Letting Fiber Work for You

xxxLetting Fiber Work for You xxx

We heart fiber! An unsung hero for our hearts, soluble fiber is now being recognized for its star potential in supporting healthy cholesterol levels — a good thing for cardiovascular health.

As a carbohydrate that can't be digested, fiber performs a unique service to our bodies and our wellness. While we've suspected its benefits for years, scientific research now proves that fiber is a vital component of a cardio-protective diet1.

Fiber at work

Different fibers have different physical properties, and one of those is solubility.

Fibers that are more soluble dissolve to form a gel-like substance in our intestines. As it passes through the digestive system, this substance helps remove cholesterol from the body1.

Fibers that are more insoluble contribute to digestive health by providing bulk for the gastrointestinal tract or colon. Sure, the colon may not be too flashy but that doesn't diminish its role in our health.

It's official

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agrees with our love of fiber. As the result of a rigorous review process, the agency issued an official health claim. FDA scientists acknowledge that three grams of soluble fiber a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease2.

Filled with fiber

Scientists recommend men consume 38 grams of fiber per day and women consume 25 grams of fiber per day1. Fortunately for us, nature makes it easy to get fiber in our daily diet. Foods rich in soluble fiber come in all colors, tastes and textures. Eating whole foods or foods that are minimally processed will help you make the most of fiber's benefits. Good sources of fiber include:

  • Fruit — including bananas, cranberries, strawberries and oranges
  • Legumes — including beans, lentils and chickpeas
  • Vegetables — including carrots, spinach and broccoli
  • Whole grains — including oats, wheat bran and brown rice

Choosing foods high in fiber satisfies your senses and your heart.

1 Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2002.
2 Fruits, Vegetables and Grain Products that contain Fiber, particularly Soluble fiber, and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease 21 CFR 101.77; Soluble Fiber from Certain Foods and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease 21 CFR 101.81

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