Anika is 34 with a family history of hyperlipidemia and hypertension. Last year, a routine test revealed a cholesterol level of 220mg/dL, which is considered borderline high. That was a wakeup call for her to act and watch what she ate.
This year, she repeated the test and her cholesterol level has dropped to 190mg/dL. She achieved this by eating foods high in fiber.
For good heart health, your body needs fiber which you can get by eating a variety of foods.
Although there are several forms of fiber, they can be classified into two major groups: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. While both are good for the body, only one group has been shown to be beneficial in lowering your cholesterol.
Soluble fiber is a type of fiber found in plant foods. Because it is not absorbed in the intestine, It can bind cholesterol in your intestine and remove it from the body. Which can help you lower your blood cholesterol levels.
Getting more soluble fiber in your diet is easy
When it comes to your heart health, studies have shown that eating 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber a day can help lower your total and LDL-cholesterol by 5 to 11 points, and sometimes more.
To eat at least 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber a day, you should choose many foods with 1 to 3 grams of soluble fiber.
Once you get started, you’ll see that eating foods high in soluble fiber is a delicious way to lower your LDL-C.
Foods High in Soluble Fiber
- You should eat whole grains to get 1-2 grams in just ½ cup of cooked barley, oatmeal, oat bran, and quinoa.
- Eating lean protein foods will give you 1 to 3 grams per ½ cup of beans such as black-eyed peas; chick peas; and black, kidney, lima, navy, pinto, and soy beans.
- Consuming healthy fats will give you 1 or more grams in 2 tbsp avocado, 1 tbsp whole chia seeds, and 2 tbsp ground flax seeds.
- You will enjoy 1 or more grams in vegetables like, ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, green beans, okra, onions, parsnips, and turnips.
- You can get 1 gram in starchy vegetable; ½ cup of sweet potatoes and green peas
- Fruits: Enjoy 1 or more grams in a medium apple, banana, guava, orange, peach, or pear; 2 apricots or plums; ½ mango; ¼ cup figs or dried apricots or 3 prunes; and 1 cup of raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries.
You can take a natural fiber supplement like psyllium. Start with a small dose mixed with water then slowly increase the dose, taking as directed.
Don’t you forget to drink extra water as you increase your daily fiber intake. Your fluid needs vary, but 9 to 12 cups of fluid a day are recommended for most healthy people.