If you have paid attention to the media recently, the experts are touting that getting more fiber in your diet will help lower cholesterol. This is good news with all the alleged problems and lawsuits against statins that lower cholesterol. Is it true though? What else can fiber do besides lower cholesterol to make it necessary for our diet? It is looking like if you get enough fiber in your diet, your chances reduce dramatically of acquiring many diseases you could be susceptible to as you get older.
What exactly does fiber help to prevent? New research has shown that a diet with enough fiber in it can reduce the chances of diverticulosis, diabetes (by slowing the release of sugars from the blood), heart disease (by, yes, lowering cholesterol), and other diseases. Currently, there are conflicting reports whether fiber helps prevent cancer, but if you do eat foods that have generous amounts of fiber in them (such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) you also get plenty of minerals and vitamins that are very important to the body. Bonus, baby!!!
In a nut shell, this is what fiber does. It goes through the intestines and picks up all the wastes and toxins along the way. It continues to trek through the intestines, passing through quickly. Because fiber is going through so fast, it doesn’t allow the waste time to settle and develop into health problems such as cancer or tumors. And yes, some of that waste is cholesterol, which the fiber helps to eliminate. Also, if you want weight loss, the intake of fiber helps give you a fullness feeling and as a result you don’t want to eat as much. Thus, because you’re not eating as much, you lose weight. Pretty nice, huh!
With our society’s new diet of processed foods and lack of natural foods, Americans get on average 10 to 15 grams a day of fiber, but it is usually on the low end. Our diets consist of high saturated fats and proteins along with these processed carbohydrates. There really isn’t a lot of fiber found in these foods. It gets lost in the processing. New studies have shown that if you can acquire around 30 to 35 grams of fiber a day, it will increase your health benefits and chances of preventing cancer. But unfortunately, some Americans couldn’t identify a fruit or a vegetable if it were in front of them. Which, as you will learn, are great sources of fiber. So the obvious question would be, how does one change his/her diet to get enough fiber?
Good sources of fiber can be found in the following foods: apples, citrus fruits, strawberries, oats, oatmeal, potatoes, pasta, and dried beans. These are soluble fibers, meaning they dissolve in water. These fibers help lower the cholesterol and give you that fullness feeling mentioned earlier. Other great sources of fiber that help remove wastes and possibly prevent cancer are: crunchy vegetables, whole wheat grains, and whole wheat pasta. These foods don’t dissolve in water and are commonly called insoluble fibers. They help with waste removal as well as possible cancer prevention. Really try to avoid foods that are processed such as white breads and white pastas.
All in all you want to make sure you get a lot of fiber in your diet, but don’t neglect your proteins and carbohydrates so you can really get a balanced diet and acquire the nutrients your body needs to run efficiently. So, bottom line is that if you are a person that has high cholesterol, fiber will definitely help you lower it. Along with lowering the cholesterol, you will also get a lot of added health benefits that might help you lead a long and happy life.