Eat plenty of fiber for good health

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Tammy Roberts, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extension

We often hear that we should get plenty of fiber to help with digestion, but fiber provides many other benefits as well.

Fiber helps to reduce the risk of heart disease by helping to lower cholesterol, lowering high blood pressure and preventing obesity. Soluble fiber, like that found in beans, barley and oats, helps to lower cholesterol by soaking up cholesterol-rich bile acids in the intestinal tract so they can be excreted. The risk of developing high blood pressure is also decreased by keeping blood cholesterol in check…

Many of the foods high in fiber are naturally low in calories. This includes fruits, vegetables and whole grains. When a person consumes a variety of these plant-based foods, they feel full sooner and longer, and consequently eat less. Consuming more fiber is a good way to limit calories in order to manage a healthy weight…

Can’t think of ways to add fiber? Check out the full version of this article at http://missourifamilies.org/features/nutritionarticles/nut213.htm for easy ways you can add more fiber and other nutrients to your diet.

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