High cholesterol diet: Three easy snack swaps to reduce your risk of ‘silent killer’

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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An estimated 39 percent of people in the UK are believed to have high or borderline high levels of cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fatty substance in the blood that can be caused by a number of things – but dietary choices is a leading factor.

According to the NHS: “It’s mainly caused by eating fatty food, not exercising enough, being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol. It can also run in families.”

However, the health service also noted that you can “lower your cholesterol y eating healthily”.

Though a healthy, balanced diet can be easy at mealtimes when it comes to snacking many people may find they absentmindedly slip up.

But, there are some easy ways you can switch out your traditional snacks for something much more cholesterol friendly – and it doesn’t have to be difficult.

Here are three simple snack swaps you can make today to reduce your risk of high cholesterol.

Swap crisps for unsalted plain popcorn

Crisps can be easy to reach for and are a delicious salty hit perfect for snacking in front of the TV.

However, all of that salt is notoriously bad for your health.

And to top it off, crisps are also often fried in oil.


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One healthy alternative to crisps is unsalted, plain popcorn.

However, like with all snacks, is important to exercise portion control when enjoying popcorn.

Make sure you only have one small bag or serving of popcorn, as opposed to a giant bowl.

For people who find plain popcorn a little blank, Heart UK recommends trying to make your own at home and adding in a spicy seasoning or sprinkle of cinnamon.

Swap biscuits for oatcakes or rice cakes

A biscuit and a cup of tea might be your go-to afternoon snack, but sugary biscuits are not the most cholesterol-friendly option.

Instead of reaching for the biscuit tin, why not switch to a heart-healthy alternative such as an oatcake or rice cake.

Oatcakes have around 42 calories per serving on average and contain just 2.3 grams of fat.

Rice cakes are even lower in fat and calories.

Per serving, each unsalted rice cake contains around 35 calories and between zero and one gram of fat.

Comparatively, a chocolate digestive contains around 84 calories and 4.1 grams of fat.

Many brands now make flavoured rice cakes, with savoury and sweet options, to make healthy snacking even more enjoyable.

Swap full-fat yoghurt for zero percent Greek yoghurt

Whether you’re drizzling yoghurt over your morning berries or eating it as a dessert on an evening, switching out full-fat for zero percent Greek yoghurt can work wonders for your cholesterol.

This swap can also be made for ice cream, switching out your usual frozen treat for frozen zero percent Greek yoghurt.

If you want a little bit of a sweet kick, sprinkle on a handful of raisins or dried fruit of your choice.

Zero percent Greek yoghurt can also be used alongside savoury dishes, such as in Chillies, as an alternative to sour cream.

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