Fiber refers to certain carbohydrates that cannot be fully digested by the body, and it comes from vegetables, fruits, and grains. It is an important nutrient that provides a lot of health benefits. Other than facilitating proper digestion, it can also lower the risk of heart disease. Here are some of the things that fiber can do to improve your heart health:
Heart Healthy Benefits of Fiber
The positive effects of fiber on heart health have been proven through extensive research. It has been found that a diet rich in fiber can:
- reduce bad cholesterol levels
- reduce blood pressure in hypertensive people
- reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics
- reduce risk of diabetes
- reduce risk of heart disease
- help maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity
Theories about the Benefits of Fiber
Since it cannot be digested, fiber just passes through the body. It makes your heart healthier by preventing the intake of foods that are less healthy. There are a number of theories about how fiber works to improve heart health, and they are:
- Fiber is a binding agent – This theory suggests that fiber binds with cholesterol in your intestines and prevents it from entering your bloodstream. By doing so, it ensures that your arteries will remain clog-free.
- Fiber is a substitute for unhealthy foods – When you eat more fiber-rich foods, you will probably be eating less high-calorie and high-fat foods. This makes your diet healthier.
- Fiber promotes weight loss – Fiber-rich foods can help you lose weight because they are low in calories. Also, they can make you feel full for a longer period of time and prevent overeating.
In our next post, we will take a look at the different types of fiber and provide suggestions on how to include fiber in your diet.