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High cholesterol levels may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke (1).

You can lower your cholesterol levels by choosing meals and snacks that (2):

  • contain healthier unsaturated fats instead of saturated or trans fats
  • are rich in soluble fiber, such as whole grains and beans
  • contain lots of vegetables and fruits
  • are made with fish that contain omega-3 fats
  • are lower in salt, cholesterol, and alcohol

If you have high cholesterol, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting your intake of saturated fats from foods like meat and dairy to 6% or less of your daily calories. That’s about 11–13 grams of saturated fat per day if you eat about 2,000 calories (3).

Sometimes it may be difficult to choose nutritious snacks, and it’s easy to default to highly processed foods such as cookies, chips, and candy bars. These ultra-processed snacks are often high in salt and saturated fat, which may raise cholesterol levels (2).

There’s a better way to snack! Here are 15 nutrient-dense, high fiber snacks that may help lower your cholesterol.

Our dietitians chose recipe ideas that contain nutritious ingredients such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, and fish, which are high in cardio-protective fiber, vitamins, and heart-healthy fats. We’ve also made sure that each snack is easy to prepare and uses common ingredients that you can easily find at a grocery store.

We also handpicked some convenient premade, packaged snacks. We chose snacks with nutritious ingredients that contain fiber but are low in saturated fat.

If you’re looking to bolster your grocery list with some foods to help manage your cholesterol levels, these tasty homemade snack suggestions may inspire you.

Each snack features fiber and heart-healthy unsaturated fats from whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains. Plus, they’re all low in saturated fat.

Avocado on whole grain toast

Avocado on whole grain toast
Getty Images/Anna Blazhuk

Avocado is a rich source of unsaturated fat, which has been shown to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol (4).

What’s more, half an avocado contains about 5 grams of fiber (5).

Pair it with whole grain toast and a tablespoon of hummus for even more fiber.

To make avocado toast, simply toast one slice of your favorite whole grain bread and top it with 1/4 of an avocado, thinly sliced, and a tablespoon of hummus. To add flavor, use a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.

This snack contains approximately (5, 6):

  • Calories: 170
  • Total fat: 9 grams
  • Saturated fat: 1.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 19 grams
  • Fiber: 7 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Tuna nori wraps

Tuna nori wraps
Getty Images/DronG

Tuna is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of unsaturated fat that has cholesterol-lowering effects (7, 8).

You can whip up a quick tuna salad with canned tuna and any of your favorite mix-ins, such as mayonnaise, onion, carrot, and celery. Then, you can use nori sheets — a type of thin, edible seaweed — or lettuce leaves to make snack-size tuna sandwich wraps.

For 3 ounces of tuna with 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise and 2 nori sheets, this dish contains roughly (9, 10, 11):

  • Calories: 153
  • Total fat: 8 grams
  • Saturated fat: 1.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 2 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Protein: 20 grams
  • Cholesterol: 2.5 mg

Curried salmon salad celery boats

Curried salmon salad celery boats
Getty Images/DebbiSmirnoff

Salmon is another great source of omega-3 fats. Much like tuna, it can be used to make a delicious, nutrient-dense snack.

To make the salad, mix canned salmon with mayonnaise, curry powder, chopped grapes, and cashews. Next, spoon the salmon salad into a few celery sticks to create a simple, flavorful snack.

For 3 ounces of salmon with 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise and 2 celery stalks, this dish contains roughly: (12, 13, 14, 15):

  • Calories: 218
  • Total fat: 15 grams
  • Saturated fat: 3 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Protein: 16 grams
  • Cholesterol: 2.5 mg

Oatmeal energy bites

Tuna nori wraps as a low cholesterol snack
Getty Images/tenkende

Oat-based energy bites are a popular choice for on-the-go snacking because they’re easy to pack and full of protein. And there’s a bonus: Oats contain a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which is known for its cholesterol-lowering effects (16).

You can make your own using rolled oats, nut butter, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, dark chocolate, dried fruit, and honey.

A helpful ratio is 1 cup of oats to 1/2 cup of nut butter to 2 tablespoons of honey. Stir those together, and then add 1/4 cup of optional mix-ins, such as nuts, seeds, or dried fruit.

Use a spoon to scoop 1-tablespoon portions and roll them into balls with your hands. Refrigerate or freeze them until you’re heading out the door.

Two energy bites contain approximately (17, 18, 19):

  • Calories: 278
  • Total fat: 14 grams
  • Saturated fat: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 30 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Protein: 10 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Guacamole with sliced veggies

Bowl of guacamole with sliced carrots and celery
Getty Images/Larissa Veronesi

Guacamole is another simple, flavorful way to enjoy avocado’s potential cholesterol-lowering benefits.

You can make a basic guacamole by mixing half a ripe avocado with fresh lime juice, chopped onion, diced tomato, minced garlic, and fresh cilantro — or you can buy premade guac.

Serve it with your favorite sliced veggies for dipping. Carrots, mini bell peppers, and asparagus are all great options.

A quarter-cup of guacamole with a cup of sliced vegetables offers roughly (5, 20):

  • Calories: 131
  • Total fat: 8 grams
  • Saturated fat: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 15 grams
  • Fiber: 9 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Roasted chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas as a low cholesterol snack
Getty Images/Westend61

Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are versatile, tasty legumes loaded with fiber and plant protein. When roasted, they become a great crunchy, heart-healthy snack option.

Simply toss cooked chickpeas with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and then spread them evenly on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Roast them at 400°F (200°C) for about 30 minutes, or until crispy.

For added flavor, you can season them with dried spices such as curry powder, paprika, lemon zest, or black pepper.

Half a cup of roasted chickpeas made with 1 teaspoon of olive oil provides (21):

  • Calories: 184
  • Total fat: 6 grams
  • Saturated fat: 1 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 27 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Edamame

Bowl of edamame as a low cholesterol snack
Getty Images/skaman306

Edamame are immature soybeans that make a convenient, heart-healthy snack requiring very little preparation. They’re high in protein and fiber.

You can simply steam frozen edamame until they’re cooked through and then sprinkle them with a pinch of coarse salt — just be careful not to overdo it on the salt.

One cup (160 grams) of cooked edamame (in the pods, not shelled) offers (22):

  • Calories: 240
  • Total fat: 10 grams
  • Saturated fat: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 16 grams
  • Fiber: 10 g
  • Protein: 20 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Trail mix

Trail mix with almonds and dried raisins as a low cholesterol snack
Getty Images/lacaosa

Trail mix is a great way to incorporate healthy fats and fiber into your diet. Plus, it’s fully customizable.

Mix 2 tablespoons of your favorite nuts or seeds (such as walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and almonds) with 2 tablespoons of dried fruit (such as raisins or dried apricots) to make a delicious, filling snack mix.

If you don’t want to make your own, look for premade trail mix that doesn’t contain too much added sugar, as excess sugar intake may be bad for cardiovascular health (23).

The AHA recommends limiting daily added sugar intake to 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day for women and 36 grams (9 teaspoons) per day for men (24).

A quarter-cup of trail mix (2 tablespoons of nuts mixed with 2 tablespoons of dried fruit) provides roughly:

  • Calories: 137
  • Total fat: 7 grams
  • Saturated fat: 0.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 19 grams
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Apple slices with nut butter

Apple slices on a plate with nut butter as low cholesterol snack
Getty Images/AbbieImages

Apple slices and nut butter are a classic pairing, and it’s easy to see why.

Apples provide fiber and a variety of important nutrients, such as vitamin C and potassium. Nut and seed butters such as almond, peanut, and sunflower butter provide additional fiber, a little protein, and lots of heart-healthy fats.

One large apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter provides (25, 26):

  • Calories: 210
  • Total fat: 9 grams
  • Saturated fat: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 34 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

It can be easier to stick to a heart-healthy diet when you prepare most of your meals and snacks at home, but sometimes packaged snacks are a perfectly viable option.

Here are a few packaged snacks that are convenient and flavorful and won’t adversely affect your cholesterol levels.

Beanitos Black Bean Chips

This line of bean-based tortilla chips is a great option for anyone looking to satisfy a craving for chips while being mindful of their heart health.

Beanitos are made with whole black beans. They come in several flavors, all of which feature simple ingredients and considerably less total fat and more fiber and protein than traditional chips.

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of the Beanitos Sea Salt flavor provides:

Calories130
Total fat7 grams
Saturated fat0.5 grams
Cholesterol0 mg
Fiber4 grams

The Good Bean Crispy Fava + Peas

The Good Bean produces a line of snacks made from crispy fava beans and green peas.

They’re made with simple ingredients and come in three flavors: Sea Salt, Balsamic Herb, and Habanero Citrus.

This product, which is high in both protein and cholesterol-lowering fiber, makes a good stand-alone snack or salad topper, as well as an add-in for homemade trail mix.

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of the Sea Salt flavor provides:

Calories130
Total fat5 grams
Saturated fat0 grams
Cholesterol0 mg
Fiber3 grams

Trader Joe’s Crispy Crunchy Okra

Trader Joe’s okra chips are one of the most unique offerings in the company’s robust line of snack foods.

Made from only okra, rice bran oil, and salt, these chips are delicious on their own or as a salad topper. They’re loaded with soluble fiber, which makes them a cholesterol-friendly choice.

Each 40-gram bag provides:

Calories220
Total fat14 grams
Saturated fat3 grams
Cholesterol0 mg
Fiber11 grams

Angie’s BOOM CHICKA POP Sea Salt Popcorn

Popcorn can be a healthy whole grain snack, as it contains a variety of nutrients, including fiber, B vitamins, iron, potassium, and magnesium.

However, it’s often prepared with ingredients that are not cholesterol-friendly, such as butter. Opt for varieties that don’t contain a lot of saturated fat or salt.

Angie’s BOOM CHICKA POP Sea Salt Popcorn is made with only popcorn, sunflower oil, and sea salt.

A 35-gram bag provides:

Calories190
Total fat12 grams
Saturated fat1 gram
Cholesterol0 mg
Fiber3 grams

Hope Hummus

Hummus is a popular cholesterol-friendly dip made from chickpeas and tahini. You can pair it with veggie sticks or whole grain crackers for a filling, fiber-rich plant-based snack.

You can easily make hummus yourself or buy any number of premade options.

Hope Hummus comes in a variety of flavors and is made with simple, heart-healthy ingredients like olive oil, garlic, and spices.

Two tablespoons (28 grams) of the Hope Original flavor provide:

Calories70
Total fat4 grams
Saturated fat0.5 grams
cholesterol0 mg
Fiber1 gram

Flackers Flax Crackers

Flaxseed is an excellent source of fiber and plant-based omega-3 fats, both of which support healthy cholesterol levels.

Flackers are nutrient-dense crackers made from organic flaxseed, quinoa, apple cider vinegar, and salt. They’re delicious on their own but even tastier when paired with hummus, black bean dip, or guacamole.

One 30-gram serving (10 crackers) provides:

Calories160
Total fat12 grams
Saturated fat1 gram
Cholesterol0 mg
Fiber9 grams

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that your body naturally produces. Your body may make excess cholesterol if your diet is high in saturated and trans fat.

Smoking, a lack of physical activity, and overweight or obesity can also increase cholesterol levels (27).

Some people who have a healthy diet and get frequent exercise may still have high cholesterol because it’s a genetic condition. This is called familial hypercholesterolemia. This condition cannot be treated with diet or lifestyle changes alone and usually requires cholesterol-lowering medication (27, 28).

For cholesterol management and heart disease prevention, the foods that you eat every day — known as your overall dietary pattern — matter more than any individual food.

You might consider following a heart-healthy eating plan such as the Mediterranean diet or the DASH diet. These plans emphasize vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fish, and olive oil but are low in sweets, salt, and red meat (29, 30).

If you are managing your cholesterol levels, it’s important to minimize your intake of animal-based foods that are high in saturated fat, including fatty meats (like beef, pork, and lamb), processed meats (like bacon and deli meats), and butter.

While eggs were once considered a concern, more recent studies have found that eating an egg daily has no adverse effects on cholesterol levels (31).

High cholesterol does not have any symptoms. The only way to know whether you have high cholesterol is to visit a healthcare professional for a blood test (32).

You can get a test called a certain lipid profile, which checks your levels for total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, and triglycerides. It’s important to get this test, since uncontrolled high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease (1, 32).

Which ingredients should I avoid when selecting a cholesterol-lowering snack?

Skip snacks that contain main ingredients high in saturated fat, such as butter, meat, lard, or shortening.

Trans fats also raise cholesterol levels, but these are less of a concern nowadays, since the FDA banned them in 2018. However, some foods may still contain traces of trans fat, so it’s important to avoid snacks that are made with partially hydrogenated oils (33).

Are there any downsides to cholesterol-lowering snacks?

The snacks on this list are rich in fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals and were specifically chosen for their health benefits.

Like any other snack, they contain calories that contribute to an overall eating pattern. Of course, it’s possible to overeat, even if you’re eating nutritious snacks. You can work with a dietitian to figure out how to fit these nourishing snacks into your overall diet.

What are the benefits of consuming cholesterol-lowering snacks?

Cholesterol-lowering snacks are rich in fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels. They are also low in saturated fat and contain healthy unsaturated fats instead. This helps reduce heart disease risk. They are filled with nutrient-dense ingredients, such as vegetables, whole grains, and beans, which protect heart health in general (34, 35).

A number of snacks may help you keep your cholesterol levels in check.

When looking for cholesterol-friendly options, choose those that boast plenty of fiber and heart-healthy unsaturated fats from whole foods like nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Several less processed packaged snacks make good choices as well.