High cholesterol: Tasty snack options that can help you lower your cholesterol
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Snacking, believe it or not, can be a heathy habit – the cholesterol charity, Heart UK, says so. It can increase your vitamin and mineral intake and boost your energy levels.
The charity explains cholesterol is a fatty substance made in the liver – and some of it is needed.
Cholesterol forms part of the outer layer of all your body’s cells, it’s used for vitamin D synthesis and helps to make bile – a tool for digestion.
It’s when there’s too much cholesterol in the body that your health is put at risk.
This can be caused by a diet high in saturated fats, found in cakes and biscuits.
Milk and white chocolate, toffee and puddings are also high in saturated fats.
However, there are snacks to hand that are a healthier option – and just as tasty.
Chocolate isn’t off the cards completely, dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cocoa solids) is a great alternative.
Pair a large square of dark chocolate with a handful of dried fruits and nuts.
Fancy something more sweeter? Then juicy peach slices can be enjoyed with a teaspoon of honey and sprinkled with sunflower seeds.
If you’d like to have something with more of a crunch, vegetable sticks paired with low-fat hummus could do just the trick.
Not a fan of hummus? Tomato salsa is another option or yoghurt and mint.
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A more satisfying treat may be a fruit scone, hot cross bun or current teacake – ideal with a nice cuppa.
Savoury options include toast with peanut butter or mashed banana, or beans.
And popcorn can still be enjoyed, as long as it’s unsalted – you could add a spicy seasoning.
Oatcakes or rice cakes cane be topped with a chopped hard-boiled egg and black pepper.
One of the easiest ways to reach for healthy snacks is to “keep a stock” of them.
It would probably be better to avoid buying any tempting unhealthy snacks at the same time – you can’t eat something that’s not there.
Another cause of high cholesterol is “not being active enough”, so even though gyms are closed and the weather is cold, you still need to keep on moving.
It may be tempting to snuggle up on the sofa earlier on in the evenings, but incorporating exercise into your daily routine will do your health wonder.
Moreover, it’s important to be aware that alcohol raises your cholesterol levels.
To keep your health risks to a minimum, (if you do drink) it’s best to have alcohol-free days during the week.
You also need to avoid binge drinking – six units in six hours; that’s less than three 175ml glasses of wine or three pints of beer.
If you think you might have a drinking problem, call Drinkline for free on 0300 123 1110.
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