22 Low-Cholesterol Snacks for a Heart-Healthy Diet
Don't think a heart-healthy diet can be delicious? These low-cholesterol snacks will change your mind.
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What are low-cholesterol snacks?
Like the name suggests, low-cholesterol snacks include foods that are known to improve your body’s cholesterol levels. Foods that are high in soluble fiber (like oatmeal) are a must because they actually bind to cholesterol and help your body flush it out before it even hits your bloodstream. Other plant foods like fruits and vegetables help your body block cholesterol from being absorbed. To make your own low-cholesterol snack list, focus on fruits and vegetables, whole grains and plant-based proteins. Or just check out ours!
Chewy Granola Bars
When it comes to cholesterol-lowering foods, oatmeal takes the (plant-based) cake. That’s because it’s rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber to help you quickly eliminate cholesterol before it even hits your bloodstream. Make a batch over the weekend to keep on hand for snacking emergencies throughout the week. Each bar contains 160 calories, 7 grams of fat, 19 milligrams of cholesterol and 3 grams of protein.
Black Bean Salsa
Another fiber powerhouse food to add to your snack routine is black beans. They’re rich in soluble fiber to lower cholesterol and take a long time for your body to digest. This means that they’ll keep you full, which can be helpful for weight loss as well. If you need a yummy afternoon snack at work, pack a small glass container of black bean salsa with baked whole-grain chips. One serving of this version has just 70 calories and 0 cholesterol.
Whole Grain Toast with Almond Butter and Sliced Strawberries
Upgrade your love for the classic PB&J with a more cholesterol-friendly version. Whole grain toast is high in fiber to lower your total cholesterol level. Eating nuts like almonds has been proven to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Instead of sugary jam, add fresh strawberries for a satisfying snack with about 218 calories per slice.
Nutty Broccoli Slaw
Eating a diet rich in green veggies like broccoli is linked with lowering LDL cholesterol because they block your body from absorbing it. The nuts in this yummy broccoli slaw will also help lower cholesterol. Make a big batch for afternoon snacking this week; one serving contains about 206 calories and 15 grams of fat.
Lightly Salted Almond Snack Pack
A month’s work of low-cholesterol snacks for $14? Yes, please! This 32-pack of Blue Diamond almond bags is perfect for stocking your purse, office and pantry with healthy snacks any time hunger strikes. Each pack contains 100 calories and 3 grams of fiber.
Apple Slices with Walnuts
For those times when you don’t have time to whip up a homemade snack, keep it quick and simple with the basics. An apple with a handful of walnuts has about 267 calories and is rich in soluble fiber for a cholesterol-busting treat. The fiber and healthy fats will also keep you full until dinner.
Fruit Smoothie with Almond Milk
Craving something sweet in the afternoon? Toss some frozen berries, sliced banana and almond milk in the blender for a creamy 4 p.m. treat. The healthy fats from the almond milk and antioxidants from the berries can lower LDL cholesterol. A cup of this simple smoothie contains about 162 calories. Here are more healthy smoothie recipes to try.
Nuts and Seeds Trail Mix
Make healthy snacking easier and way more delicious when you keep a large mason jar of nuts and seeds trail mix on your kitchen counter. The nuts and seeds are linked with lower cholesterol levels; the fruit and dark chocolate add heart-healthy antioxidants. Keep portion sizes in mind when reaching for a handful; one-third cup contains 336 calories, 25 grams of fat and 11 grams of protein.
Looking for an easier way to eat more beans? A variety pack of roasted chickpeas is your mouth-watering solution. Each serving contains 110 calories and two grams of fat; and with flavors like barbecue, habanero and rockin’ ranch, you won’t get bored of this snack any time soon!
Homemade Guacamole with Baby Carrots
Guacamole may be high in fat but it’s the kind that your heart (and taste buds) love! The healthy fats in avocados lower bad cholesterol levels and satisfy your snack craving. One serving of homemade guacamole packs 90 calories, 8 grams of plant-based fat and 0 cholesterol. Scoop it up with baby carrots instead of tortilla chips.
Lick-the-Bowl-Clean Hummus with Celery Sticks
Dipping veggies in a creamy hummus dip is another tasty option for adding more beans to your diet. Made from fiber-full chickpeas, hummus can help to lower your cholesterol while providing a boost of protein and healthy fats. One serving of dip with a cup of celery sticks is about 232 calories.
Chipotle Lime Avocado Salad
Looking for a snack with a little more spice? Our Chipotle Lime Avocado Salad is a quick and refreshing heart-healthy snack. The healthy fats in avocados can lower LDL cholesterol while filling you up and preventing the need for more snacking. One serving has 191 calories, 11 grams of healthy fats and 0 cholesterol.
CLIF Granola over Yogurt
This gluten-free granola combines a variety of cholesterol-lowering foods like oats, nuts and berries. One bowl contains 230 calories, 8 grams of fat and 2 grams of insoluble fiber. Enjoy on its own or sprinkle over a bowl of fat-free Greek yogurt for a power bowl of vegetarian protein.
Honey Lime Berry Salad
If you’re a fruit salad fan, add this honey lime berry salad to your go-to list immediately. It’s sweet and tart while providing a powerful punch of antioxidants. The berries work double-duty as they both lower LDL cholesterol while helping raise HDL (good) cholesterol. One serving contains about 93 calories and 0 cholesterol.
Berry Breakfast Parfaits
Stomach growling before lunch? Tide yourself over with a berry breakfast parfait; this snack combines a variety of cholesterol-lowering foods like oats, berries and Greek yogurt. One parfait contains 304 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 cholesterol and 17 grams of protein.
Missing your old friend potato chips? Ease the pain with the healthier (and more flavorful) version of Beanitos chips. They’re made from black beans and are a rich source of fiber and plant-based protein. Oh, and they taste like salty, crispy tortilla chips! One serving has 130 calories and 7 grams of fat.
Ants on a Log
That’s right—we’re bringing back your favorite after-school bite because it’s the perfect low-cholesterol snack. Use natural peanut butter to avoid extra sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup (some of the worst foods for cholesterol). The peanuts will help to lower your LDL cholesterol while adding some much-needed flavor and healthy fats to the celery sticks. A cup of Ants on a Log clocks about 324 calories.
When you’re trying to stop junk food cravings, get creative with healthier versions like smoky cauliflower. It’s rich in fiber to lower your cholesterol and takes on a smoky, savory flavor from garlic and paprika. One serving contains just 58 calories, 4 grams of fat and 0 cholesterol.
Comforting Beef Barley Soup
A cup of comforting beef barley soup is the perfect way to unwind after a busy afternoon. Barley is a whole grain that’s rich in soluble fiber to lower your LDL cholesterol level and this soup packs tons of veggies. One serving contains 198 calories, 6 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein.
Snap Peas with Primal Kitchen Dressing
Perfect for a last-minute party appetizer or fast after-school snack, snap peas contain plant compounds that lower LDL cholesterol while blocking it from your bloodstream. Serve with an oil-based ranch dressing like this one from Primal Kitchen for a burst of healthy plant-based fats.
Old Bay Crispy Kale Chips
Sticking to a heart-healthy diet doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to crispy chips. Make your own with antioxidant-rich kale and bursting-with-flavor Old Bay seasoning. Ten kale chips contain about 120 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.
Almond & Coconut KIND Bar
This convenient grab-and-go snack combines heart-healthy foods like almonds and rice flour to satisfy your hunger and lower bad cholesterol. Each bar contains 180 calories, 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. Enjoy one on its own or break it up over a cup of fat-free Greek yogurt.