Struggling with high cholesterol but can’t get rid of your favorite snacks?
It is time now to rethink the snacks you are eating!
French fries, burgers, chips, cakes, pizzas are all very tempting, but they are indeed leading you to fast weight gain and high cholesterol in long run.
How about trying to switch to healthier snacks to control your metabolism, blood sugar, and cholesterol?
What are the best snacks that help to lower cholesterol levels?
Keep on reading.
How Can You Lower Your Cholesterol in 30 days?
You can control and lower your cholesterol levels effectively if you can start and input these steps into your lifestyle activities.
1. Start doing regular exercise from home.
No doubt exercising regularly is one of the classic key factors to maintain a balanced lifestyle and overall health for your body and mind.
Exercise can be in any form which you are enjoying doing all the time. It can be as simple as walking, jogging, swimming, being involved in any sports activities, or doing your favorite yoga or pilates exercise.
Set a goal for yourself, what do you like to achieve in six months or a year from now. To lose weight, to be more muscular or lean, or simply to stay healthier by improving your heart and lowering cholesterol levels.
2. Weight loss. Getting into losing weight naturally has proven remarkable health benefits for the body.
When you are losing weight slowly,
* Your body and mind are been optimized and improve overall health as your body is been given more time and support to adopt the changes.
* The fact that your body will slowly and naturally get to adapt better with the burning calories effects.
* More sustainable in the long haul because you don’t need to be strict on your diet plan.
* You won’t be losing much muscles mass as you are not stricter in dieting.
* Physical visible – most likely the visible stretch mark on the body will be reduced especially on the buttocks area.
Ideally, the US Central Disease and Control (CDC) had recommended a steady and slow weight loss of about 1 – 2 pounds a week (or 4 – 8 pounds a month) as more effective and successful to shed off the extra pounds.
It seems still a little to lose but in case to those who are still not aware, according to the CDC again, even 5 – 10 percent of weight loss of the total body weight may have great positive health impact to our body such as blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol level.
3. Try to adopt a Mediterranean diet to your meals.
This traditional diet originated within the Mediterranean sea region and mainly consists of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole-grain, and olive oil as added fat. Protein sources are moderate which are generally poultry, fish, or other seafood.
It emphasizes using healthy unsaturated fats, especially olive oil which is the primary vegetable oil used in preparing many types of its servings. Other types of healthy fats are fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids, avocados, or nuts are widely used too.
In preparing Mediterranean-style dishes, we rarely see processed red meat (like hot-dog or bacon) due to the high content of sodium, heavily processed food (frozen meat, canned food, or refined olive oil), alcohol, and refined grains such as white bread or white pasta.
4. Get more fiber nutrients in your daily diet.
This is crucial because fiber (soluble or insoluble) can help to lower your cholesterol levels, prevent constipation, diabetes, and improve digestion.
The American Heart Association recommended for fiber daily intake 25 – 30 grams a day from natural food sources, not supplements.
There are plenty of rich-fiber sources you can get from,
* whole grains and cereals. Choose cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. For bread, look for whole-grain bread with the highest amount of fiber per slice.
* fresh fruits & vegetables. Ensure consume them freshly on daily basis. Avoid fruit juices as they have very less fiber content or even zero!
* beans and legumes. You can add any type of beans such as black beans, kidney beans into your salad. In general, a half cup of beans gives you approximately 8 grams of fiber nutrients. Or try to use legumes in preparing your soup instead of using meat.
Below are my best snacks that help to lower your cholesterol levels. Try them later and keep those unhealthy snacks away from you from now on.
A few cups of boiled and tendered edamame (young soybeans) is just one simple cool way in aiding weight loss and control your cholesterol levels. You can add a pinch of salt and sesame oil for added taste.
Nutrition facts: 100g portion gives you Cholesterol 0mg, Protein 12g, Carbs 9g, Fiber 5.2g, Iron 2.27mg, high Potassium 436mg. More nutrients facts from the USDA link
An ounce of air-popped popcorn will give you around 105 calories. It is the all-time family’s favorite over the weekend.
According to American Heart Association, they are a good source of fiber, considered as whole grains and a cholesterol buster if prepared and eaten in moderation.
You can toss it with some cayenne, melted unsalted butter, or garlic powder while the popcorns are still hot. Try to avoid salted butter as a topping.
Nutrition facts: 1 cup (8g) gives you Cholesterol 0mg, Protein 1.0g, Carbs 6.2g, Fiber 1.2g, Starch 4.3g. More nutrients facts from the USDA link.
3. Nuts (almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or pecans)
Try roasted almonds. I like to eat them as snacks or after my regular gym session. They are super-rich in protein and carbs. Having 13 – 15 almonds for a snack will keep your hunger at bay.
Great choice in lowering cholesterol levels. Research has shown (1) that almonds help to prevent bad cholesterol LDL from oxidizing.
Nutrition facts: A cup (143g) of almonds gives you Cholesterol 0mg, Protein 30g, Carbs 31g, Fiber 18g, high Potassium 1050mg, Calcium 385g, Magnesium 386g. More nutrients facts from the USDA link
Pistachios are rich in protein, fiber, and good unsaturated fat. Eating the roasted pistachios without salt is good.
Nutrition facts: A cup (123g) of raw pistachio nuts gives you Cholesterol 0mg, Protein 25g, Carbs 34g, Fiber 13g, high in Potassium 1250mg. More nutrients facts from the USDA link
Apples, berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries), oranges, or kiwifruits all have a fabulous amount of Pectin(2), a highly important fiber that helps to lower your bad LDL cholesterol levels.
Grapes are also great choices if you like readily fruits for snacks. A cup of grapes will make sure you have that fiber, vitamin K, water, and, energy.
Nutrition facts: A cup (92g) of fresh grapes gives you water 75g, Cholesterol 0mg, Protein 0.6g, Carbs 16g, Fiber 0.9g. More nutrients facts from the USDA link
Not only fruits, but vegetables are also great sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals to help lower bad LDL cholesterol levels.
For example, carrot or celery sticks with hummus. This Middle Eastern hummus is gluten-free and contains a great source of fiber which helps to improve the digestive system.
Nutrition facts: A tablespoon (15g) of commercial-made hummus gives you Cholesterol 0mg, Protein 1.2g, Carbs 2.3g, Fiber 0.83g. More nutrients facts from the USDA link
Do you know oats are high in soluble fiber which is good for digestion, has low-fat content, and is good for (#Ad)healthy weight loss, protects the heart from cardio-related diseases, and lowers your cholesterol levels.
You can eat it anytime, not only for breakfast. I sometimes take it with low-fat milk as a quick snack during the nighttime.
An ounce of rolled oats bran consisting of Calories 67, Protein 2.7g, Carbs 11g, Fiber 1.2g, Calcium 24mg, Niacin 1.4mg. For more nutrient facts, go to the USDA Food data central
7. Whole wheat bread
If you like bread for low-cholesterol snacks, the best bread is whole wheat (grain) bread. Compared to refined grains, whole grains keep all parts of the grains intact, providing more essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
It has a considerably high amount of soluble fiber to help in controlling cholesterol levels, diabetes, and risk of heart diseases.
Do you know a sliced (32g) of this bread gives you Fiber 1.9g, Cholesterol 0mg, Protein 3.9g, Calcium 52mg? For more nutrients facts, go to the USDA Food data central.
If you like seafood, look for healthy staple dietary sardines, high in calcium, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and lower in Mercury compared to other fishes.
We know that Omega-3 fatty acids are vital to lowering LDL cholesterol, anti-inflammation, and help to control blood pressure.
How about canned sardines? Canned processed foods are not a good choice. In this case, the high sodium content in canned sardines may increase calcium in the urine resulting in developing kidney stones.
Sardines also contain purines, a type of chemical compound found in living cells, which can break into uric acid in the digestive system – not good for the kidneys if remained in the body for too long!
Noting that sardines canned in oil contain cholesterol, for example, two sardines (24g) have about 34mg of cholesterol. Don’t worry too much about its cholesterol content, but do speak with your doctor if you have doubts.
9. Black beans
Do you know a diet riches in black beans can lead your body to manage calories effectively?
Black beans are rich in fiber, antioxidants, carbohydrates, and protein and are very healthy in managing blood sugar, protecting your eyes and heart health, and aiding in weight management.
Dry black beans are the best to start for your diet than canned beans. All you need to do is soak them in hot water and then boil for about 3 minutes. Rinse and leave them aside for a couple of hours before you start your cooking.
You can also add them to your favorite salads.
A cup (172g) of cooked black beans without salt gives you Fiber 15g, Carbs 40g, Protein 15g, Calcium 46mg, Potassium 611mg. Check out more data nutrients from the USDA link.
How Can You Reduce Cholesterol Levels Naturally?
Try to add food sources containing monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 fatty acids) in your daily diet such as fishes (salmon, tuna, sardines, stout), fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil, just to name a few.
Avoid any processed foods such as baked foods, packaged foods, or snack foods as these are highly containing industrial processed trans fat in them. Trans fat can cause many heart-related diseases such as stroke, heart diseases, and high blood pressure.
Look for healthy margarine such as the ‘Smart Balance’ brand. It contains zero trans fat, high in Omega-3, protein, and other vitamins and minerals. Or try plant-based margarine, ‘Benecol’ brand which is also a great choice in managing cholesterol levels.
Having soluble fiber in your diet help to lower the bad LDL cholesterol by binding the cholesterol in the intestines and then flushing it out from the body. On average, it is recommended to consume about 5 – 10 mg of soluble-fiber food sources such as whole wheat cereals (oatmeal, oat bran), fruits, beans, and legumes.
For smokers, try to quit smoking one at a time. Do you know smoking can lead to risks of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke? Smoking can elevate the bad LDL cholesterol and reduce the good HDL cholesterol, resulting in high cholesterol levels clogging the blood arteries.
Consider reducing or even quitting alcohol. Do you know alcohol after entering the body is broken down and become cholesterol and triglycerides in your liver? The more alcohol you consume, the higher the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides will become and increases the risks of getting a stroke, diabetes, or pancreas disease.
My Overall Conclusion: Best Snacks That Help To Lower Cholesterol Levels
Knowing what type of snacks to eat is important to ensure that your overall health is well taken care of.
You don’t have to rely too much on many unhealthy snacks which are tempting a lot. Yes, they are mouth-watering snacks but think about the long-term health effects of eating them. Your cholesterol levels and weight will be ballooning.
In fact, motivate yourselves by starting to make your own healthy snacks at home especially if you care about your cholesterol levels. This is especially a concern for obese people who want to eat and lose weight healthily.
Fact: Do you know that adult (both men and women) cholesterol levels should be between 40 – 60 mg/dl? Consult with your doctor about your current cholesterol level and take it from there.
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Have a fantastic Home Workout!
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