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