Coronary heart disease is a leading cause of death among men and women in the United States. High blood cholesterol is often targeted as a key risk factor. The good news is, many people may be able to help control high blood cholesterol by making some simple changes in their daily diets. These include cutting back on high-fat, high-cholesterol foods and eating more foods with fiber.

Nutrition professionals recommend that we include 20 to 35 grams of fiber in the daily diet. Adding fiber to meals is easy and delicious. Here are some practical tips for increasing your daily fiber intake:

  • Choose a variety of foods that contain fiber each day. These may include grains, fruits and vegetables and dry beans and peas.
  • Include vegetarian meals in your weekly menus. Entrees using grains, dry beans, lentils and vegetables as the base are economical and provide plenty of heart-healthy fiber.
  • When it comes to increasing fiber in your meals, think barley! This wholesome grain contains both soluble and insoluble fiber along with other nutrients that are important for maintaining good health. For more detailed information about barley's fiber content and its health benefits, click on Nutrition Notes.
  • Add cooked pearl barley to prepared soups, stews, casseroles and salads to give these dishes more fiber. For directions on cooking pearl barley, click here.
  • Use barley flour to increase the fiber in baked goods recipes. For more information on substituting barley flour, click here.

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