WHAT YOU PROBABLY SHOULD KNOW ABOUT FIBER...
The American Heart Association Eating Plan suggests that you eat foods that are high in soluble and insoluble fiber. Foods that are high in soluble fiber, including oat bran, oatmeal, beans, peas, rice bran, barley, citrus fruits, strawberries, and apple pulp, have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol. It is recommended that people eat 30 to 50 grams of soluble and insoluble fiber per day.
The greatest cholesterol-lowering effect of soluble fiber occurs in people who have high cholesterol levels. Eating more soluble fiber alone without making other dietary changes is found to lower cholesterol about 2% to 4%. A recent study found that a dietary fiber intake of 30 grams lowered the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) by 12% in U.S. men and women.
Insoluble fiber doesn't seem to affect blood cholesterol; however, it promotes healthy bowel movement. Foods that are high in insoluble fiber include whole wheat breads, wheat cereals, wheat bran, cabbage, beets, carrots, brussels sprouts, turnips, cauliflower, and apple skin. Fiber from such foods is better for the bowel than fiber supplements, such as psyllium seed products.
However, psyllium (a common ingredient in nonprescription fiber supplements and laxatives) has been used to boost the effectiveness of some lipid-lowering drugs while reducing the stomach upset commonly caused by those drugs. These products are not recommended to replace foods as a source of fiber. Supplements like psyllium, chia seeds, and flax seeds may all act to similarly to reduce cholesterol in people who are already eating a low-fat diet.
Click Here To Download A Comprehensive Chart & Guide To Fiber Rich Foods
More on Types of Fiber: Soluable vs. Insoluable Fiber
Both soluble and insoluble fiber are undigested. They are therefore not absorbed into the bloodstream. Instead of being used for energy, fiber is excreted from our bodies. Soluble fiber forms a gel when mixed with liquid, while insoluble fiber does not. Insoluble fiber passes through our intestines largely intact.
Functions of Insoluble Fiber
· It moves bulk through the intestines
· It controls and balances the pH (acidity) in the intestines
Benefits of Insoluble Fiber
· It promotes regular bowel movement and prevent constipation
· It emove toxic waste through colon by moving the contents more quickly
· It helps prevent colon cancer by keeping an optimal pH in intestines to prevent microbes from producing cancerous substances
Food Sources of Insoluble Fiber
· Vegetables such as green beans and dark green leafy vegetables
- Fruit skins and root vegetable skins
· Whole-grain products: whole wheat, wheat bran, rye
· Corn bran, rice bran
· Seeds & Nuts like Almonds, pecans, and walnuts
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, bok choi
- Raw carrots, celery, beets, avocado, olives, radishes, turnips, jicama
- Raw coconut
Functions of Soluble Fiber
· It binds with fats in the G-I tract
- It binds with toxins, keeping them from being absorbed
· It prolongs stomach emptying time so that sugar is released and absorbed more slowly
Benefits of Soluble Fiber
· It lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) therefore reducing the risk of heart disease
· It regulates blood sugar swings for people with diabetes, and causes less insulin release and less weight gain and fat storage
Food Sources of Soluble Fiber
· Oat/Oat bran, corn, millet, barley, popcorn
· Legumes: Beans and peas
· Flax & chia seeds, and Psyllium husks
· Orchard fruits such as prunes, apples, plums, pears, grapes
- Bananas, Mangos, Papaya
· Coked vegetables such as squash, zucchini, asparagus, tomato, okra, jicama