High Intake of Fiber for Heart Patients

High Intake of Fiber for Heart Patients
Published : Feb 04, 2024
Last Updated : Feb 07, 2024

You might have heard before also eat more fiber. But do you know why fiber is beneficial for your overall health, especially heart health? It is important to know that dietary fiber is mainly found in whole grains, fruits, legumes, and vegetables that are known for their ability to relieve or prevent constipation.

However, foods containing fiber also offer other health benefits like lowering your risk of heart disease, maintaining a healthy weight, and decreasing the chance of diabetes and some types of cancer.

Remember fiber is an essential dietary substance for your health. Most fiber-containing foods are also an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that promotes your overall health.

What is Fiber?

Fiber is mainly the structural part of plant foods like grains, fruits as well as vegetables that your body is not capable of digesting or breaking down. There are mainly two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber

In order to form a gummy gel, soluble fiber dissolves in water. It also slows down the passage of your food right from the stomach to the intestine. Some examples of soluble fiber include potatoes, dried beans, soft parts of pears & apples, bananas, and oats.

Insoluble fiber

Insoluble fiber is often considered roughage as it does not get dissolved in water. This type of fiber holds onto water and ensures soft as well as bulk stools, regulating your bowel movements.

Some of the main examples of insoluble fiber include berries, nuts, whole bran, whole grain products, peels of apples & pears, and grapes.

Heart health benefits of Fiber

Several people link fiber with a healthy digestive system but at the same time, it also promotes your heart health. Below-stated is some benefits of taking fiber for heart patients.

Lowers cholesterol

Soluble fiber can decrease your bad LDL and also overall cholesterol. It binds with cholesterol particles in your digestive system and helps them in moving out from the body before they are completely absorbed.

Offer protection against diabetes and strokes

It is vital for you to replace refined grains with fiber-rich whole grains in your diet because this helps in lowering the risk of stroke by almost 36% and the risk of type 2 diabetes by 30%.

Keep one thing in your mind, both stroke and diabetes are responsible for the increasing risk of heart disease.

Maintain blood pressure

Consuming a high-fiber diet that includes whole wheat and whole oats ensures a drop in high blood pressure and pulse pressure. if your blood pressure is chronic then consult with the doctor and get oral heart medicines from a reputed pharmacy.

Supports a healthy weight

You need to understand that fiber is a great weight loss weapon as it offers you a feeling of fullness that aids in staving off your appetite.

Ensure you live longer

Intake of dietary fiber usually cereal fiber is linked with a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease and all types of cancer.

Normalize bowel movements

Intake of dietary fiber increases the weight as well as the size of your stool and also softens it at the same time. Keep one thing in your mind, a bulky stool is easy to pass and decreases your possibility of constipation.

In case, you have watery and loose stools then intake of fiber might solidify the stool as it absorbs water and also adds bulk to stool. 

How much fiber you must consume?

Doctors often recommend consuming 25-35 grams of total fiber per day with 10-15 grams of soluble fiber or 14 grams of fiber per one thousand calories. This can be attained by selecting 6 ounces of grains (3 or more ounces from whole grains).

To consume this amount of fiber, you need to take 2½ cups of vegetables as well as 2 cups of fruit a day. But remember as you age, your body’s requirement for fiber decreases.   

However, women above the age of 70 are suggested to take 21 grams of fiber and men 30 grams of fiber every day.

On the other hand, intake of a high-fiber diet might interfere with the absorption as well as the effectiveness of some medicines. Speak to the doctor about which medicines to take with a little caution and when they should be taken.      

You must know that fiber also binds with some nutrients and carries them out of your body. To avoid this condition, you must take 20-35 grams of fiber a day. When consuming a high-fiber diet, make sure you drink almost eight glasses of fluid every day.

Easy tips to increase high fiber intake in your diet

Select products that have whole grain as their first ingredient. Remember whole wheat flour is considered a whole grain but wheat flour is not.

When adding fiber to your diet, make sure you drink the right amount of fluids so that the problem of constipation can be prevented.

You must always add fiber to your diet gradually because too much fiber at once can make you suffer from constipation, cramping, and bloating.

Add dried peas, legumes, and beans to your main dishes and rice & pasta to your side dishes.

When it comes to the healthiest snack, popcorn is the best option because it is a whole grain. You can consume it in a low-fat form without adding butter.

At the time of consuming soups, baked products, ground meat, cereals, casseroles, and spaghetti sauce, you can sprinkle bran. However, bran also gets mixed with orange juice easily.

In place of consuming juice, start preferring raw fruits as well as vegetables. Make sure you eat the skins as they are a great source of fiber.

Also, select whole-grain bread that contains 2 to 4 grams of dietary fiber in a slice.

Being a heart patient, you must also select cereals that contain at least five grams of fiber per serving.

Therefore, intake of fiber is vital for heart patients because it provides protection against dangerous heart diseases. But adding too much fiber can also be dangerous as it leads to intestinal gas, cramps, and abdominal bloating.