Why soluble fiber lowers cholesterol... (ya always hear it does but here is why)

I thought this was a cool fact. You always hear that fiber lowers cholesterol, but the why seems like a mystery. Here's the scoop -

Bile helps you digest food. Basically in your stomach fat forms a layer on top and doesn't mix in with the water soluble areas. Bile is an emulsifier and helps mix that up. After leaving the stomach, bile is reabsorbed by the small intestine and recycled. BUT if it sticks to some soluble fiber it continues on down and into your toilet. Your body needs bile so it makes more - and has to take from cholesterol in your body to make it, which lowers your overall levels of cholesterol. Voila!

Also to note - not all cholesterol is bad. It makes sex hormones, adrenal hormones, and vitamin D (as well as, obviously, bile). It's also essential for the structure of our cell membranes.

Some easy sources of soluble fiber:

  • oatmeal/oat bran
  • lentils and beans
  • fruits and veggies
  • nuts
  • flaxseed