Fiber 101: Soluble Fiber vs. Insoluble Fiber

Everyone has heard that there are tremendous benefits to increasing the fiber content of their diet.  The daily recommendation is over 25 grams of fiber/day.  As you look at total dietary fiber grams on a label, deduct the listed amount from the 25 grams/day recommendation.  So, a wrap containing 8 grams of fiber would leave you with about 17 more grams/day needed to meet the minimum.

Fiber not only promotes health, it also helps reduce the risk for some chronic diseases. For instance, fiber prevents constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulosis. It is also linked to prevent some cancers especially colon cancer as it moves food through the GI tract instead of it sitting in the gut for longer periods of time.  (Unfortunately, many of our foods are exposed to chemicals, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics that were never meant to sit in the GI tract.)  In addition, fiber helps lower LDL cholesterol and  total cholesterol thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Fiber can also help lower blood sugar spikes as it does not convert to blood sugar and allows food to leave the stomach in controlled amounts .  Fiber is part of the total carb content of a food but does not translate into blood sugar and insulin release.  Fiber aids in weight loss….high fiber foods require more chewing time allowing time for your body to register when you are full.  High fiber diets are also less calorie dense which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.  

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Types of Fiber: Soluble Fiber and Insoluble Fiber

There are two types of  fiber: soluble and insoluble.  Both types go undigested and neither enters the bloodstream.  Although some food companies choose to show the grams of soluble and insoluble fiber separately, both types are very beneficial. Soluble fiber forms a gel when mixed with liquid.  I think of it as a sponge that soaks up and carries waste “out the door” and moves bulk along through the intestines.   Insoluble fiber passes through our intestines largely intact. I think of insoluble fiber as a toothbrush that travels down the intestines cleaning as it moves along.

Insoluble Fiber

Its   Functions: 

Promotes the development of bulkier stool to help prevent constipation.

Helps balance the pH in the   intestines forming a  healthy GI   environment and preventing microbes from producing cancerous substances.

Helps move toxins through the colon in less time

 Best  Food Sources of Insoluble Fiber:

Dark green leafy vegetables

Skins from fruit or potatoes

Whole wheat products

Wheat bran, corn bran

Nuts

Seeds

 

Soluble Fiber

 

Its   Functions:

Lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol

Helps decrease blood sugar spikes

Binds with fatty acids

 

Food   Sources of Soluble Fiber

Oat bran and oats

Dried beans and peas (legumes)

Apple

Citrus fruits

Carrots

Nuts

Barley

Flax seed

Psyllium husk.

When you are choosing a food, look for   total fiber grams.  There is no need to   search for soluble or insoluble fiber as they are both very healthful.  And…some foods: oats, oat bran, psyllium   husk, and flax seeds are high in soluble and insoluble fiber.

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About Diane Kress

Author of The New York Times Bestseller; The Metabolism Miracle, The Metabolism Miracle Cookbook, and The Diabetes Miracle. Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Owner/Director of The Nutrition Center of Morristown, Diabetes Advocate. www.themetabolismmiracle.com www.thediabetesmiracle.com www.miracle-ville.com
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2 Responses to Fiber 101: Soluble Fiber vs. Insoluble Fiber

  1. atkinsonr says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. Good luck! I have researched much as I am not convinced that weight loss surgery is my option, and I am glad that I found something that saved me from the surgical knife cost and complications as well as irreversible damage. Roca Labs gastric bypass no surgery has helped me loss 43 lbs and still counting… I am glad that I am winning back a healthy weight. I am sharing this to let others know that there is an alternative to surgery and a healthy approach to weight problem.

    • Diane Kress says:

      The majority of patients who undergo gastric bypass, gastric banding, and weight loss “no surgery” have uncontrolled Metabolism B. As a result, they initially lose weight, but the inherent imbalance of the fat gain hormone returns and all lost weight is regained. Remember when your weight loss stalls, then stops, then regain begins, to begin The Metabolism Miracle or The Diabetes Miracle program ASAP. It will enable you to maintain loss. Otherwise, your body’s imbalance of insulin will once again take over.

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