Eating Fruits and Veggies Can Lower Cholesterol and Boost Heart Health
Intermountain Health registered dietitian nutritionist gives tips to improve heart health and lower cholesterol.
Salt Lake City, UT (PRUnderground) February 23rd, 2023
February is Heart Month – a perfect time to try something new to boost heart health, said Carly Alba, a registered dietitian-nutritionist with Intermountain Health.
“Make it your personal Heart Month challenge throughout February to eat a vegetable or fruit with every meal,” Alba said. “Or if you’re not eating fruits and vegetables now, add them to one meal or snack. It’s an inexpensive, fun way to explore new flavors and can help you start a new heart-healthy habit for yourself and your family.”
Nearly two in five American adults have high cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to the American Heart Association.
High cholesterol doesn’t come with symptoms, so many people don’t know that their levels are too high. Cholesterol levels are determined by a blood test.
Eating fewer foods with saturated fats and trans fats, as well as eating more foods containing soluble fiber, can help to lower cholesterol levels.
Soluble fiber is a found in plant foods, and works to clear cholesterol from the body. Soluble fiber cannot be absorbed in the intestine. As a result, it can bind itself to cholesterol in the intestine and remove cholesterol from the body.
Soluble fiber is found in fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as oatmeal and quinoa, healthy fats such as chia seeds and avocados, and in beans and legumes, such as peas.
Here are some easy ways to add fiber-rich foods to your diet:
- Choose lean meats and low-fat dairy products, and eat them in moderation.
- Try making fiber-rich foods the star of one meal a day. This can be done by adding more beans to a chili recipe, and using ground turkey instead of ground beef.
- When eating out, eat the vegetables that come with an entrée first.
- Buy one new fruit or vegetable to try each time you visit the grocery store.
More information about nutrition services and healthy eating is available at IntermountainHealth.org.
About Intermountain Health
Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., www.intermountainhealth.org is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called SelectHealth with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see https://intermountainhealthcare.org/news.