Soluble fiber ? from beans, some fruits and even coffee ? may help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol and blood sugar and may help protect against heart attack and stroke.
The August issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter explains how to boost soluble fiber in the diet.
Fiber comes in two forms ? soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. The recommended daily intake of total fiber for women over age 51 is 21 grams. For men over 51, it’s 30 grams.
Fiber supplements, such as Metamucil, Konsyl and others, can boost soluble fiber intake. A typical dose has 2 to 3 grams. Other good sources include:
One-half cup of baked beans, cooked black beans, kidney, lima or navy beans provides about 1 gram of soluble fiber.
A pear, peach, plum or orange contains about 1 gram of soluble fiber.
An apple, mango, one-half of a grapefruit or one-half cup of blackberries each has about ? gram of soluble fiber.
Certain vegetables, such as a medium carrot, one-half cup of cooked peas, broccoli or Brussels sprouts, or a medium cooked potato with its skin, contain about 1 gram of soluble fiber.
Oats, whether as one-half cup of oatmeal or oat bran or as an ounce of granola, are good for about 1 gram of soluble fiber.
Brewed coffee ? A recent analysis showed a cup of brewed coffee contains about 1 gram of soluble fiber.