Soluble Fiber Intake May Reduce Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors
Metabolic syndrome is a condition characterized by obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism. While the best way to prevent metabolic syndrome is through diet and exercise, a recent review suggests that consuming soluble fiber in the form of psyllium may reduce metabolic syndrome risk factors.
Researchers at Curtin University in Perth, Australia reviewed several studies and found that psyllium is associated with improved glucose levels, insulin response, blood pressure and lipid profile in both humans and animals.
Some of the studies also suggest that psyllium consumption could be linked with lower appetite and controlling body weight but more research needs to be conducted in this area in order to determine the exact correlation.
The study was published online ahead of print on August 5, 2012, in the journal Obesity Review.
Previous studies have linked fiber consumption with lowering total and LDL cholesterol, regulating blood sugar for people with diabetes and breast cancer prevention.
If you want to increase your soluble fiber intake, a breakfast of oatmeal, apples, berries, and nuts is packed with fiber. Lunch or dinner that includes cucumbers, carrots, celery, lentils, beans, or flaxseed will round out a fiber-rich day. The recommended daily intake of total fiber (soluble and insoluble) is 25 grams per day, which equates to at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily as well as 6 servings of grain products.
If none of those foods appeal to you, there are also supplements which can provide all of your daily fiber intake needs.