High Fiber Foods Connection - Cholesterol


Tucson, AZ - (High Fiber Health) In our modern day there are a great many adults who are on cholesterol-lowering drugs. Naturally, the more healthy and nutritional way to control cholesterol would be to consume more high fiber foods in the diet, particularly leafy vegetables. It is recommended that people have a daily fiber quota of 25 to 35 grams.

There are no symptoms of high blood cholesterol, so many people are unaware that their cholesterol level may be too high.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all cells of the body. It has many important functions such as producing new cells. You use cholesterol to make hormones, Vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods.Your body gets cholesterol from two sources: from the foods you eat and from your liver.

High soluble-fiber diets may assist in lowering cholesterol and lipoproteins (the bad one) by as much as 15%. Some examples of foods with soluble fiber are legumes, oat bran, barley, nuts, and many fruits and vegetables.

Soluble fiber attracts water and forms a kind of gel in the digestive tract. This gel slows down digestion and lowers the rate of the absorption of nutrients like sugars and starches from the stomach and intestine. Too much cholesterol in the blood can create a greater chance of getting heart disease. Consuming soluble fiber may help prevent heart disease and stroke as the level of cholesterol is lowered.

A buildup of too much cholesterol in your arteries is called plaque. Over time, plaque can cause narrowing of the arteries known as artherosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries".

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition(1998;17:601-608), included sixty-six men ages twenty to forty-five. Each of them consumed cookies containing one of three different fibers: oat bran, psyllium or wheat bran. In addition, the researchers counseled all the men on ways to reduce the amount of fat in their diets and encouraged them to eat less meat.

After eight weeks, those who ate the oat bran cookies had reduced their LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, levels by an average of 26%. Those in the psyllium group experienced an almost 23% drop. And, although wheat bran is not regarded as a fiber of much value in lowering cholesterol levels, even those in the wheat bran group saw a lowering of about 8 % in their blood stream levels of LDL.

Other than fiber, the researchers found no significant differences in the eating habits of the three groups of men.

Researchers also found that if you are unable to locate high fiber foods in your refrigerator or pantry, look no further than your neighborhood market.