Give your heart some love. Make a commitment to incorporate more fibre into your daily diet. Fibre not only helps to reduce our cholesterol, risk for heart disease and certain types of cancer, it keeps us regular and feeling good.
Fibre is found in plant foods only and there are two important kinds: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre is a soft fibre found in foods like oatmeal, oat bran, legumes, broccoli and oranges. These foods help to lower our blood cholesterol levels, control blood glucose levels, and improve our risk of developing heart disease. Insoluble fibre (the roughage or bulk) is found in wheat bran, whole grains and some vegetables. The fibre in these foods promotes regularity and a healthy digestive system.
The Dietitians of Canada recommend that women from age 19 to 50 consume 25 grams of fibre each day while men of the same age should aim to consume 38 grams per day. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes (all good sources of fibre) should be part of our diet on a daily basis. By choosing leaner cuts of meat, fat-reduced dairy products, fish and combining them with foods high in fibre, we can significantly reduce our risk for heart disease. Fibre can also help us manage our weight, as it keeps us feeling fuller longer so we won’t be tempted to snack on sugar foods or overindulge during the next meal.