What’s better for your heart: A can of beans or soup labeled “heart healthy”? In less than five minutes, board certified nutritionist Jonny Bowden, PhD gave San Diego TV KUSI News viewers easy tips for distinguishing misleading and real heart-health products. In this interview, he told co-anchor Allen Denton why Sunfiber deserves a place in our diets even if we already eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
What other foods top his heart-healthy list? “The simple answer is food that your great grandmother would have recognized as food. That means food that doesn’t come in a package,” he told co-anchor Allen Denton. Bowden said the body is designed to run on what he called “The Jonny Bowden Four Food Groups”: food you can hunt, fish, gather or pluck.
Bowden’s interview followed an appearance by an interventional cardiologist, who explained that heart attacks happen when plaque in the arteries becomes inflamed and breaks free. Referencing that comment, Bowden said that this is why he cares more about inflammation than cholesterol.
The typical American diet is highly inflammatory. Bowden, who loves to bust nutrition myths, said that while a lot of people may blame inflammation on salt or fat, the most inflammatory thing in the human diet is sugar. He then explained why some foods aren’t as good for our hearts as we may assume even if they are labeled heart healthy.
- Baked chips: “They’ll say something like “65% less fat” but we’ve known for decades that fat has nothing to do with heart disease. “ Rather, he said it’s the kind of fat that matters! “You want good fats like olive oil or this wonderful new chia oil that’s terrific.” He cautioned that most vegetable oils are inflammatory.
- Heart-healthy cereals. Bowden said some may be anything but healthy. “They are advertised as healthy because they have one to two grams of fiber, which is not enough to have an impact.” He added that the cost of getting that fiber may be eating as much as 17 grams of sugar per serving.
- Soups: Some may say heart healthy on the label because they have less sodium than the original version. “But they are still ridiculously high in sodium!”
- Processed foods. “Processed foods are missing fiber. Do you know what’s high in fiber? An avocado! A can of beans!”
Bowden stressed, “What we should be talking about is how to get more fiber in our diet. Fiber is a big reason why doctors tell you to eat fruits and vegetables. I like Sunfiber because it’s soluble fiber which is harder to get from fruits and vegetables. They put it in things like Regular Girl prebiotic fiber.”
He quickly dispelled the myth that all fiber supplements taste like sawdust and cause bloating. “The reason [Sunfiber] is such good stuff is that it’s odorless and tasteless, and it doesn’t cause bloating or gas. Even people who are eating plenty of fruits and vegetables should get some extra fiber by using Sunfiber.”
Wrapping up his advice, Bowden said: “Start by eliminating the sources of inflammation in your diet, which are mainly processed foods and sugar, and replace them with real food.” Referring to Sunfiber, he added, “Use fiber supplements and good oils like extra virgin olive oil and chia seed oil. Don’t be afraid of eggs and get rid of high-sugar breakfast cereals.”
Unlike other soluble fibers, Sunfiber is a truly regulating fiber that helps with both occasional diarrhea and constipation. It is also healthy for your heart because it helps manage blood sugar and reduce cholesterol.