Nurse Deanna Carlson explains what every woman needs to know about fiber and her diet.
Visit Deanna Carlson, R.N., BSN, on the web at St. Joseph Hospital Women’s Heart Center in Orange, CA
Deanna Carlson: Fiber is so essential for heart health. The basic number of how much fiber you should get in your diet is 25 gm. If you want to get more, that would be great but what it does is it helps take the bad cholesterol out of your system, it takes it back to the liver to get excreted. What else it does is it raises your HDL, remember your HDL helps take your bad cholesterol and takes it back to the lever to get excreted. It’s like facial, like a little helping tool to help the LDL.
But you’re not going to get that if you are not going to be taking fiber in your diet. So you need to gravitate to whole grain bread, whole grain cereals, peas, beans, lentos, fruits, vegetables, lots of fruits and lots of vegetables fresh, it’s better, and if you don’t think that you are getting enough fiber in your diet then you need to be adding a fiber supplement, okay?
Now let me tell you if you probably did eat enough fiber in your diet, you probably will be way over your calories. You could find out how many calories you need in your diet by going to a Web site, googling -- I mean there’s numerous ways you can find out how many calories but again you will have to read the packages to see how many calories you are intaking with your food but when you’re making choices about, like if you are going to have a slice of bread or a piece of toast or a salad, you need to gravitate to that whole green salad.
If you are choosing between, I don’t know, a piece of candy versus a piece of fruit, gravitate to the fruit. Go with those strawberries instead of that candy bar that you so desire. You will still get that sweetness and also fiber fruits, they are filling foods so they won’t make you eat as much either.
Therefore, so I can express to you enough to eat enough fiber in your diet.
Many women do not realize that heart disease is the single greatest threat to their health. Every year, more than 500,000 American women lose their lives to heart disease — that's nearly twice as many women from all forms of cancer combined. In response to these facts, St. Joseph Hospital opened the Women's Heart Center in December 2002, the first facility in Orange County dedicated solely to the prevention, early detection and treatment of heart disease in women.