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Low Fiber a Recipe for Heart Problems

Do you love warming up to a bowl of vegetarian chili or a slice of apple pie when the weather gets cool? Believe it your not, your heart does, too. High-fiber foods, including legumes, fruits, vegetables and grains, have been shown to improve cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reduce belly fat. On the flip side, according to a recent study, not eating enough fiber could increase your risk for heart problems.
 
Researchers looked at data from more than 23,000 U.S. adults and found a strong association between low fiber intake and heart disease risk factors such as obesity, inflammation and metabolic syndrome.
 
How Much Fiber Is Enough?
The Institute of Medicine recommends 38 grams of fiber a day for men between the ages of 19 and 50 (30 grams for men over 50) and 25 grams a day for women between the ages of 19 and 50 (21 grams a day for women over 50). But the average dietary fiber intake among people in the study was only 16 grams per day.
 
Worried you’re skimping on fiber? Here’s are more foods that can help you get your fill:
  • Try jicama. One medium-sized tuber has a whopping 32 grams of fiber! Find out why jicama can help you tame your appetite.
  • Pour yourself a bowl. Be it flakes, clusters or toasted O’s, cereal can be a great source of fiber. Look for one with 5 grams of fiber per serving. It makes you happy, too.
  • Snack on almonds. An ounce of almonds has about 3.5 grams of fiber.
  • Sautee some spinach. A cup of cooked spinach has about 5 grams of fiber.