Are you getting enough fiber to support your heart?
Don’t just focus on the fat, fiber can play a huge role in supporting your heart health! So, the question remains, are you getting enough fiber to support your heart? Not likely, the average American barely consumes half of their daily recommended fiber. So what does fiber have to do with heart health? Read below for a breakdown of the different types of dietary fiber and the role they play in your health and more importantly, your heart health!
As soluble fiber travels through your gut it grabs hold of things and helps us to eliminate them. One of those things is cholesterol. It is important to understand that only about 30% of cholesterol comes from your food, the rest is made by your liver – some of that cholesterol gets released into the intestines along with the dietary cholesterol to help with digestion. When soluble fiber is present, it is able to grab hold of extra cholesterol so that we eliminate it, rather than absorbing it. This keeps us from continually making AND reabsorbing cholesterol, which keeps our blood levels from rising.
Good food sources of soluble fiber include oats, rye, barley, beans and legumes, the flesh of some fruits and vegetables, chia seeds and ground flax seeds.
On another note, not only are beans packed with soluble fiber, but they are high in magnesium and potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure!
Insoluble fiber is also important for heart health, as it promotes regular bowel movements, keeps the gut environment healthy, and it also helps weight management as it fills us up but does not contain calories.
Insoluble fiber is found in wheat, bran, whole grains, the skins of fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
In addition to the heart health benefits, dietary fiber helps us reduce portion sizes, frequency of eating and regulates hunger because it fills us up and helps us to feel fuller longer. Fiber also promotes gut health by feeding probiotics, or good bacteria, in our gut, which can be linked to reducing the risk for chronic disease!
ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH FIBER TO SUPPORT YOUR HEART? PROBABLY NOT, BUT WE CAN HELP! REMEMBER, VISITS WITH A REGISTERED DIETITIAN ARE COVERED BY MOST INSURANCE CARRIERS FOR IN-PERSON AND TELE-HEALTH VISITS. ASK US A QUESTION OR REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT TO LEARN MORE!