People with high cholesterol always think twice before having any food because even the little bites between meals can affect their cholesterol level. But this doesn’t mean that you should skip snacks because eating at regular intervals is actually important for normalizing your blood sugar levels and keeping your metabolism moving throughout the day. Thankfully, there are many snacks that are tasty and can help lower your cholesterol as well. Below are 6 healthy snacks that are good for your cholesterol.
1. Raspberries: Raspberries can knock down LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL levels. Researchers speculate that these favorable effects come from high levels of naturally occurring antioxidants called polyphenol—the compounds that give berries their bright color.
2. Popcorn: 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.
3. Nuts: About 80 percent of calories in nuts come from fat, but it’s healthy unsaturated fat, not the artery-clogging kind. Nuts also are high in plant sterols, substances that block the absorption of cholesterol. Given these advantages, nuts are a natural for a heart-healthy diet. About an ounce and a half to two ounces a day should do it. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and pistachios all confer benefits.
4. Oatmeal: Oatmeal is another food that can 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.
5. Fruits: When you feel that you want to eat something sweat, don’t look for a candy bar, go for fruits instead. Some fruits like apples, strawberries, grapes, pears and citrus fruits all contain a high amount of pectin, a type of fiber that can decrease your LDL levels. Pectin binds with cholesterol and ferries it out of the body before it can be absorbed.
6. Edamame: These young green soybeans with a buttery sweet taste are a protein powerhouse, rich in soluble fiber and high in isoflavones, a plant compound that brings down total blood levels of cholesterol. To cook fresh edamame, boil in lightly salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, cool by plunging into ice water, then drain.