It seems like many of my clients have heard the phrase “Fiber helps lower cholesterol,” but when asked, “Do you know how?” I’m answered with blank stares! In my practice, many adults seek my nutrition advice for a primary diagnosis such as weight management or a gastrointestinal or endocrine disorder, and then casually mention blood work indicating their cholesterol or triglycerides are high. Hyperlipidemia is more often than not a secondary concern for them, but for me, it’s a primary target of dietary intervention.
Many are also aware that fiber aids in regularity or gastric motility, but may not know the mechanism of action behind it. That’s because the digestive system isn’t able to break down a type of fiber called “insoluble,” which is what most think of as “roughage.” This is comparable to the skin on an apple or a potato, which we (sadly!) often peel away. The inside of the fruit or vegetable, however, includes soluble fiber, which has a major impact on lowering LDL or as I’ve nicknamed it, “lousy” cholesterol. Aside from fruits and vegetables, soluble fiber is also found in grains like oatmeal and barley, but because most foods contain both types of fiber, it’s hard to zero in on whether or not you’re getting enough of each one without working with a Registered Dietitian and/or food journaling.
Fiber d’Lish is the only bar I’ve come across that contains both insoluble and soluble fiber, which is key for regularity and keeping blood cholesterol levels in check. They contain cholesterol-lowering oats, as well as psyllium, an evidenced-based ingredient that can help relieve constipation. Keep in mind that some of the ingredients are not one-size-fits-all, especially those with celiac disease or specific sub-types of IBS. But for the general population, one bar actually meets nearly half of your daily fiber needs and at least half of your daily soluble fiber needs, which isn’t easy to do!
These soft-baked treats not only taste like a chewy cookie, but may also aid in weight loss. Because fiber-rich foods take longer to digest, they help keep you satisfied longer. Best of all, these are one of the few bars on the market that are less than 200 calories, which is an optimal range for those seeking a balanced snack—not a meal replacement— that promotes a healthy weight. They’re also non-GMO project verified, a packaging initiative that assures consumers the product was made without genetic engineering, as well as vegan-friendly and soy-free. If you’re interested in increasing your daily fiber intake, please remember to stay hydrated throughout the day, which will curb overeating and promote regularity.
Thérèse Bonanni, MS, RDN is a clinical dietitian at Navesink Wellness Center and former editor for Prevention magazine. She developed recipes for The O2 Diet, Slim Calm Sexy Diet, and The New You and Improved Diet books, which have appeared on The Rachael Ray Show and Access Hollywood. Her work has appeared in Shape Magazine, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, and other national media outlets. Follow her on Instagram @navesinknutrition and learn more at navesinkwellness.com.
Eswaran S, Muir J, Chey WD. Fiber and functional gastrointestinal disorders. Am J Gastroenterol. 2013;108(5):718-727.