a concern. But potatoes themselves are low in calories, high in fiber, and filled with potassium, a mineral helpful in keeping blood pressure under control. Stick to baked versions of potato chips and, if you can, prepare your own at home. Season them lightly with heart-healthy, extra-virgin olive oil and herbs like rosemary before popping them in the oven.

  • Fiber-Rich Oatmeal: It soaks up bad Cholesterol

Don’t think of oatmeal as a breakfast-only food: You can eat it at any time of the day to help lower your cholesterol. Oatmeal contains a specific soluble fiber that soaks up cholesterol and helps move it through the digestive system without being absorbed into the body. In addition, the fiber links with bile acids to aid in excretion, forcing your liver to make more bile, which helps lower LDL cholesterol.

  • Fruits: Pectin and potassium-filled

Instead of reaching for a candy bar, satisfy a sugar craving with fruit, which can actually help lower your cholesterol. Apples, strawberries, grapes, and citrus fruits all contain a high amount of pectin, a type of fiber that can decrease your LDL levels. Clementines make an especially good choice as they also contain potassium, which can help control blood pressure. Bonus: They're easy to grab on the go!

  • Bean-Filled Veggie Soups: Super rich in fiber

Soup might not be the first thing that comes to mind as a snack, but it can be a quick, easy, and satisfying pick-me-up that's low in saturated fats — especially when it's a bean-filled vegetable soup. Beans provide soluble fiber and protein to help stave off hunger (and the urge to snack on less healthy options). And veggies offer not only a lot of crunch, but also vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy phytonutrients for very few calories. Look for low-sodium versions in the grocery store, or prepare your own at home.

  • Wheat Bread: Your best bet for cholesterol control and high fiber

One-hundred-percent whole grain bread is what you want — it contains higher amounts of our friend fiber. A great example, and one that I love, is pumpernickel bread, which is a rye-derivative but milder. And when you add low fat cheese such as cheddar or gouda, you'll also be treating yourself to gut-friendly probiotics. Whole wheat bread has other added benefits, too: Just one slice gives you about two grams of protein and two grams of fiber. Whether you opt to buy pumpernickel, rye, or good old-fashioned whole wheat, steer your cart to one of these choices in the bread aisle to help keep cholesterol in check.

Now make that grocery list and start packing your snacks the night before work from the list above. It helps!

#cholesterol #Lowcholesterolsnacks #Highcholesterol