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How fibre can reduce your risk of heart disease

fibre vegetables fruits soluble insoluble asparagus

February 25, 2019 | Daina Patel, DC

North American diets are famous for being high in sugar and fat, both which contribute to the high rates of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and many other conditions. Too many meals with processed foods (such as white sugar, white flour, preservatives, artificial colours and flavours, high fructose corn syrup, etc.) and saturated fats (oils, butter, dairy, deep fried foods, coconut oil, etc.) can have a large impact on your health. This type of diet is directly related to poor health.

It’s not easy to change the way you eat overnight and just wake up and be healthy. The key is to slowly increase healthier foods and slowly decrease the foods that can cause a lot of health problems. One easy way to reduce your risk or to reduce further problems if you are already experiencing these condition is to increase the fibre in your diet. 

Dietary fibre is categorized generally as soluble (dissolves in water) and insoluble (does not dissolve in water). It is best to eat both types of fibre and get it from a variety of different sources. 

Soluble Fibre Sources:

Fruits (apples, pears, stone fruits, berries, dried fruits- figs, raisins, etc.), oats, seeds (flax, sunflower, chia, etc.), nuts (cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.), peas, lentils, beans (black, kidney, lima, etc.), potatoes (white and sweet), avocados, veggies (brussels sprouts, broccoli, turnips, carrots, etc.)

Insoluble Fibre Sources:

Wheat bran, whole grains (quinoa, buckwheat, etc), nuts, beans, veggies

For more sources of fibre and the amount per serving, please visit: 
https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Factsheets/Food-Sources-of-Soluble-Fibre.aspx

When buying packages items (such as whole grain bread), here is a simple rule to follow as to whether the item contains enough fibre: 

5-to-1 Rule for Packaged Items:

https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/05/08/follow-the-5-to-1-rule-for-packaged-foods/

Start off slow when you increase your daily fibre and drink plenty of water to help ease digestion. 

Combining diet with exercise is the best way to reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol. It has been shown to help reduce blood sugars and cholesterol on blood tests. It can also be helpful in reducing risk of cancers! There are many benefits to fibre but in a nutshell, it will improve your health overall. 

Resources:

Dieticians of Canada – https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Factsheets/Food-Sources-of-Soluble-Fibre.aspx

Dr. Michael Greger – nutritionfacts.org

*Disclaimer

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