A soft waxy substance found among the fats in the bloodstream is known as cholesterol. The main function of cholesterol is to form some hormones, cell membranes, while it is also necessary for some other functions as well. If the cholesterol starts getting deposited in the arteries in the form of plaque it can cause severe health issues like heart attack and blockage in the arteries. Maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle, genetics, smoking, and a lack of physical activity are some causes of rise in bad cholesterol levels. There are two types of cholesterol which are found in a combination of fats and proteins.
- High density lipoproteins (HDL) or good cholesterol
- Low density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol
One can control the build-up of bad cholesterol by cutting down on foods which cause a rise in bad cholesterol levels and maintain good cholesterol levels by adding foods and snacks which help in lowering cholesterol levels.
- Dry fruits: Dry fruits like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are healthy snacks which help in lowering cholesterol levels as they contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E, and unsaturated fats. Consuming a handful of nuts helps in lowering cholesterol levels.
- Avocados: Avocados are rich in fiber and unsaturated fats which help in lowering cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and keep the heart healthy. The unsaturated fats destroy the bad cholesterol thus lowering cholesterol levels.
- Dark chocolate: A heart-healthy snack which helps in lowering cholesterol levels, dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids contain antioxidant properties which help in lowering the build-up of bad cholesterol and helps in preventing heart diseases.
- Apples: Rich in pectin fiber, apples are a great snack for lowering cholesterol levels. They also contain antioxidant properties which help in lowering LDL or bad cholesterol levels. The bioactive compounds present in apples also help in preventing heart diseases.
- Oat: A soluble fiber called beta glucan found in oats is a perfect snack which helps in lowering bad cholesterol levels. Easily digestible, oats also have great nutritional value and do not affect the good cholesterol levels in the body.
- Green tea: The antioxidants present in green tea not only help in lowering cholesterol levels but also contain anti-aging properties, help in weight loss, etc. Green tea helps in lowering the production of LDL without affecting the HDL and reduces the chances of heart diseases.
- Red grapes: A sensible snack for lowering cholesterol levels, red grapes are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids which help in reducing bad cholesterol levels and maintaining a healthy heart.
- Popcorn: A low-calorie snack, popcorn is rich in fiber and no-cholesterol properties thus lowering cholesterol levels. One can eliminate snacks like fried foods from their diet and replace them with popcorn.
- Fatty fish: Omega-3 and fatty acids found in fish help in improving the cholesterol and triglyceride levels, making fish a perfect snack for lowering cholesterol levels.
- Bananas: One of the best snacks for lowering cholesterol levels is consuming bananas as it contains a high amount of fiber, vitamins, and nutrients that help in lowering bad cholesterol levels in the body.