Most of us know fiber helps improve digestion. But fiber offers so much more and that’s why it’s one of our four building blocks of heart health.
Here are the key things you need to know about fiber.
What are the heart health benefits of fiber?
Certain risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) can be positively affected by fiber:
- Cholesterol: Fiber has been shown to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and even triglycerides.
- Weight Management: Fiber helps you feel full longer, keeping food cravings down.
- Blood Sugar: Fiber helps even out and lower blood sugar levels.
What about the impact on heart disease itself?
Studies have shown that increasing your fiber intake by 10 g per day is associated with a 14% reduction in the risk of heart attacks, and a 24% reduction in the risk of dying from heart disease. Two servings per day of Step One Foods contains at least 10 g of fiber.
How much fiber should I have each day?
Depending upon age and gender, the Institute of Medicine recommends 21 – 38 grams of fiber per day from food, not supplements. Most Americans consume less than 15 g of fiber per day.
What’s the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber?
Soluble fiber absorbs water during digestion and aids in digestion. Insoluble fiber remains unchanged during digestion and helps decrease cholesterol levels. Step One Foods contain approximately 1/3 soluble fiber and 2/3 insoluble fiber.
What’s the difference between natural fiber and added fiber?
Like sugar, natural fiber is part and parcel of whole food and comes with a whole host of other beneficial nutrients (like antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals).
Added fibers can, and often are, added to anything, so be a little wary of foods supplemented with fiber. Always be sure to identify the source of fiber and read the entire ingredient list.