Add these four great cholesterol-lowering snacks to your shopping list and stabilize your cholesterol levels while enjoying yourself.
The good news is that your LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein – the “bad” guy) is sensitive to diet, although it’s not as sensitive as triglycerides and the good kind of cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
Fortunately, though, the same foods that can help lower LDL cholesterol may also improve HDL and triglycerides.
So instead of snacking on chips and doughnuts, consider trying these healthier cholesterol-lowering snacks.
These are especially high in plant sterols which can help reduce LDL
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds,
- Sesame seeds
- Pine nuts
However, it’s easy to overdo it on nuts and seeds (and they are calorie dense), so I suggest limiting your total intake to about one ounce, or 1/4 cup, a day if you are also trying to lose weight.
Research shows that eating two apples a day can slow down the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and help prevent plaque buildup.
The protective antioxidants are in the apples’ skin, so don’t peel them.
The soluble fiber in oat bran binds with bile acids in the intestine to block the absorption of cholesterol by the body.
According to a study conducted at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston, antioxidant compounds found in oat bran can also prevent white blood cells from sticking to the artery walls, which is an important step in preventing plaque formation.
So try a bowl of unsweetened oat cereal as a midmorning or mid-afternoon snack. It’s filling and good for your heart.
Phytochemicals are chemical compounds produced by plants, generally to help them thrive. They provide plants with color, odor, and flavor.
- Studies have shown that the phytochemicals in Pink and Red grapefruit make them powerful LDL busters.
But this snack is not for everyone.
Precaution: Grapefruit can interfere with the breakdown of certain medications, including Statins and Calcium Channel Blockers. Don’t eat a lot of grapefruits or drink the juice as a snack if you’re on these medications.
When in doubt, check with your physician or pharmacist for clarification.