February is Heart Health Month with campaigns such as American Heart Month and GoRed for Women Day to increase awareness about heart disease prevention. Did know that heart disease is the #1 cause ofdeath for women? And did you know...
80% of heart disease and stroke events are preventable?
So what can you do to prevent heart disease? My #1 recommendation is, increase your soluble fiber! WHY?
1 out of every 2 women has high or borderline-high cholesterol.
Getting enough soluble fiber can help lower the "bad" LDL cholesterol. When LDL cholesterol is too high, plaque builds up in the blood vessels, which can eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke.
What foods have soluble fiber?
The food with the most soluble fiber is beans, or legumes -- lentils, black, kidney, garbanzo and pinto beans, along with soy beans, split peas and black-eyed peas.
Add beans to soups and salads, prepare lentils as a side dish or try dried beans as a snack or instead of croutons on a salad. Two brands I recommend are Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas* and Enlightened Roasted Broad Beans*.
Suggestion #2: eat lots of fruits & vegetables -- at least 5 servings per day. They're also rich in soluble fiber, though not as much per serving as beans. Aim for half your plate vegetables at dinner and 1 serving of fruit at each meal and you'll be getting 5-7 servings total.
Suggestion #3: eat oatmeal regularly. Yep, oats are rich in soluble fiber too.
Many of my clients have been able to manage their cholesterol without medication by following these guidelines. When working with clients, I provide specific recommendations about how much of each of these foods to eat daily to help lower cholesterol.
*Disclosure: I do not receive compensation from any company or food product shown or mentioned in this post. The information contained in this article is my opinion only and should not be construed as medical advice or treatment.