15 of the Best Cholesterol-Lowering Snacks – Healthline

High cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death worldwide (1).

Fiber and heart-healthy fats from foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and fish may help your levels stay within a healthy range. In particular, adequate fiber intake may reduce your cholesterol levels by up to 10% (2).

If you have high cholesterol, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting your intake of saturated fats from foods like meat and dairy to no more than 5–6% of your daily calories — or 11–13 grams for someone who eats 2,000 calories per day (3).

As many snack foods are highly processed, you may want to know a few snack options that pack fiber and healthy fat.

Here are 15 nutrient-dense snacks that may help lower your cholesterol.

If you’re looking to bolster your grocery list with some cholesterol-friendly foods, these tasty homemade snack suggestions may help you find inspiration.

Each snack features fiber and heart-healthy unsaturated fats from whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Plus, they’re low in saturated fat and dietary cholesterol.

1. Avocado on whole grain toast

Avocado is a rich source of unsaturated fat, which has been shown to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. What’s more, each half of this fruit contains approximately 5 grams of fiber. Pair it with whole grain toast for even more fiber (4, 5).

To make avocado toast, simply toast a slice of your favorite whole grain bread and top it with thinly sliced avocado. For extra flavor, try it with a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle of fresh herbs.

This snack contains approximately (5, 6):

  • Total fat: 11 grams
    • Saturated fat: 1 gram
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Fiber: 5–7 grams

2. Tuna nori wraps

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

You can whip up a quick tuna salad with a can of tuna and any of your favorite heart-healthy mix-ins like olive oil, onion, or celery. Then, use nori sheets — a type of thin, edible seaweed — or lettuce leaves to make snack-sized tuna sandwich wraps.

This dish contains roughly (9, 10, 11):

  • Total fat: 3–4 grams
    • Saturated fat: 0.5 grams
  • Cholesterol: 30 mg
  • Fiber: 2–3 grams

3. Curried salmon salad celery boats

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

To make the salad, mix a can of salmon with olive oil-based mayonnaise, curry powder, chopped grapes, cashews, and a drizzle of honey. Next, spoon the salmon salad into a few celery sticks to create a simple, flavorful snack or light lunch.

Curried salmon salad celery boats provide (10, 12, 13, 14):

  • Total fat: 5–7 grams
    • Saturated fat: 1 gram
  • Cholesterol: 54 mg
  • Fiber: 2–3 grams

4. Oatmeal energy bites

Energy bites are a popular choice for on-the-go snacking because they’re easy to pack and full of protein.

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

Mix your selected ingredients in a bowl until you reach a thick, moldable consistency, then use a spoon to scoop tablespoon-sized portions and roll them into balls with your hands. Refrigerate them until you’re heading out the door.

Two energy bites contain approximately (15, 16, 17):

  • Total fat: 2–5 grams
    • Saturated fat: 1–2 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Fiber: 2–4 grams

5. Guacamole with sliced veggies

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

Make a basic guacamole by mixing half of a ripe avocado with fresh lime juice, chopped onion, diced tomato, and minced garlic.

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

This dish offers roughly (5, 18):

  • Total fat: 11 grams
    • Saturated fat: 1–2 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Fiber: 6–7 grams

6. Roasted chickpeas

Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are versatile, tasty legumes that are loaded with fiber and plant protein. When roasted, they become crunchy and perfect for heart-healthy snacking.

Simply spread cooked chickpeas evenly on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet before tossing them with a dash of olive oil and sprinkle of salt. Roast them at 400° F (205°C) for about 30 minutes, or until crispy.

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

Just 1/2 cup (92 grams) of roasted chickpeas provides (19):

  • Total fat: 8 grams
    • Saturated fat: 1 gram
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Fiber: 6 grams

7. Edamame

Edamame beans are immature soybeans that make for a convenient, heart-healthy snack requiring very little preparation.

Simply steam frozen edamame until they’re cooked through, then sprinkle them with coarse salt — just be careful not to overdo it on the salt if you’re watching your sodium intake. You can eat them right away or take them on the go.

Just 1 cup (160 grams) of cooked edamame offers (20):

  • Total fat: 12 grams
    • Saturated fat: 2 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Fiber: 8 grams

8. Trail mix

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

Mix walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and almonds with dark chocolate or dried fruit to make a delicious, filling snack mix.

If you don’t want to make your own, look for premade trail mix that doesn’t pack too much added sugar, as excess sugar intake may raise your triglyceride levels (21).

The AHA recommends limiting daily added sugar intake to no more than 25 and 36 grams for women and men, respectively (22).

Just 1 ounce (28 grams) of trail mix provides (23):

  • Total fat: 13 grams
    • Saturated fat: 1.5 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Fiber: 3 grams

9. Apple slices with nut or seed butter

Apple slices with 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 like almond, peanut, or sunflower butter provide additional fiber, a little protein, and lots of heart-healthy fats.

One medium apple (200 grams) with 1 tablespoon (16 grams) of peanut butter provides (24, 25):

  • Total fat: 8 grams
    • Saturated fat: 2 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Fiber: 7 grams