Dean Ornish explains it this way:
Researchers continue to find reasons to recommend a high-fiber diet.
Even small increases in daily fiber intake can reduce cholesterol
levels (most of it the harmful LDL cholesterol) and thereby reduce the
risk of coronary heart disease.
Fiber is the nondigestible part of plants. Fruits, vegetables, beans,
and grains all contain fiber in varying amounts. Fiber can be soluble
in water or insoluble, and most plant foods have some of both types.
Wheat bran is a good source of insoluble fiber, which passes quickly
through the body, adding bulk tothe stool and preventing constipation.
By helping waste pass through the digestive tract quickly, a diet high
in insoluble fiber may also help prevent colon cancer, but it has no
effect on cholesterol.
Soluble fiber does, however. Oat bran, pinto beans, kidney beans, and
carrots are all high in soluble fiber, which appears to sweep
cholesterol from the blood. But beyond its cholesterol-lowering
abilities, a diet high in soluble fiber can help control diabetes and
battle obesity, both rist factors for heart disease.
You can get 5 grams of soluble fiber in just 3/4 cup of pinto beans, 1
1/2 cups of brussels sprouts, or a cup of Quaker Oat Bran cereal.
Whole grains, dried beans, peas, sweet potatoes, apples, oranges, and
dried prunes are all good low-fat soluble fiber sources.
Hope this helps.
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