diet,  Healthy eating,  Heart,  Treats

Heart healthy snack ideas-Great taste and no Cholesterol

Have you been in a situation whereby you are told to stop eating snacks just because you are in a critical condition which could trigger chest pains our other negative unhealthy effects?…

Or perhaps you are told your cholesterol levels will shoot through the roof should you eat snacks?

Or maybe you have been told by the media that eating snacks will trigger your weight gain or even worse high cholesterol?

The chances are you have been told these theories in one way or another. I want to tell you that these theories do have some level of truth in them. However, It all depends on the types of snacks you consume.

Heart healthy snack ideas

If you eat normal fatty potato fried chips, processed sweets and the like, you will put your heart in danger over time. Unfortunately even young people are not exempt in this scenario considering the quick, easy and unhealthy fast foods that are easily available

The key is eating the right snacks that are considered good for your heart and this can be sometimes harder to do in this modern day of “fast foods” if you look to keep your heart healthy.

I faced a similar situation 8 years ago (when I had a critical heart related condition) where I had to learn to eat heart healthy snacks and food while trying to unclog my block heart arteries. You can read my full story here.

This left me with no choice but to learn to eat only the best heart healthy snacks that would not compromise the delicious taste I still wanted to get from my snacks.

Because, let’s face it, we as humans love to do some bit of snacking now and then. So I never wanted to believe the notion that says “just because you have some critical health condition you are not allowed to eat snacks”.

I have lived the rest of my life getting to know my own body and finding ways to cure it naturally and this has included me being a life long student of heart healthy snacks to consume.

In this article I will be walking you through my 7 heart healthy snack ideas which will help keep your cholesterol levels low while you still enjoy your meals.

1.Nuts/seeds and low fat yogurt

Heart healthy snack ideas

The first snack is a combination of low fat yogurt and nuts or seeds. The great aspect about this snack is that it can be eaten at any time of the day: whether as a light breakfast or lunch snack or even dessert.

Putting nuts and/or seeds in a low fat yogurt is not only a very tasty snack that will keep your hunger pangs at bay, but it is a sure way to keep your heart healthy due to many of the nutrients that are contained within this snack.

Benefits

There are many benefits to having this treat for your heart and below are the benefits you will derive:

  • Seeds are generally filled with vitamin E which is known to have antioxidants that protect our body cells from the damaged caused by free radicals. These radicals are what is produced when our bodies break down our food into energy.
  • Nuts perform in a similar manner to seeds where they also are high in fiber. The combine effect is that they bother reduce blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels for your heart, thus reducing the risk of getting heart related disease.

There are many ways you can make this snack since there are a variety of nuts, seeds and low fat yogurts to choose from.

Below I will give you some healthiest nuts and seeds to focus on when making this easy snack.

This will help you choose the best nuts/seeds for attaining optimal heart healthy while still enjoying the great taste of your snack. I will only mention those seeds and nuts that have the highest fiber and lowest fat as this combination will go a long way towards your heart health.

 

Best nuts options for this snack

heart healthy snack ideas
Hazel nuts

Walnuts-Have the highest amount of omega 3 fatty acids as well as antioxidants.

Almonds-Have the highest fiber content out of all the nuts, which can leave you fuller for longer which will curb the feeling of constantly eating.

Cashews-High in Iron, magnesium and zinc to help with blood oxygenation while magnesium improves memory

Macadamias-Are you look to lower your cholesterol level? Then these nuts are best fit for you as they have the highest amount of monounsaturated fats.

Hazel nuts-This nut is second to the almond nuts when it comes to the fiber content.

 

Best seeds option for this snack

Flaxseeds-Powerhouse seed with vast amount of nutrients, which may prevent and sometimes cure many chronic conditions such as heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetic etc.

Chia seeds- High in omega 3 fatty acids, protein and calcium.

Sunflower seeds- High in protein, vitamin B6 and Zinc.

 

Yogurt Option for this snack

The yogurt can be any flavor as long as it is low in fat you are good to go.

 

2.Dark chocolate with nuts

heart healthy snack ideas

 

This treat is my favorite as I am in love with chocolate.

I have talked before about the heart health benefits of dark chocolate, You can check it out here.

Choosing dark chocolate is not only a great treat to have,but it has major benefits for your heart. In fact chocolate is recommended for heart health as it has flavonoids which help in heart.

With the heart health benefits of chocolate and nuts you are highly increasing your health.

Below are some nutty chocolates that are a great option.

1. Dark chocolate with almonds

2. Dark chocolate with Walnuts/Cashews

Heart healthy snack ideas

When choosing these chocolates make sure the chocolate has a cocoa content percentage.

Aim for a cocoa content of more than 70%

 

3.Whole grain bread with avocado, tomato and Pepper

Heart healthy snack ideas

This heart healthy snack ideas article would be of no great value without adding a full snack like whole grain bread with avocado, tomato and pepper.

Choosing a whole grain bread is one of the best options for your snacks thanks to a lot of its heart health benefits.

Avocado is a great substitute for the high cholesterol butter spread so adding it with tomato and pepper to your favorite whole grain bread is very heart healthy.

The Avocado is filled with a lot of fiber while tomato is filled with high vitamin C content and loads of antioxidants which help reduce the risk of heart disease.

When making your snack just spread your bread with avocado and put in tomato after which you sprinkle your pepper on your sandwich.

 

4.Low-fat yogurt with strawberries smoothie

heart healthy snack ideas

This is a snack that must be made into a drink with your blender. You do not need to get a very expensive blender, there are many which are very good, budget-friendly and easy to use. I do have a recommendation of a blender that is top-range but yet very affordable to help you start making your smoothies with so relative ease. I have been using it over a year now and it is so convenient. You can check its review here.

Snack preparation

1. Put your low fat yogurt in a blender

2. Put in your strawberries in the blender

3. Blend the mixture together

It will then be ready for you to consume as a smoothie.

 

5.Oatmeal with banana and seeds

heart healthy snack ideas

This snack is normally eaten in the morning but there is no right or wrong time to consume it, it just depends on your preference.

Oatmeal is a power meal when it comes to giving you a large variety of nutrients and more specifically high fiber content.

A combination with banana and seeds enhances your potassium in your body which is known to reduce stress and thus preventing stroke.

The best thing about using banana is that it is a natural sugar .

This not only gives you heart health benefits,but it will help reduce your risk of getting diabetes because you will not need to use sugar that is man-made.

 

6.Red wine and grapes

heart healthy snack ideas

Feel like spoiling yourself? By that I do not mean getting drunk, I mean being sober while treating yourself.

Red wine could just be your good companion in those times when you need a little bit of spoiling your darn self.

The reason for this is that red wine is great if you drink it in moderation with your favorite grapes.

These two foods, according to phytochemicals, are connected in giving you heart health because they both are known to have antioxidants which greatly reduces the chances of getting heart related disease or cancer….

It is for this reason that red wine is usually compared to grape fruit juice.

7.Avocado Tuna salad

heart healthy snack ideas

Avocado and tuna are a great quick heart healthy snack substitute that you can add to your busy life.

This snack is also one of my favorite,because you get all your high omega 3 fatty acids and fiber all in one snack.

The best thing about tuna is that it comes in a tin and is already waiting for you to eat it. This means you can make this snack in your office within a couple of minutes with no hassles.

Final thoughts

I hope you enjoyed knowing about the amazing heart healthy snack ideas. I also hope you can start implementing some of these in your daily life whenever you are in need of an alternative snack option.

I would love to hear your comments or any snack ideas that you may have used in your life. If you have any questions I welcome your comments too.

 

27 Comments

  • originAL

    Wow these look absolutely delicious, talk about food porn! And they are healthy as well, thanks for the tips and keep up the good job on your blog.

  • Barbara

    Hi! I like this post a lot! Very educational with great recipes. Now I am hungry and I would love to have one avocado tuna salad right now. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thabo

      Hey Barbara

      I am glad I could assist you with providing you with delicious heart healthy options.
      It is funny that during the day I am always craving avocado and tuna salad.

  • Lori

    Hello! Thanks for writing such a fantastic article on healthy snacks. I love oatmeal and it keeps me feeling full for hours. You provided some really great ideas for me. Thanks again!

    • Thabo

      Hey Lori

      I am glad I could assist you with finding great and heart healthy snacks. I only recently loved oatmeal before I use to think it was not too tasty.

  • Sarah

    What a great list! The smoothie, in particular, is so easy to make. I love dark chocolate too, I always put dark chocolate chunks and dried mango in the “cookie balls” I like to make for dessert by just mixing honey, peanut butter and oatmeal.

    • Thabo

      Hey Sarah

      I am very glad I could help. I also love smoothies.
      Thanx for your snack idea I will also try the dark chocolate chunks and dried mango in the cookie balls. 🙂

  • Hudson

    This is such a great post! Very thorough and helpful! Also, now I can’t wait to eat these healthier options, as those pictures were very enticing! I will definitely pass this on to my mama who recently had heart surgery, she would love this!!

    • Thabo

      Hey Hudson

      Thanx for the feedback, I am sorry to hear this about your mama.
      I am glad if I could be able to assist her since this topic of heart healthy is very important to.

  • Andrea

    What an excellent feel-good article! And these items are not only healthy, but delicious!
    I’m bookmarking this as a handy reference for snack ideas.. Thanks!

  • Jenny

    You got me with the chocolate photo!
    I love dark chocolate with almonds; I’m almost addicted to this! 😛
    I don’t like avocado, so two of these are out for me, but I’m definitely trying the rest!
    Thank you for this!!!

    • Thabo

      Hey Jenny

      I am so glad you loved the snack ideas. Yes of course try out what you love. It is a snack after all 😉

  • Vicki

    This article has given me a real insight as to what I need to do for my health.
    I need to work on my health an although I eat good food, I could sure do a lot better so thank you for sharing this article
    I’m sure it is going to benefit a lot of people

    • Thabo

      Yes Vicki your heart health should be the main priority at all times. Let us live healthy while eating great food.

  • Colleen

    Thank you for all of these great suggestions! I thought that I might add two different combinations. My mother in law always eats oatmeal in the morning, but she adds half of an avocado. I have not tried it, but she swears by it! Also, how about a bit of dark chocolate with red wine? It is pure heaven!

    • Thabo

      Great feedback about your mother-inlaw Colleen. Thanx for sharing another great idea.
      Perfect combination of dark chocolate and red wine. The only problem is that I do not like having too much sugar in one snack, If I do add it should just be natural like a fruit.
      This is because I am trying to also lessen the risk of getting diabetes.
      Thanx for a great feedback.

  • Karin

    Very interesting. As a person living with type 2 diabetes, I am very aware of the potential for heart problems related to my condition. Your heart-healthy snack list is ideal for someone like me!
    Thank you for sharing it!

    • Thabo

      Hey Karin, I am so sorry to hear about your condition of diabetes.
      Indeed having diabetes does leave you with higher risk for getting heart related conditions.
      I am glad I could be of assistance to you. You are always welcome to ask anything.

  • Steve Morrow

    good lord im am hungry now. I had a few blood test and noticed my cholesterol was rising. i knew about a few of these foods…but i never imagined they could be put together so wonderfully. thank you so much for this great site.

    • Thabo

      Hey Steve

      I am really glad I could be of assistance to you to know how to make these quick and easy heart healthy snack.
      Let me know which one you enjoyed more.

  • Maryann Breece

    These snacks sound delicious, I will have to try a few of them out. I always have to watch our food intake with my husband having high blood pressure and diabetes. Thank you for this wonderful information

    • Thabo

      Hey Maryann I am glad I could help you by giving you snack ideas that will improve your heart heart.
      I am glad you and your husband are acting in a team to eat healthy. Keep doing this and I wish you all the best with your health

  • Kay Dee

    Wow, these all look so great! I wonder if you have any other vegan alternatives to the Tuna salad, perhaps beans or rice with avocado? Thanks!

    • Thabo

      Hey Kay

      I am actually half-vegan myself I do however eat Tuna. You can possibly replace Tuna with soya chicken strips. This will give you the same amount of delicious taste that you want.
      All the best with heart healthy eating

  • Eva

    I love eating snacks and I’ve always wanted to turn that into something healthier, this is a great post with a lot of tips and not to mention, very creative! Thanks for the wonderful post!

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