7 High-Protein Snacks to Lower High Cholesterol, Recommended by a Dietitian (2024)

Blood vessels, the bustling network of pathways coursing through your body, play a vital role in maintaining your health and well-being. These tireless tunnels transport oxygen-rich blood, essential nutrients, immune cells and hormones to every organ and tissue while removing unwanted waste to help you function at your best. However, these precious passageways can end up in a sticky situation if cholesterol levels get too high.

More specifically, high levels of a type of cholesterol called LDL (low-density lipoprotein) can stick to the walls of your arteries, leading to plaque formation. As plaque builds up, artery walls become narrow, and blood flow is restricted, increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke. In the U.S. alone, there are 25 million adults who live with high cholesterol. Fortunately, your body has another form of cholesterol called HDL (high-density lipoprotein) that can mop up excess cholesterol in your arteries. However, if levels of HDL fall too low, they can’t carry out this critical function.

The good news is that your food choices, including snacks, can help balance out your cholesterol levels. According to research, the best cholesterol-lowering foods are those low in saturated and trans fats and high in soluble fiber and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Here are seven high-protein snacks with cholesterol-friendly foods to help lower your levels.

The #1 Spice to Help Lower High Cholesterol, Recommended by Dietitians

1. Oat Energy Balls

Known as a top choice for lowering cholesterol, oat energy balls are versatile and convenient bite-sized snacks packed with heart-healthy ingredients. This nutritious snack, made from a mixture of oats, dates, nuts and seeds, offers a balanced blend of protein, soluble fiber and healthy fat to support the health of your arteries. Oats, in particular, contain a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which has been shown to have cholesterol-lowering effects. This is because beta-glucan forms a gel-like substance in the intestines that binds to cholesterol, preventing its reabsorption into the bloodstream. To reap this incredible benefit, consider making a batch of these High-Protein Lemon-Blueberry Energy Balls, containing 7 grams of protein per serving.

2. White Bean & Avocado Toast

Looking for a savory, protein-rich snack that boasts cholesterol-lowering benefits? Look no further than our . This flavorful combination of mashed avocado and creamy white beans elevates a classic avocado toast into a more nutrient-dense snack that can improve your cholesterol levels. More specifically, avocados provide monounsaturated fats, fiber and plant sterols—key nutrients that decrease LDL cholesterol. With the addition of heart-protective beans, this savory snack delivers an impressive 11 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein in each slice.

3. Salmon Salad

A twist on traditional tuna salad: salmon salad is loaded with protein and artery-friendly nutrients that may help manage high cholesterol. A 3-ounce can of pink salmon contains a whopping 21 grams of protein. Additionally, salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which support your heart and blood vessels. For this reason, the American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish at least twice a week. And what better way to enjoy a serving of fatty fish than in the snackable form of salmon salad? If you need inspiration, check out our olive, lemon and caper-infused Salmon Salad that tastes delicious with crackers or sliced vegetables.

4. Apples & Peanut Butter

When it comes to improving your cholesterol, you can’t go wrong with a classic like apples and peanut butter. Apples contain polyphenols and a soluble fiber called pectin, which may help reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels. When paired with peanut butter, this simple yet satisfying snack adds protein and monounsaturated fat for more cholesterol-lowering benefits. If you want to take this classic combo to the next level, try our cardamom-spiced , which contains 5 grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein.

5. Almonds

Searching for a cardioprotective snack with a little more crunch? Almonds are the perfect protein-rich solution! Just one (¼-cup) serving of dry-roasted almonds has 7 grams of protein. These tiny but mighty, oval-shaped nuts also contain fiber and healthy fats, which may help reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B (a component of LDL particles). To make almonds a regular part of your snack rotation, try our appetizing Everything-Seasoned Almonds, dusted with the popular Everything Bagel seasoning.

6. Edamame

With its vibrant green color and tender texture, edamame is a plant-based protein that’s great for your arteries. One cup of these young soybeans contains a remarkable 18 grams of protein. Research has found that soy protein can significantly reduce LDL cholesterol in adults by 3% to 4%. Whether you buy them in their pods or completely hulled, edamame is a convenient and nutritious snack that can benefit your heart health. To add flavor, try our easy-to-prepare Edamame with Aleppo Pepper, which has surprisingly fruity yet tangy undertones.

7. Seed Crackers & Hummus

Step aside, ordinary crackers—seed crackers offer a protein and fiber boost that pairs perfectly with creamy hummus. Flaxseed is one noteworthy seed renowned for its cholesterol-improving effects. Flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fiber and lignans, helping lower total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. Instead of rushing to the grocery store to buy seed crackers, try our highly rated Homemade Multi-Seed Crackers. And enjoy them with a serving of our light and airy Whipped Hummus for an additional protein boost.

The Bottom Line

Lowering your cholesterol levels and safeguarding the health of your arteries requires a heart-healthy diet. This includes eating foods high in soluble fiber and healthy fats while minimizing the consumption of saturated and trans fats. These seven high-protein snacks are not only delicious but meet these criteria. Incorporating them into your dietary regimen can improve your cholesterol levels and help you reach your protein needs all at once.

Low Cholesterol Diet Plan for Beginners

7 High-Protein Snacks to Lower High Cholesterol, Recommended by a Dietitian (2024)


7 High-Protein Snacks to Lower High Cholesterol, Recommended by a Dietitian? ›

Try beans and other high-protein, low-cholesterol foods.

Eating good sources of protein can keep you from overeating throughout the day. Some high-protein, low-cholesterol options include: Black beans, kidney beans, and soybeans. Chickpeas.

What is the best protein to eat when you have high cholesterol? ›

Try beans and other high-protein, low-cholesterol foods.

Eating good sources of protein can keep you from overeating throughout the day. Some high-protein, low-cholesterol options include: Black beans, kidney beans, and soybeans. Chickpeas.

What is the number one food to lower cholesterol? ›

Oatmeal, oat bran and high-fiber foods

Oatmeal has soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the "bad" cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in such foods as kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples and pears.

What does a dietitian do for high cholesterol? ›

Registered dietitians are experts in diet and nutrition, particularly for promoting general health and treating conditions, such as high cholesterol. A dietitian can evaluate your diet and create a plan and detailed menu to work with your lifestyle and daily routine. A dietitian will ask about your eating habits.

What are 3 best foods for lowering cholesterol? ›

Here are 13 of the best foods to lower cholesterol.
  1. Oats and Oat Bran. bit245 / Getty Images. ...
  2. Almonds. Javier Zayas Photography / Getty Images. ...
  3. Berries. Westend61 / Getty Images. ...
  4. Walnuts. Arx0nt / Getty Images. ...
  5. Beans. Janine Lamontagne / Getty Images. ...
  6. Avocados. Westend61 / Getty Images. ...
  7. Flaxseeds. ...
  8. Cocoa Products.
Mar 1, 2024

Are potatoes bad for cholesterol? ›

Potatoes and Cholesterol: What You Need to Know. Potatoes contain soluble and insoluble fibers, which may help reduce your levels of LDL cholesterol. That said, how you prepare and eat your potatoes will impact their health benefits.

What kind of chips can I eat with high cholesterol? ›

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.

What can I drink before bed to lower cholesterol? ›

What Are Some Recommended Drinks to Lower Cholesterol?
  • Green tea. Green tea is not nearly as processed as other types of tea, which allows it to hold onto its natural medicinal properties that have been utilized for centuries. ...
  • Pomegranate juice. ...
  • Soy milk. ...
  • Plant-based smoothies. ...
  • Red wine.

What kind of crackers can I eat with high cholesterol? ›

Whole-wheat crackers with hummus makes a great bedtime snack with cholesterol-lowering potential. Whole-wheat products can be a great source of fiber, and some crackers are also a good source of unsaturated fat. Just check the nutrition label to make sure, since products will vary.

What is the golden drink that lowers cholesterol? ›

Golden milk, also known as turmeric milk, is a common Indian drink that has recently been gaining popularity in western cultures due to many health claims. It's beautiful bright yellow color is a result of adding turmeric, along with spices such as cinnamon and ginger, to milk.

What is the number one fruit to lower cholesterol? ›

Apples are the most nutritious, healthy, and tasty fruit. You must have heard the common saying 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away'. Apples can effectively help in lowering your blood cholesterol levels naturally, as it is rich in polyphenols. Apples are also rich in soluble fibre which keeps your heart healthy.

What is the biggest culprit of high cholesterol? ›

Eating a lot of foods high in saturated fats raises “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are found in fatty cuts of meat and dairy products. No more than 10% of your daily calories should come from saturated fats. Smoking lowers HDL cholesterol, particularly in women, and raises LDL cholesterol.

Are bananas good for cholesterol? ›

However, cholesterol can be bad if too much comes from foods high in saturated fat. This is why it is important to eat foods to help lower your cholesterol, such as those high in soluble fiber. Fruits like avocados and apples, and citrus fruits like oranges and bananas are foods that can help lower cholesterol.

Are eggs bad for high cholesterol? ›

One large egg has about 186 mg of cholesterol — all of which is found in the yolk. If your diet contains little other cholesterol, according to some studies, eating up to an egg a day might be an OK choice. If you like eggs but don't want the cholesterol, use only the egg whites.

What meat protein has the least cholesterol? ›

What meat protein has the least cholesterol? Meat proteins low in cholesterol include fish and lean meats, such as skinless chicken breast. However, it is important to note that the way the food is prepared can affect its cholesterol content.

What is the best meat to lower cholesterol? ›

The best meat to help reduce cholesterol is lean cuts of meat with little to no visible fat. Poultry, such as chicken or turkey, without the skin, is also leaner than poultry with the skin on and may contain less fat than duck or goose.

What meat has the highest protein and lowest cholesterol? ›

Poultry, like chicken or turkey, is a great low-fat protein source. One serving of poultry is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than one serving of red meat per day. Poultry also helps keep your cholesterol lower compared to red meat.

What meat can I eat with high cholesterol? ›

Limit yourself to the recommended 3-ounce portion size and stick to leaner cuts like sirloin, pork loin, or filet mignon. Better yet, replace meat with proteins that are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, like skinless chicken or turkey breast, fish, and beans.

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