How Fiber Affects Cholesterol and Prevents Heart Diseases

July 27, 2020

The importance of dietary fiber should never be overlooked. Some benefits to gain from eating enough fiber include reduced levels of fat in the blood, lowered blood pressure, controlled blood glucose, weight loss, increased immunity, and reduced chronic inflammation that could also lead to reduced risks of getting heart-related diseases.

Depending on the solubility, fibers are classified in two types which are Soluble Dietary Fiber (SDF) and Insoluble Dietary Fiber (IDF). Both types are important, though the soluble one is proven to have more benefits for our health due to its ability to effectively reduce cholesterol in the blood, especially Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) that’s better known as “bad cholesterol.”

Soluble fiber gets rid of cholesterol in several ways. First, it does so by increasing bile acid excretion in our digestive system. Second, soluble fiber will be fermented in the colon to produce Short Chain Fatty Acid (SCFA). When absorbed into the bloodstream, SCFA will prevent liver cells from producing cholesterol. SCFA, especially in the form of propionic acid, can also trigger the production of peptide YY and Glucagon-like-Peptide-1 (GLP-1), hormones that lower accumulation of fat in the liver. Third, soluble fiber slows down digestion and holds liquid inside the digestive tracts, causing us to feel full longer. It will subsequently help us lower our calorie intake and keep our cholesterol levels controlled.

Researches also show that adding 10 percent of fiber per day to our diet may decrease risks of coronary heart disease by 14% and death by 27%, all while causing much fewer side effects compared to those caused by cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. However, it’s worth noting that soluble dietary fiber’s ability to lower cholesterol depends a lot on some factors, including the type of fiber itself, the amount consumed, frequency of consumption, and our diets in general.

Some of the most recommended types of soluble dietary fiber are oligosaccharide, oat beta-glucan and pectin which are found a lot in fruits, vegetables and seeds. Additionally, we can get the fiber we need by consuming food or supplements that have been fortified with fiber. One fiber-fortified product that may be an option is FiberCreme, high fiber creamer that can also be applied to any foods and beverages we consume on daily basis.

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