Preventing Heart Disease With Fiber

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The western world is suffering from an epidemic of lifestyle diseases. The major villains are obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Sedentary lifestyle is one of the important contributors. The other major factor is the absence of sufficient quantity of fiber in the food. What is fiber? Fiber actually contributes nothing to your body from the nutritional point of view. Yet, the benefits derived from fiber in foods are enormous. Ideally, an adult should get at least 30 grams of fiber per day. Most of us manage to get only around 15 grams of fiber per day, a quantity which is far less than what is recommended for good health.

Obesity

One third of the Americans are either, overweight or, obese. One way of avoiding obesity is to be physically active. This is always going to be difficult. A much simpler way is to include more fiber in what you eat. At least, this prevents further weight gain. Fiber does not contribute calories to your system because it cannot be digested. Fiber also leaves you with a felling of being full. Thus you also eat less. Fiber also tells the brain to stop eating.

Heart Disease

Cardiovascular disease is a major killer in several countries. This arises due to the blocking of the coronary arteries which supply blood to the heart. One of the major contributors to the formation of plaques in the coronary arteries is increased blood cholesterol levels. Fiber has the ability to lower the blood cholesterol levels by interfering with the absorption of cholesterol. Fiber also lowers the highly harmful LDL cholesterol. Another factor which promotes plaque formation in the coronary arteries is the active presence of inflammation. Fiber lowers the inflammation promoting C-reactive protein. This action also protects against cardiovascular disease.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by high blood sugar levels and affects just about every part of the body. Fiber can reduce the risk for acquiring diabetes. This is achieved in two ways. Fiber prevents a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. Fiber also prevents the onset of insulin resistance which is a major cause for diabetes. This is achieved by preventing obesity.

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