The number killer afflicting both men and women in the United States is heart disease. While we all know that eating nutrient-dense healthy foods can help reduce this risk, many may not know which types of foods are the first choices to battle heart disease head on.

The first step is stepping up to consumption of soluble fiber and choosing to eat more unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats sources like omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil can help to reduce triglycerides. While a diet rich in soluble fiber may help with LDL cholesterol levels. Legumes and some fruits and vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber.

Soluble fiber refers to the components in the cell wall. These are a fraction of the dietary fiber and are soluble in water. Examples of soluble fiber are guar gum, fructans and pectin. Here are examples of foods containing soluble fiber content in grams.

Artichokes – 6.60 grams of soluble fiber
Tomato paste – 2.15 grams of soluble fiber
Banana - .71 grams of soluble fiber
Orange – 1.83 grams of soluble fiber
Sesame seeds – 2.83 grams of soluble fiber
Sun flower seeds 2.69 grams of soluble fiber

For example, kidney beans are an affordable source of high soluble fiber at 5.66 grams and are low fat, and have no cholesterol. It’s simple to add them to salads and chili, as they truly are almost a perfect health food. Also, since the canned varieties tend to be higher in sodium, try to use the dried varieties whenever possible.

Another choice is whole-grain barley which is rich in soluble fiber and insoluble fiber and is good for combating constipation. It is also a good source of protein and offers a good supply of iron and minerals. One of the simplest way to enjoy whole-grain barley in your diet is to select whole-grain barley breakfast cereals or substitute whole-grain barley for rice and pasta side dishes once a week.

Finally, enjoy a bowl of oatmeal daily. It not only is a great way to boost your fiber content early in the morning, it also has a low glycemic index and it will help to stave off hunger. In addition, choose rolled oats and add some raisins, apples and honey for flavor. Unfortunately, instant oatmeal varieties aren’t as a healthy option since they are usually loaded with added sugar.

Author's Bio: 

Mr. LaPointe is Director of Health and Fruit Education at Traverse Bay Farms. He is the author of several books including The Superfruit Handbook, Blueberry Health Report and How to Get a More Restful Night's Sleep Naturally. He has been a guest on numerous radio shows across the nation discussing the natural health benefits of superfoods and superfruits. You can contact Mr. LaPointe from www.TraverseBayFarms.com

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