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High-Fiber Diet for Heart Health

Dietary fiber, which is found in fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains, are not only important for digestion but research has shown that it helps lower bad cholesterol or LDL, according to Jody Gilchrist, a nurse practitioner.

There are two types of fiber, the soluble and insoluble fiber. Both fibers have good health benefits.

Soluble fiber gives a feeling of full stomach thereby helps in controlling the amount of food intake.  This type of fiber, according to research, helps lower bad cholesterol by interfering with how the body absorbs cholesterol from foods. A good source of soluble fiber includes oatmeal, oat bran, peas, beans, barley, bran, rice, citrus fruits, apple pulp and strawberries.

Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, promotes regular bowel movement as it adds bulk to the diet. This type of fiber is the most beneficial in keeping a healthy digestive tract. Foods rich in insoluble fiber include apple skin, beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, turnips, whole-wheat bread and most whole grains.

As a good rule of thumb, a person’s intake of fiber should be 14 grams for every 1,000 calories consumed, 10 grams of which should come from soluble fiber, as recommended by The American Heart Association (AHA).

Majority of nutrition experts say that a minimum of 25 grams of fiber per day is needed as part of a balanced diet, say Gilchrist.

Gilchrist advises to look for the AHA Whole Grain heart check mark on labels when buying packaged food to ensure that food bought is good for the heart. She adds that fiber supplements could be added to coffee, cereal, soups, yogurt and other foods to increase fiber intake.

 

Source:

Preidt, R. High-Fiber Diet Helps Heart Too, Expert Says. MSN.

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