Easy Ways to Increase Dietary Fiber to Lower Cholesterol
If you want to naturally lower your cholesterol, it is imperative that you increase the amount of fiber in your diet particularly soluble fiber. Most of us eat way too few foods that contain soluble fiber. One of the main reasons for this is that we eat too few whole, plant-based foods. Most of us still have a very meat-centric diet. Meat contains no fiber and eating a fruit at breakfast with high fiber cold cereal, a meat-based sandwich with whole grain bread at lunch, and a salad at dinner isn’t going to get you to your soluble fiber targets. You need to be eating a lot more plant-based foods than in the example just given if you want to see cholesterol-lowering results.
So what is soluble fiber and why is it so important in terms of naturally lowering your cholesterol? Soluble fiber is found in varying degrees in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Soluble fiber absorbs water and becomes a gelatinous substance in the body whereas insoluble fiber remains largely intact and helps food pass through the digestive tract. If we use a plum as an example, the flesh of the plum contains most of the soluble fiber and the skin of the plum contains most of the insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber has the ability to coat the intestinal lining so that cholesterol cannot be absorbed into the bloodstream. It also has the effect of slowing the liver’s production of cholesterol. As a result, eating soluble fiber will lower LDL cholesterol and greatly improve your heart health.
A frequent excuse people give for not eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is the fact that they are simply too busy. Below are 5 easy ways to incorporate more soluble fiber into your diet even if you are someone who is always on-the-go.
Munch on Carrots: Have on hand in your refrigerator fresh vegetables that don’t spoil easily like carrots, cucumbers, and red peppers and serve them alongside a hummus sandwich using whole grain bread.
Always Have Frozen Fruit On Hand: Frozen fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are particularly good for making a quick smoothie. Try adding them to low-fat, unsweetened yogurt too.
Eat Canned Beans: Have unsalted, canned beans in the closet so you can quickly open up a can and mix it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, onion, celery, pinch of salt, and pepper and enjoy your bean dish over lettuce or a whole grain like whole grain brown rice for lunch or dinner.
Enjoy Easy-to-Prepare Whole Grains: Soak traditional (not instant) rolled oats in water along with dried fruit, seeds, and nuts and put it into the refrigerator overnight so that you can eat it cold or warmed along with a chopped apple the next morning for a fast breakfast.
Bake Sweet Potatoes in the Microwave: Have sweet potatoes or yams on hand which can be cooked in the microwave or oven and eaten at any time with a little cinnamon to satisfy a sweet craving.
Simple changes to your diet can make an enormous difference in your heart health. Wouldn’t you prefer to naturally lower your cholesterol by eating tasty, easy-to-prepare foods like the ones mentioned above versus popping pills or undergoing surgery? Such a switch in your diet will also help you to naturally lower blood sugar, reduce blood pressure, and lose weight so that you have a good chance at a healthier, longer life. Choose one of the cholesterol-lowering suggestions above and be sure to implement it today!