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Do I Need A Lot of Soluble Fiber To Lower Cholesterol?


Updated October 05, 2008

Question: Do I Need A Lot of Soluble Fiber To Lower Cholesterol?
Answer: You don't need much soluble fiber to lower cholesterol levels.

Soluble fiber has proved itself to be an important component in a cholesterol-lowering diet. In fact, studies have shown that soluble fiber can lower your cholesterol by 18%, mainly affecting your “bad” cholesterol (LDL).

The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that you should consume between 10 to 25 grams of soluble fiber each day. You can obtain this from a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Additionally, this amount can be obtained by eating a balanced diet that includes at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and at least 6 servings of whole grains each day.

Additionally, look at the Nutritional Facts panel located in the backs of the packages of your favorite foods to check the soluble fiber content.

Fiber supplements can be used to satisfy this requirement. However, studies have shown that the cholesterol-lowering benefits of fiber supplements is most beneficial with a low-fat diet. Additionally, you do not obtain the vitamins and other nutrients that you would obtain through a healthy diet containing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.


Rolfes SR, Whitney E. Understanding Nutrition, 3rd ed 2005.

Brown L, Rosner B, Willett WW, et al. Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 1999; 69:30-42.

Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (PDF), July 2004, The National Institutes of Heath: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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