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Give your heart and gut some love: Fiber

If you are experiencing issues with cholesterol and/or digestive issues, this one's for you!!! 

You see it on all of the cereal boxes how great fiber is for your cholesterol, but fiber might be one of the more overlooked portions of our diet. In fact most Americans are only getting about ½ the amount that is recommended (about 25-40g daily) 

Not only is fiber an amazing tool in order to lower your cholesterol, but it is also a vital part in optimizing your digestion!

So let's look at the what, why and how (to get more) about fiber!

What types of Fiber are there

When it comes to our diet, we typically look at 2 things: Soluble and Insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber comes from sources like oat bran, peas, beans, and some fruits and vegetables. This fiber does dissolve in water, so it slows down digestion, regulates blood sugar and increases nutrient absorption. 


Insoluble fiber is found in wheat bran, many vegetables, nuts and seeds, potatoes, dark leafy greens, and fruit skin. It does not dissolve in water therefore adds bulk to our stool so things tend to run a bit smoother through our digestive tract.

Good news: many fiber sources contain some soluble and insoluble fiber! 

Why Soluble Fiber lowers your cholesterol

Your liver uses cholesterol to create Bile

Bile floats in your digestive tract to break down fats

Soluble fiber acts like a sponge to absorb bile and takes it out with it

The cholesterol used to create more bile comes from your bloodstream

Cholesterol removed from your bloodstream lowers blood cholesterol levels

Get adequate Fiber Content - Variety of fibers - Beans, Oats, Veggies, whole grains, nuts/seeds

Why Fiber improves digestion

Your digestive tract takes time to digest and absorb nutrients from our food. Adding fiber is a key component in slowing down the process in order to optimize our digestion. It is also vital in keeping your stool the right consistency 

Why Fiber is important in gut health

“Gut Health” is one of most discussed topics among influencers on the internet right now. In 2021 it is estimated that the gut health industry accounted for $38,416 million and is looking like it will continue to increase at around 8% per year! The truth of the matter is that (at the time of writing this) we know less about our gut than we do about space! So while pumping supplements is all the rage with the gurus, most science backed professionals still credit having a diet rich in fiber and probiotic rich foods is one of the best things you can do for your gut health. The main reason being is that the fiber (also known as prebiotic) is the food that the natural probiotics in your belly feed and flourish on! So while some of us might need medical intervention, it might be a better call to start with improving our diet before popping some probiotics. 

How can we get more fiber

Processed foods have become a staple in the American diet. Most of these foods strip away most of the fiber in order to become more pleasing to your pallet. 

We can improve our fiber intake by following a few steps:

  1. Have at least 2 servings of vegetables at each meal. Yes, even breakfast! Try to get a variety of sources.

  2. Have at least 2 servings of fruit a day. Berries, apples and bananas are great sources.

  3. Have 3 servings of fiber rich carbohydrates like potatoes with the skin, oats, whole grain and sprouted bread products, bulger, brown and/or wild rice, nuts. 

So start showing your gut some love and feed it some fiber!


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