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Heart Healthy Snacks
It is still Heart Health Month, so I have more heart healthy ideas for you. Snacking is always tough to find tasty, healthy ideas. Here are my top heart healthy snacks:
- Raisins: New research in the journal Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental shows that raisins when combined with simple walking reduced LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol among study participants. California raisins are an excellent choice for a heart healthy snack on the go. They are fat and cholesterol-free and just a ¼ cup counts as a full fruit serving for adults. I made these Energy bars made with just raisins, nuts, and some extract for flavor. You can get this and 800 other recipes at loveyourraisins.com
- Nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds): The best heart healthy nuts are walnuts, pecans, and almonds. Research shows that walnuts can reduce cholesterol and reduce inflammation. Pecans are the highest antioxidant nut with fiber and 19 vitamins and minerals. Almonds are a good source of potassium, fiber, magnesium and Vitamin E. They are part of a blood pressure lowering diet.
- Oatmeal and flax: Oats are full of soluble fiber, the kind that helps lower cholesterol. Ground flax seeds are high in omega-3 fats which help reduce inflammation and risk of heart disease. Throw some raisins and walnuts on your oatmeal and you have a slam dunk of heart health!
- Veggies and hummus: Veggies are full of antioxidants and fiber (I love red peppers, baby carrots, and sugar snap peas to dip) and you can dip into hummus which is made from chickpeas which are a good source of fiber and potassium.