How Fiber Can Help Lower Cholesterol

Fiber is important for a number of reasons, but today we’ll shed some light on the way that fiber can help to lower high cholesterol (or keep healthy levels that way). After all, we hear this all the time, right? This lowers cholesterol. That lowers cholesterol. What does it mean, and is it true?

For the sake of this being a daily blog, I am going to generalize here. Big time. We have two kinds of cholesterol, LDL and HDL. Consider LDL your “bad” cholesterol and HDL your “good” cholesterol, and where fiber becomes beneficial for our blood profile is in its elimination process of LDL cholesterol. Bile salts from our small intestines are secreted during the digestive process. These bile salts bind to dietary fiber and are eventually eliminated in our poop. Because cholesterol is needed in order to make bile salts, the body must pull cholesterol from the blood in order to process and digest fiber.

So, we eat fiber. Bile salts are made from cholesterol to help poop it out. Bad cholesterol goes down. Yay.

Some of the best sources of fiber include beans, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Your Special K candy bar isn’t, nor is your Fiber One brownie. No need to gorge on any of these fiber rich foods but if you’re not regularly including at least some them in your diet, you may be doing your digestion, gut, and cholesterol a disservice.