Food Q&A: Heart-healthy Snacks?

Tasty noshes that won't hurt your ticker.

Need ideas for coping with restaurant buffets? Want some good snack ideas? In our Q&A series, nutritionist and food editor Leslie Fink, MS, RD, answers questions about food, nutrition and weight loss.

Q: What kind of snacks fit into a heart-healthy diet?

A: There are always fruits and vegetables: they're low calorie and chock-full of vitamins, minerals and other heart-healthy substances. But while a juicy orange may satisfy you some days, other days you may need something with a bit more staying power.

What to look for? Individual foods or snacks that contain a good dose of soluble fiber (oats, beans, peas), folate and other B vitamins (beans, citrus fruit, broccoli, asparagus and spinach, fortified cereal and grain products) and healthy fats (olive and canola oil, most nuts, seeds, avocado). Collectively, these foods may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, thereby helping to reduce your overall heart-disease risk.

Tasty options incorporating these foods include:

  1. Oat-based granola bars or homemade trail mix (whole wheat cereal, dried fruit, nuts and seeds).
  2. Slivered almonds mixed into low-fat yogurt with fresh fruit.
  3. Peanut butter pinwheels: Spread a whole-wheat tortilla with peanut butter and sprinkle with raisins. or dried cranberries; roll up and slice into rounds.
  4. Orange-Cilantro Black Bean Salad
  5. Classic Guacamole
  6. Hummus or black bean salsa and crudités. Or try our delicious White Bean Dip.
  7. Black bean and avocado nachos: Top baked tortilla chips with canned black beans, chopped tomato and low-fat shredded cheese; bake until melted and top with diced avocado.
Free Newsletter Get it now