Eat Fiber for Your Heart

Up your fiber intake to 20-35 grams per day and decrease your likelihood of heart disease by more than 60 percent. One cup of black beans and brown rice puts you over the minimum requirement – as does two slices whole grain bread (at least 7 grams per slice – check the label), an apple, 1/2 cup berries, and two one half cup servings of vegetables.

Fiber May Keep Heart Disease as Bay

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, increasing both insoluble and soluble fiber intake dramatically reduces the likelihood of heart disease. The fiber intake should come from foods. Soluble fiber is found in oatmeal, beans, berries and apples; foods rich in insoluble fiber include vegetables and whole grains.

The lead investigator of the study, Dr. Yunsheng Ma of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worchester reported the study tracked patient’s levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). These protein levels have been linked to risk factors of heart disease in previous studies.

Tracking 524 healthy adults by monitoring their CRP levels for one year and tracking levels of diet, exercise levels, and other health-related issues, the study’s findings recommend that adults consume 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day. The study found that adults consuming higher fiber content were 63 per cent less likely to have an elevated CRP level.

The typical American consumes less than half that much fiber. The good news is that the patients that received the added benefits with an average intake of 22 grams of fiber. It doesn’t take a big change to get to 22 grams. Replacing your morning toast with high-fiber bread provides 7 grams with each piece. That gives you 14 grams and your more than half way to your goal. One cup of black beans provides a whopping 19 grams of fiber.

Check the labels of breads, pastas, and fruits and vegetables and buy the ones with higher fiber content. Fiber charts are widely available on the Internet. Print one out and plan your fiber intake on a daily basis.

This article is intended for general information only and is not intended to replace information from your dietitian or doctor.

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