Advertisement

How does fiber help my heart?

There are two main types of dietary fibers: soluble and insoluble. Both types are important in your diet -- but soluble fiber has special benefits for your heart. Soluble fiber limits the amount of cholesterol your body can absorb. Especially if you already have high cholesterol, fiber can lower your levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. And lowering your cholesterol can reduce your risk of heart disease. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends 25-38 grams of total fiber intake per day, with 10-15 grams of the total being soluble fiber.
Ximena Jimenez
Nutrition & Dietetics
Fiber is definitely heart healthy. Soluble fiber found in oats, barley and some fruits and vegetables help reduce bad cholesterol. Fiber foods also reduce triglycerides which is the type of fat that circulates in your blood. Both LDL or bad cholesterol and triglycerides are risk factors for heart disease. Also foods with fiber are good sources of potassium which reduces blood pressure. Start eating more whole grains, legumes and dark green vegetables!
Joane Goodroe
Nursing
A study indicates that foods with lots of fiber can be good for the heart, and that people who start early get more benefit. Reported by Northwestern University of Chicago, adults who reported eating the most fiber had the lowest predicted lifetime risk of heart attack and stroke. Dr. Ning reported that the greatest benefit was seen in younger people, age from 20 to 39.”
Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
Fiber is a form of indigestible carbohydrate found mainly in plant foods. Fiber can produce a slight decrease in both total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Perhaps more significantly, a number of studies show that fiber helps to prevent heart disease and reduce the risk for a heart attack. The Institute of Medicine recommends 38 grams of fiber per day for men and 25 grams for women ages 50 and younger; men and women over 50 should get 30 and 21 grams per day, respectively.

Continue Learning about Nutrition

What a Pro Athlete’s Poop Might Do for You
What a Pro Athlete’s Poop Might Do for You
Katie Ledecky, Tom Brady and Venus Williams are amazing athletes—but researchers at Harvard University aren’t interested in studying their performance...
Read More
Which nutrients help support mental clarity?
Jacob TeitelbaumJacob Teitelbaum
Brain fog is becoming an increasing problem in our society. The B vitamins, especially B1 and B12, a...
More Answers
How to Spot 9 Hidden Sugar Bombs
How to Spot 9 Hidden Sugar BombsHow to Spot 9 Hidden Sugar BombsHow to Spot 9 Hidden Sugar BombsHow to Spot 9 Hidden Sugar Bombs
These sneaky sugar sources can sabotage your diet and send blood sugar levels soaring.
Start Slideshow
Dr. Julie Chen Shares Some Tips
Dr. Julie Chen Shares Some Tips

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.