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Let’s Talk Fiber

posted Feb 3, 2017, 6:19 AM by
February is American Heart Month and to celebrate we’ll be sharing with you how you can achieve a heart healthy lifestyle! This week we’re talking fiber.

What is fiber?

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate your body cannot digest. It is found in plant foods and is important for digestive health because it keeps you regular. Fiber also helps regulate the body’s use of sugar, helping to keep you full longer and preventing blood sugar spikes.

There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and can help lower blood sugar levels as well as blood cholesterol levels. You can find it in oatmeal, nuts, beans, lentils, apples and blueberries. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and keeps you regular by helping food move through your digestive system. You can find it in wheat, whole wheat bread, whole grain couscous, brown rice, legumes, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Fiber and heart health

Fiber’s role in preventing heart disease comes from its ability to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Studies have found that a high intake of fiber is linked to a lower risk for heart disease. A study from Harvard found that eating fiber reduced the risk for coronary heart disease by 40%.

How much do I need?

You should aim to eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day. Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. Follow MyPlate guidelines when filling your plate, by making half of it fruits and vegetables and about ¼ of it whole grains. To find out more about fiber, click here.


We work hard at ILC to make eating healthy easier for you. Our cafeterias offer whole grain foods as the standard choice. Check out our salad and hot bars for whole grain and fresh vegetable dishes like our Green Bean, Snap Pea and Pesto Salad and our Quinoa Ratatouille Salad.

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