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Eat Right: High Fiber Prevents Disease (With Guide+Recipe)

April 7th, 2011 by - no comments
Fat free Greek yogurt + strawberries + raw slivered almonds

Fat free Greek yogurt + strawberries + raw slivered almonds = Low fat, high protein, high fiber snack or breakfast. It's what I had today!

Hongyan Ning, M.D, recently lead a study that showed a high-fiber diet may lower your lifetime heart disease risk:

“It’s long been known that high-fiber diets can help people lose weight, lower cholesterol and improve hypertension,” said Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, M.D., corresponding author of the study and chair of the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a cardiologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “The results of this study make a lot of sense because weight, cholesterol and hypertension are major determinants of your long-term risk for cardiovascular disease.”

A high-fiber diet falls into the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 25 grams of dietary fiber or more a day. Lloyd-Jones said you should strive to get this daily fiber intake from whole foods, not processed fiber bars, supplements and drinks.

“A processed food may be high in fiber, but it also tends to be pretty high in sodium and likely higher in calories than an apple, for example, which provides the same amount of fiber,” Lloyd-Jones said.

. . .

“The results are pretty amazing,” Ning said. “Younger (20 to 39 years) and middle-aged (40 to 59 years) adults with the highest fiber intake, compared to those with the lowest fiber intake, showed a statistically significant lower lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease.”

In adults 60 to 79 years, dietary fiber intake was not significantly associated with a reduction in lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease. It’s possible that the beneficial effect of dietary fiber may require a long period of time to achieve, and older adults may have already developed significant risk for heart disease before starting a high-fiber diet, Ning said.

As for young and middle-aged adults, now is the time to start making fiber a big part of your daily diet, Ning said.

How can you add in a lot of fiber? Here are a few ways! (Source: MayoClinic)

1. Eat whole grains — these are good carbs! For example:

1 cup of whole wheat spaghetti has 6. 2 g of fiber

1 cup of barley has 6 g of fiber

2. Choose high fiber fruits — not all fruits are created equally (and go for fresh!) For example:

1 cup raspberries has 8 g of fiber

1 (medium) pear has 5.5 g of fiber

1 (medium) apple has 4.4 g of fiber

3. Go nuts for nuts — they make a great high fiber snack (and so do legumes!)!

1 oz of almonds has 3.5 g of fiber

1 cup of split peas has 16.3 g of fiber

1 cup of black beans has 15 g of fiber

1/4 cup of sunflower seeds has 3.9 g of fiber

4. Veggies — on the side or as a snack pack a big fiber punch!

1 medium artichoke, cooked has 10.3 g of fiber

1 cup of peas, cooked has 8.8 g of fiber

1 cup of broccoli, boiled has 5.1 g of fiber

1/4 cup of tomato paste has 2.7 g of fiber

1 medium carrot, raw, or about 4 baby carrots have 1.7 g of fiber

You can easily add these up to get at least 25 g of fiber per day! But in case you are interested, here are a few more tips.

Do you have a recipe for a favorite high fiber meal or side dish? Share it and I’ll include it here!


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