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Cholesterol-Busting Foods!

Something that many of us are guilty of nowadays is not getting enough fiber.

It's so much easier to grab some fast food or even something from the fridge. 

I know I'm sure guilty of that! How about you?

But if you knew that getting more fiber would help lower your blood pressure, would you be more inclined to do it?

Read to the bottom to find a video from Dr. Alan Mandell DC, showing the benefits of one delicious vegetable you may already love! Nothing to buy on the video...purely information! 

Well, there were 25 clinical trials done where the results were tallied together. The results of those studies were published in the March 2005 issue of the Journal of Hypertension and showed that eating a high fiber diet is associated with lowering of high blood pressure in both diastolic and systolic numbers.

If you have already started watching your potassium, you've got a leg up on that score since potassium-filled foods automatically add fiber to your diet.

Fiber is something you want to be sure to have enough of because it helps move the bad cholesterol through your body and clears out that inventory when you sit on the throne in your bathroom each day (you know, when you poop!) 

Less lousy cholesterol means less chance of more plaque building up in your artery walls (atherosclerosis) and potentially causing a blockage.

Of course, at the same time you are eating all these great foods full of fiber, you also want to cut back on some of the foods that cause the higher LDL, such as red meat. Maybe buy a leaner percentage of ground beef, or using olive oil to replace some of the butter or margarine you use.

How Many Grams of Fiber Per Day Is Best?

According to research studies, for every 1-2 grams of soluble fiber, LDL is lowered 1%.

What you should be aiming for is at least 21 – 38 grams of fiber each day, depending on how old you are and whether you are male or female.

 Dr. Andrew Weil actually recommends more than that; he recommends 45 grams a day. He also adds a warning that unless you don't mind passing a lot of gas to gradually add more fiber to your diet.

Age 50  or Younger
Age 51 or Older
38 grams
30 grams
25 grams
21 grams

Two Types of Fiber

Did you know there are two types of fiber? They are called insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. You need both of them, but to start out the main goal is to just make sure you are increasing the fiber a little each day until you are at the goal.
cholesterol-busting foods

Soluble Fiber:

It's what will actually absorb water in the stomach and forms a gel, which interferes with the absorption of cholesterol, thus lowering your LDL (lousy, bad) cholesterol. It's also helpful in controlling diabetes as well as weight control since it makes you feel full longer.

You can tell what type of fiber the food is by if it becomes soft and creamy when cooked; that would indicate that it is soluble fiber.

Sources of soluble fiber are oatmeal, oat cereal, celery, apples, oranges, strawberries, nuts, flaxseeds, blueberries, beans, psyllium, cucumbers,  carrots, and chia seeds.

Insoluble Fiber: 

This type of fiber helps to prevent constipation by having a laxative effect. It does not absorb water, and actually helps the food you eat move thru your digestive system faster.

If the food requires extra chewing to eat it, it is more than likely an insoluble fiber.
Sources of insoluble fiber are whole wheat, whole grains, corn bran, brown rice, couscous, zucchini, celery, broccoli, cabbage, onions, dark leafy green vegetables, raisins, grapes, fruit, some fruit, and root vegetable skins, barley, tomatoes, cauliflower, potatoes, and green beans.

Note there are a few food items that are listed as both the insoluble and soluble.

One more thing to pay attention to is that as you increase your fiber, especially the soluble fiber that absorbs water, is to be sure to increase your water intake.

I've found that an easy way to keep track of how much water you are drinking is to use one of the recyclable water bottles, such as from Clean Kanteen that you just keep refilling and washing out. 

Either have 2 or 3 bottles each day or put rubber bands around the container signifying how many times you want to refill each day. 

As you refill, take a rubber band off. By the end of the day, you should have had your goal amount!

If you should happen to have acute digestive problems, increasing your fiber is not something you should be doing unless your doctor has advised you to do so.