It’s American Heart Month, so it just feels like the right time to declare our love for fiber.

     Why the affection for this humble, indigestible substance?

      Because dietary fiber has emerged as a heart-healthy hero, one that scientists believe can help fight three of the top risk factors for heart disease – high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity.

     The health statistics are scary: More than 58 million Americans suffer from some form of heart disease. Heart disease is the number-one cause of death in the United States.

     Studies have shown that dietary fiber appears to cut the incidence of heart disease. Here are some of the ways scientists believe it works: 

     Fiber can carry away unhealthy cholesterol before it gets into the bloodstream. Cholesterol can harden and narrow arteries and cause high blood pressure, all of which hurts the heart.  Obesity is another major danger to the heart: excess body fat can raise blood cholesterol, lower HDL “good” cholesterol and increase blood pressure. Dietary fiber can help reduce excess body fat by making a person feel full, so they eat fewer calories. And because high-fiber foods are digested more slowly, they make a person feel full longer.

     Experts say adults should be getting at least 25 grams of dietary fiber daily.

     That’s we had in mind when we welcomed Fiber One Wraps and Fiber One Muffins into the Uncle Wally’s Family.* Not only do both taste amazing, but each Fiber One Wrap provides up to 30 percent of the recommended daily value for fiber; Fiber One Muffins each provide 28 percent.

     You can get fiber – and other heart-healthy nutrients – in your diet through a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans and peas), nuts and seeds. Fiber is only one aspect of a heart-healthy lifestyle. Other important advice: keep your diet low in saturated fat, trans fats, cholesterol and salt, exercise, maintain a healthy weight and stop smoking.  

     For more ways to get fiber into your diet, check out these high-fiber recipes from Betty Crocker.

 

*Fiber One Wraps are available in Traditional White, Garden Vegetable and Honey Wheat varieties. Uncle Wally’s markets Fiber One Wraps and Fiber One Muffins under license for General Mills.

SOURCE: American Heart Association; Mayo Clinic; American Dietetic Association;   National Fiber Council.