Psyllium Husk — A Tool to Lower Bad Cholesterol Levels


Graphic for Dietary Fiber

Psyllium husk is linked as a tool to lower overall cholesterol and LDL or bad cholesterol by the University of Maryland Medical Center. [1] The power behind Psyllium husk is that it is a soluble form of fiber. Let's explore how Psyllium works to lower cholesterol.

Soluble Fiber and Cholesterol

Soluble fiber means that this form of fiber dissolves in water. Non-soluble fiber does not dissolve in water and is therefore not absorbed by our body like soluble fiber is. Both forms of fiber play an important role in our health. They are both capable of absorbing fats. Soluble fiber helps to absorb fat that we digest. It does so directly in our blood stream before the fat makes it to our cells.

Bad cholesterol comes from bad fats such as "trans fat" and saturated fat. [2] Non-soluble fiber helps to absorb fats that are in our digestive track. It does so before we absorb those fats into our bloodstream. Once the fat is absorbed, it is disposed of through our excretory system. This is how soluble and non-soluble fiber work to lower bad cholesterol.

Psyllium Husk for Your Diet

Psyllium husks are the outer shells of a seed from the ispaghula plant. The beautiful thing about psyllium husks is that they contain about 70 percent soluble fiber. The FDA says that Psyllium husks are a "concentrated source of soluble fiber." [3]

Further, diets that are high in fiber and low in saturated fats help to improve overall heart health by lowering the amount of cholesterol in the blood, plaque in the arteries and stored fats. All of these lead to lower instances of coronary heart disease, diabetes, heart attack, and even stroke.

To find out how to incorporate fiber into your diet, visit the Metabolic Research Center where their library of healthy and delicious recipes helps people make smarter food choices. For example, this Strawberry and Spinach Salad makes a perfect dish to "fiber up" by adding a dash of psyllium seed to it. Another recipe that "fibers up" well is this menu library and discover all of the great tasting and healthy foods you've been missing out on.

Resources:

[1] Psyllium — University of Maryland Medical Center

[2] Cholesterol Overview — Center for Disease Control

[3] Food Labeling and Health Claims — Food and Drug Administration

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