Kick Your Bad Cholesterol With 10 Heart-Healthy Snacks

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Most of the people in India are crazy about food. Munching on an assortment of delicious, delectable delights is their favourite time pass. Snacking is not bad but what you choose to eat can impact your health. You might be surprised to learn that according to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) heart disease is now the leading cause of death in India. And with more Indians diagnosed with cardiovascular-related issues every year, it’s important to understand what you can do to better protect your heart. 

For people who have high cholesterol every bite, they eat counts, including the little between meals. If not monitored high cholesterol can greatly increase your risk of heart disease and heart attacks. Fortunately, smart food choices and healthy food habits can make a huge difference in lowering your cholesterol levels. Let’s get you to some basics:

All about Cholesterol, and why do you need it?

It might sound a bit weird but it's absolutely right, you do need cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is present in every cell of the human body. It is responsible for producing hormones, vitamin D, cell membranes, and bile acids that help you to digest fat.

Cholesterol is vital for neurological function and also helps in the formation of your memories. Your liver is responsible for making about 75% of your body cholesterol. According to conventional medicine, there are two types of cholesterol:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): Also known as "bad cholesterol”, generally builds up in the walls of the arteries, making them hard and narrow. This narrowing of arteries can result in heart attack and strokes.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL): Also known as "good cholesterol” helps by removing excess arterial plaque. It picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver thereby preventing heart diseases.

Snaking the healthy way out to lower your cholesterol

Eating for a healthy heart doesn't mean you are stuck with bland, tasteless food. Here we are coming up with 10 quick, easy, tasty, and heart-friendly snack choices that you will enjoy:

  • Have a handful of nuts especially almonds and walnuts
    Consider as an exceptionally nutrient-dense food, nuts are a rich source of monounsaturated fats, minerals, cholesterol-lowering fats and fibre minerals that improves heart health.
  • Dark Chocolate and Cocoa will now be your best friends
    Flavonoids in dark chocolate and cocoa help in lowering LDL cholesterol and blood pressure while raising “good” HDL cholesterol.
  • Fruits and berries for heart-healthy nutrients
    Fruits such as apples, avocados, grapes, strawberries, and other citrus fruits contain a soluble fibre called pectin, which lowers cholesterol. Bonus: they help in satisfying your sugar craving
  • Homemade Potato Chips – Stick to the baked version
    Yes, it sounds tasty and indeed is the best help in avoiding the traditionally made grease- and salt-covered, fried snack. Potatoes are high in fibre and Potassium, a mineral that helps in keeping your cholesterol level under control.
  • Legumes 
    Also called as pluses, is a group that involves beans, lentils, and peas are a good source of plant protein and help in lower LDL cholesterol.
  • Popcorn 
    This fibre rich whole grain low-calorie snack is everyone’s favourite. For a little flavour try a dash of Parmesan cheese and a spray of olive oil, skip the butter and salt toppings.
  • Raise the volume on veggies
    Vegetables are low in calories and high in fibre and antioxidants, which make them a healthy choice for a healthy heart.
  • Savour salmon 
    Fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel offers high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and increasing “good” HDL cholesterol. It decreased inflammation and stroke risk.
  • Wheat Bread Is Your Best Bet For cholesterol control, whole wheat bread is your best go-to bread. It is a low-cholesterol and high fibre diet that helps in keeping a good check on your cholesterol level
  • Whole Grains — Especially Oats and Barley 
    Fiber-Rich whole grain meals are linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Grains such as Oats and Barley provide beta-glucan, soluble fibre, and soaks up cholesterol that is very effective at lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol.

You can lower the risks associated with High cholesterol levels by incorporating these snacks into your diet. Increasing the intake of these foods help in reducing your cholesterol level and keep you on a path of healthy-heart.

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