The most basic answer is that soluble fiber dissolves in water and insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water.
Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive system which slows the absorption of cholesterol and sugar into the bloodstream.
Insoluble fiber passes through our digestive system adding bulk waste which helps prevent constipation.
Both soluble and insoluble fiber play an important role in supporting overall good health. For this reason it’s usually important to look at total fiber intake.
In this article we’ll take an in-depth look at soluble fiber, insoluble fiber and the overall benefits of fiber itself!
“Both soluble and insoluble fiber
play an important role in supporting
overall good health.”
Soluble fiber is ‘soluble’ in water. It’s soft and sticky and absorbs water to form a gel-like, viscous substance that swells within the digestive system. This gel binds to certain substances and food components to make them less available for absorption into the blood. Some of these substances include cholesterol and sugar. Soluble fiber’s fat-binding action can help lower blood cholesterol! And soluble fiber’s ability to slow down the absorption of sugar regulates blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber therefore helps to protect against heart disease and diabetes.
Moreover, soluble fiber boosts the population of good bacteria in the gut which is linked to improved immunity and a better mood.
Most importantly however, soluble fiber makes you feel fuller for longer, which prevents against overeating and helps weight loss!
You’ll find soluble fiber in oats, peas, beans, lentils, barley, fruits and vegetables!
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and isn’t absorbed into the bloodstream. It passes through the digestive system in close to its original form adding bulk waste, helping to prevent hemorrhoids and constipation, as well as other digestive disorders like diverticulosis and irritable bowel syndrome.
Sources of insoluble fiber include whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables (specifically in the stalks, skins and seeds)!
Fiber and Weight Loss
Dietary fiber is an extremely beneficial component to an overall healthy diet. The above mentioned benefits give a snippet of fiber’s role in our health.
Fiber can play a huge roll in weight management. Fiber-rich foods take longer to digest and thus result in an increased feeling of fullness and satiety which results in reduced food intake!
How Much Fiber Do I Need Per Day?
The recommended daily fiber intake is 25g/day for women and 38g/day for men. It’s recommended that this fiber comes from both soluble and insoluble sources (three quarters insoluble, one quarter soluble).
Introducing Fiber To Your Diet
To avoid bloating and gas – be sure to introduce fiber into your diet slowly. My top tip is to drink plenty of water to help move that fiber through the system!
About the Author
Edgar Den Uijl writes for Libbera, a natural health supplement company.
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