4 heart-protective treats
When the mid-afternoon munchies strike, choose a heart-healthy treat. Low in fat, sodium, and sugar, make one of our simple, but nutritious, snack recipes.
When mid-afternoon munchies strike, a bag of potato chips or a candy bar may be a tempting quick fix. Before you indulge, remember that convenience foods are often high in unhealthy fats, sodium, and sugar. Opt for a healthier treat—try one of our heart-healthy snack recipes.
Packed full of disease-fighting nutrients that may reduce cholesterol levels, improve blood pressure, and protect the heart from oxidative damage, the following four snack ideas ward off disease as well as hunger.
Seemingly healthy snacks often contain hidden sugar, salt, and fat.
Nuts and seeds
Avoid nuts and seeds with added salt. One cup (137 g) of salted mixed nuts contains 916 mg of blood pressure-raising sodium. The same amount of unsalted nuts contains just 16 mg.
Packaging fruit in high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) counteracts its heart-healthy benefits. Regular consumption of HFCS has been linked to weight gain and increased triglyceride levels in the blood.
Next time you reach for a box of cereal, check the label for trans fats in the form of partially hydrogenated oils. Trans fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower heart-protective HDL (good) cholesterol.
Cheese may be an excellent source of calcium and protein, but it can also be high in artery-clogging saturated fat. Always exercise portion control and don’t overindulge. Hard cheese is typically higher in saturated fat than soft.