High cholesterol level might contribute to various health disturbances, including health problems. Since cholesterol in your blood stream is also contributed by what foods you take, it is important to put this into account. Healthy diet is thus important in regulating healthy cholesterol level, which may prevent cardiovascular diseases and heart attack. One of the healthiest diet for lowering cholesterol is foods with high level of soluble fiber.
How soluble fiber helps your heart
You might have heard about how soluble fiber helps your digestion. Foods loaded with fiber are helpful to prevent constipation and keep your intestines healthy. In fact, what soluble fiber does inside the body is more than merely preventing digestion. Fiber is also beneficial for your heart health. If you regularly put high-fiber foods as a part of your diet, it helps protecting your body ticker. Soluble fiber, to be specific, lowers cholesterol level, reduces the risk of stroke, inhibits type-2 diabetes, and assists weight loss.
In your blood stream, soluble fiber helps reducing the “bad” cholesterol or LDL, and overall cholesterol. This healthy substance bind themselves to blood cholesterol and dispose them before these cholesterol are absorbed by the body, or cause some build ups on the artery walls. When you have got healthy arteries and major blood vessels, you will always have sufficient supply of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. You will also be free from thickened arteries caused by the waxy substance build ups, which increase the risk of heart attack. Sufficient consumption of soluble fiber also helps keeping blood pressure under control, which prevents the risk of stroke. Fiber-rich diets also minimizes the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
Soluble fiber foods to lower cholesterol
Actually, fiber is found in many of our daily foods. Certain whole foods are fiber-rich and thus, may help lowering cholesterol and prevent its bad effects for the heart. To improve the heart health, women is advised to take 25 grams of fiber per day, while men 38 grams. Unfortunately, most of us only consume 15 grams of fiber every day. Hence, it is important to reconsider the diet by replacing lean meat, for example, with high-fiber diets, which are more nutritious and beneficial for the heart. Foods enriched with soluble fiber will help the digestion by disposing excessed cholesterol. This, thus, will help lower the level of bad cholesterol.
Some best foods containing high level of soluble fibers you might want to consider in your daily diet are:
- All kinds of beans, lentils, and peas are the top sources of soluble fiber. One cup of each contains approximately 13 grams of beneficial soluble fiber. This means, a half portion for women a day and one-third for men.
- Whole wheat and grains provide as high level of fiber as the beans and lentils do. However, when it comes to rice, choose the brown one, as white rice does not provide as much fiber as the brown one does. A cup of each contains 8 to 10 grams of soluble fiber, which is sufficient enough for your daily intake when combined with other fiber sources.
- Vegetables, such as green peas, broccolis, cauliflowers, okra, carrots, pumpkins, and asparagus also give the body considerable amount of soluble fiber for digestion. In average, each cup of these vegetable provides approximately 6 to 8 grams of soluble fiber you need every day. Sweet potatoes, instead of the white ones should also be considered, as it provides much higher cholesterol level to help lower the body’s overall cholesterol level.
- Fruits, such as oranges, apples, mangos, strawberries, bananas, mangoes, blueberries, and apples are not only high in antioxidants, but also soluble fiber. A cup of juiced fruits contributes similar amount of cholesterol contributed by green leafy vegetables.
If you are suffering from high cholesterol, or have a family history of high cholesterol or heart diseases, it is important to consider some food-related things, other than merely its soluble fiber content. These include:
- Avoiding refined grains, such as white flour, white bread, white pasta, and white rice, as these foods are high in glycemic index. This means, they will be processed very quickly inside the body and thus, changed into blood sugar that contributes to high cholesterol level. Instead, choose unprocessed foods or whole grains, such as wheat and brown rice, which are lower in glycemic index.
- Paying attention to how you process the raw foods. Beans and vegetables are advised to be boiled or steamed, instead of fried or baked. If you prefer to sauté the vegetables, especially the green leafy ones, it is important not to add too much vegetable oil or you can replace the oil with the healthier ones, such as the coconut or olive oil.
- Combining some daily fiber sources are not only good for your appetite, but also your entire body health. Most foods loaded with high soluble fibers do not only contain the fiber, but also vitamins and minerals, which are beneficial for the body functions, including lowering cholesterol level. It is important to eat fruits when your stomach is empty to get its maximum benefits. The enzymes and antioxidant properties inside the fruits will work very well to do detoxification inside your body. This way, excessed cholesterol is going to be disposed before too much is absorbed by the body in digestion system, so that you are keeping the level under control.