Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi
high fiber foods

Fight Cholesterol with Fiber

Written by Kathryn Johnson, MS, RD, LD, NBC-HWC

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood. Although your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, high levels of cholesterol can increase your risk for heart disease. High cholesterol has no symptoms, that’s why it’s important to have an annual wellness exam to stay in the know when it comes to managing your health numbers and health risks.

Diet can play an important role in managing cholesterol. Eating a diet high in saturated fat which is found in fatty cuts of meat, full-fat dairy products and trans fat found in prepackaged snacks and desserts can result in unhealthy cholesterol levels. Eating a diet low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can also lead to unhealthy cholesterol levels.

Fiber is a great way to help lower your cholesterol. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber. Both promote health, digestion and lowering cholesterol levels.

Soluble Fiber: Attracts water and forms a gel in your intestines. This slows down digestion and reduces your LDL (low density lipoprotein). Soluble fiber is found in oats, beans, peas, nuts, seeds and fruits such as apples and pears.

Insoluble Fiber: Helps pass food more quickly through your stomach and intestines. Insoluble fiber is found in wheat bran, whole grain cereals and the skins of many fruits and vegetables.

The recommended amount of fiber is 25-30 grams per day for women and 30-35 grams per day for men.

Apple (Medium Size)

4.5 grams

Oats (1 Cup, Cooked)

5 grams

Black Beans (1 Cup, Cooked)

15 grams

Whole Wheat Bread (1 Slice)

2 grams

Tips to Increase Fiber in Diet:

  • Add oats to meatloaf, muffins and other baked goods.

  • Add beans to your salads or soups.

  • Swap mayo for hummus (chickpeas) on your sandwich or wrap.

  • Add vegetables to your scrambled eggs or omelet.

  • Top your cereal, oatmeal or pancakes with fruit.

Easy Black Bean Dip


  • 1-14 ounce can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 6 Tablespoons prepared salsa

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon water

  • Pinch of salt

  • ⅛ cup cilantro, minced


  1. In a blender or food processor, puree black beans, salsa, garlic, lime juice, cumin, water and salt until smooth.

  2. Add cilantro and pulse until combined.

  3. Serve with raw vegetables or whole grain crackers.

Greek Pasta with Tomatoes and White Beans

4 servings


  • 2-14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano

  • 1-15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1-10 ounce bag fresh spinach, chopped (may use frozen spinach, thawed and drained)

  • 4 cups hot cooked whole wheat penne pasta

  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled


  1. Combine tomatoes and beans in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; bring to a boil.

  2. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes.

  3. Add spinach; cook 2 minutes or until the spinach wilts, stirring occasionally.

  4. Place 1 cup of pasta on 4 plates; top each serving of pasta with 1 ¼ cups of sauce and 2 tablespoons of feta cheese.

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