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Tag: wellness

How fibre can reduce your risk of heart disease

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

Do I really need Fish Oils?

Everyone always recommends taking fish oils for the Omega 3 fatty acids for various reasons, such as: brain, heart, eye health, depression, arthritis, and other inflammation/pain conditions. Omega 3s are essential fatty acids (EPA and DHA) which cannot be produced in the body. This is why it is often advised to take a supplement, especially for those who do not consume fish.

The Omega 3s components that are needed by the body are DHA and EPA. DHA is important for brain and eye health while EPA is great for any inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, or post-injury. High EPA formulations are great for pain management.

Omega 3s are also found in plant-based foods such as flax seeds and chia seeds in the ALA form. ALA cannot be used in the body and must be converted to EPA and DHA. This means you may not be getting enough EPA and DHA if you are only consuming ALA.

vegan ala dha epa flaxseeds omega 3 fish oils

Vegan & Plant Based Omega 3s

Vegans and vegetarians have a much harder time getting in the necessary amounts of DHA and EPA since these are not typically found in vegetarian or vegan food sources. However, many more companies are able to get DHA and EPA from algae. Not only is this a vegan/plant based source of DHA and EPA, but it can also reduce the strain on the environment due to the fishing industry. Fish oils can contain many chemicals, heavy metals, and toxins that can be found in our oceans, and subsequently in fish. There are some really good vegan/vegetarian sources of these essential fatty acids. My favourite one is the NutraVege (see image below) by Nutrasea Canada (Ascenta). Not only does it taste great, but there is no fishy taste at all because it doesn’t come from fish! There is also an added benefit of taking an algal oil vs a fish oil. The risk of contaminants such as toxins or heavy metals being present in algal oil is low.

vegan omega 3 fish oils epa dha

If you would like to buy this product, you can do so via my dispensary at Fullscript:

Purchase products through our Fullscript virtual dispensary.

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored and is not an ad. All products were purchased with my own money. Any products listed are personal favourites. This is not to replace any medical advice. Please see Disclaimer post.

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