You have just found out that you have high cholesterol levels, currently defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program as total cholesterol levels above 200 mg / dL. Elevated cholesterol is associated with increased risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol is a health priority. Increases fiber intake is one of the best ways to lower cholesterol
Increase your fiber intake to lower cholesterol levels by up to 15 percent. Fiber is the part of food that the body can not digest. Fiber is found only in foods that come from plants, such as fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. Meat, fat and dairy products contain no fiber. On average Americans consume about 14 grams of fiber per day, which is about half of 28-35 grams per day recommended by the Institute of Medicine.
Eat a serving of fruits or vegetables at each meal to increase your fiber intake and lower cholesterol levels. Add a sliced banana to your cereal at breakfast or bring a fresh apple for lunch and serves a tossed salad for dinner. Include fruit or vegetables with snacks as well, such as eating trail mix with dried fruit and nuts or snacking on baby carrots. All kinds of fruits and vegetables contain fiber so it does not matter if you prefer fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables. Juice, however, usually contain little or no fiber.
Choose whole grains instead of processed grains to increase your fiber intake and lower cholesterol. Look for the word “whole” in the first ingredient on the food label. For example, choose whole wheat bread instead of white bread or whole grain crackers instead of snack crackers. Other sources of whole grains are brown rice, whole wheat pasta, barley and oats.
Look for a higher fiber cereal as a simple way to increase fiber intake. Choose a cereal with at least 3 grams of fiber and more preferably at least 5 grams. If a cereal contains more than 5 grams of fiber per serving, start with half of a view, and gradually increase the amount you eat a full serving over the next two weeks to avoid gas and bloating. Aim for one third of your daily fiber intake for breakfast from fruit and higher fiber cereal combined.
Include at least 1 cup of legumes each day to lower cholesterol with fiber. Legumes are dried beans and peas such as lentils, chickpeas, black beans and pinto beans. Enjoy lentil soup, toss chickpeas in your salad, making chili with navy or kidney beans, or add your favorite legume to a brown rice pilaf.
Eat more soluble fiber, a type of fiber that binds with cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract and removes it from your body. Oats, oatmeal, legumes, barley and citrus fruits such as grapefruit and oranges are particularly high in soluble fiber. Choose at least one serving of these foods per day.
Tips and Warnings
Use the information on the food label to compare the fiber content of foods.
Fiber absorbs water in the gastrointestinal tract which means you need to drink extra water to prevent constipation.
Because it is not fully digested, fiber can cause gas and bloating. Increase fiber intake gradually over time.
If gas and bloating make you uncomfortable, try a natural enzyme Beano with meals that contain fiber.