High cholesterol: The top three sandwich spreads to help lower cholesterol

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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The next time you go to make a sandwich, what do you spread the bread with? If it’s butter, then you could be making a mistake – it’s high in saturated fat, meaning it’s no good for your cholesterol levels. Making dietary adjustments easier, the cholesterol charity Heart UK have shared three great alternatives. Firstly, sunflower spread should be one of your go-to choices as it contains unsaturated fats.

Foods rich in unsaturated fat (instead of saturated fats) are much healthier for you.

Secondly, olive spread could be another great option to spread on top of bread.

In fact, any type of fat spreads made from vegetable oils, such as sunflower and olive spread, would be a good alternative.

Thirdly, another spread to try out is avocado – you’ll be surprised how many sandwich fillings this goes well with.

Avocados are also rich in unsaturated fats, and they are easily spreadable (as long as they’re ripe).

“Cutting down on saturated fat is great way to lower your cholesterol and look after you heart,” said Heart UK.

“And it’s just as important to replace some of this with unsaturated fats.”

As for the sandwich filling, try to add in some vegetables that can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

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This could include:

  • Tomatoes (although, technically a fruit)
  • Peppers
  • Hummus (chickpeas)
  • Sweetcorn
  • Cucumbers

Vegetables “contain vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals which help you to stay healthy and prevent disease”.

In addition, they’re high in fibre, which can help to block cholesterol from being absorbed in the intestines into the bloodstream.

Adults are advised to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

If you like to have a snack alongside your sandwich, put away any crisps and chocolate you might have been planning on eating.

Instead, a handful of nuts could be the best alternative to help keep cholesterol levels down.

They are good sources of unsaturated fats, high in fibre, and are filling – keeping you feeling fuller for longer.

“Where possible, go for the kind with their skins still intact as they contain more nutrients,” added the charity.

Nuts that can help lower cholesterol:

  • Almonds
  • Macadamias
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashew nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans

For dinner, Heart UK recommend eating oily fish at least once per week – whether it’s tinned, frozen or fresh.

Examples of oily fish include: Salmon, sardines, pilchards, trout, herring and mackerel.

These fishes are rich in omega-3 unsaturated fats, which can help protect your heart.

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