Recently, fiber has gained attention because of its role in helping to control cholesterol. Soluble fiber binds cholesterol and removes it from the body before it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Health professionals recommend 10 to 25 grams of soluble fiber daily, though research has shown eating just 5 to 10 grams a day may decrease LDL cholesterol by 5 percent.

Tips to increase soluble fiber:

• Eat three or more servings of foods rich in soluble fiber daily: oatmeal, oat bran, barley, beans (kidney, black, navy), flax seed, chia seed, apples, pears, bananas, oranges, strawberries,blackberries, prunes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, green beans and edamame.

• Increase consumption of whole-grain foods – whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole-grain breads.

• Eat high-fiber cereal for breakfast. Choose a whole-grain cereal with at least 3 to 5 grams of soluble fiber. Kashi Go-Lean Crunch and Kashi Go-Lean Crisp are great choices for soluble fiber.

• Sprinkle ground flax seed or chia seed on oatmeal, yogurt or salads.

• Try new flaxseed flavored blends in cereal, yogurt, salads, smoothies.

• Blend yogurt fortified with plant sterols, chia seed, orange juice, banana and frozen strawberries for a delicious heart-healthy smoothie.

• Eat soluble fiber-filled foods at breakfast or before bed, to help remove the cholesterol your body produces while you sleep.

• Use psyllium, found in some fiber supplements such as Metamucil, as an easy way to boost the soluble fiber in your diet.

Try this delicious, heart-healthy smoothie for breakfast or snack using the new flavored flaxseed blends from Linwood.

 

Energy Boosting Strawberry Smoothie

Serves 4

All you need:

4 tbsp Linwood ground flax, sunflower, pumpkin & sesame seeds & goji berries

1 banana

1 cup low-fat milk

1 cup ice

¾ cup nonfat yogurt

5-7 strawberries

 

All you do:

Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend for 45 seconds, or until desired.

Adapted from www.linwoodshealthfoods.com

 

Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location. The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at tshaffer@hy-vee.com.