Up your fiber

To prevent cardiovascular disease

Upstate University Hospital dietician Terry Podolak, RD, suggests that fiber in our diet is an excellent way to fight chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

Foods that are naturally high in fiber are fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, and whole grains. “I love the idea that at every meal, you should make half of your plate vegetables,” she suggests.  In addition she promotes eating three servings of fruit daily.

Fiber comes in two types: soluble and insoluble. Foods that contain soluble fiber are fruits and vegetables and oat bran. Soluble fiber's role is to slow down our digestion and helps lower LDL, or "bad" cholesterol. Insoluble fibers are what our grandmas used to call “roughage”. That provides us with bulk. “Think of it as a scouring pad going through our intestines. It helps move our food through,” said Podolak. Insoluble fiber includes wheat bran, beans, whole grains and seeds.

  • Other ways to protect from buildup in cardiovascular arteries, as well as prevent heart disease: 
  • Exercise three times a week for 30 minutes;
  • Eat an olive-oil rich, low-fat Mediterranean diet;
  • Maintain a normal weight; and
  • Abstain from smoking.

Recent research from Johns Hopkins revealed that by adopting these lifestyle changes, a person is up to 80 percent less likely to die from heart related cardiovascular disease.

To learn more about chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, contact the Women’s Health Network at 315-464-2756 or toll-free at 855-890-UWHN.