Soluble vs. Insoluble Fiber

Like starch, fiber is composed of long polysaccharide chains but the body doesn’t easily break down the bonds that connect fiber molecules. Most fibers pass through the digestive system without being digested and absorbed so they don’t contribute energy to our diets. Fiber does have many health benefits for us though.

Dietary fiber is the non-digestible parts of plants that form the support structures of leaves, stems, and seeds

Functional fiber consists of non-digestible forms of carbohydrates that are extracted from plants or manufactured in a laboratory and have known health benefits. Functional fiber is added to foods and is the form found in fiber supplements. Some sources that you may see on nutritional labels are cellulose, guar gum, pectin and psyllium.

Total fiber is the sum of dietary fiber and functional fiber. Fiber is also classified according to its chemical and physical properties as soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fibers dissolve in water. They have a gel-like consistency when they are wet and are easily digested by bacteria in the colon. These fibers are usually found in citrus fruits, berries, oat products and beans. Research suggests that regular consumption of soluble fibers reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes by lowering blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Examples of soluble fibers are pectins which can be found in thickening foods such as jam and yogurt, gums which are used as thickening, gelling and stabilizing agents, and mucilages which are also used as food stabilizers.

Insoluble fibers do not typically dissolve in water. They can’t be fermented by bacteria in the colon. They are generally found in whole grains such as wheat, rye and brown rice and are also found in a variety of vegetables. They are not associated with reducing cholesterol levels but are known for promoting regular bowel movements, alleviating constipation and reducing the risk for a bowel disorder called diverticulosis. Some examples of insoluble fibers are lignins which are found in carrots, and in seeds of fruits and berries. They are also found in brans and other whole grains. Cellulose is also another form of insoluble fiber. This is found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes. It is also added to foods as an agent for thickening and texturizing foods. Hemicellulose are primary components of cereal fibers and are found in whole grains and vegetables. Some of hemicelluloses are also classified as soluble fibers.

Benefits of fiber:

  • May reduce the risk of colon cancer. Researchers believe fiber binds cancer-causing substances and speeds their elimination from the colon.
  • Helps prevent hemorrhoids, constipation, and other intestinal problems.
  • Reduces the risk of diverticulosis
  • May reduce the risk of heart disease by delaying or blocking the absorption of dietary cholesterol into the bloodstream. Also, when soluble fibers are digested bacteria in the colon produce short chain fatty acids that may lower LDL cholesterol.
  • May enhance weight loss because a high fiber diet causes a person to feel more full. Fiber absorbs water and expands in our intestine and slows the movement of food through the upper part of the digestive tract
  • May lower the risk of type 2 diabetes because fiber slows the release of glucose to the blood, improving the body’s regulation of insulin production and blood glucose levels.

It is important to include dietary fiber into our diets simply because of the health benefits it includes. However, if you’re not used to eating a high fiber diet, start slowly by gradually incorporating these foods into your diet because they can cause bloating and gas.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Soluble vs. Insoluble Fiber

  1. Awesome article Evan, this produces total sense.
    It’s so funny how are conditioned to become interesting to women if we like to win their approval and the fact of the matter is actually that’s not enough, as I
    comprehend it, a lot more importantly we need to be of
    interest to women. Meaning we need to posses the characteristics of the dudes she has an interest in and then MUST show restraint and not offer it up on a
    platter and be a chunk of a test she has to get the job done for.
    It’s therefore funny but true, women are like vagina cats, if you display attention, passion and dote all over that cat it will run out from deficiency of attention. Unfortunately if you make you position felt and exclusive give a little bit of sequence that is definitely outdoors that vagina cats grasp you’ll do not see that crotch
    get the job done so hard to try out to you. Now there you go, nuff said.

  2. Hello Megan, the producers of this alternative say that you just have
    tan use a little level each time period. Subsequently if you exclusive plan
    on making use of it on your own face, for test, after that each container should last
    at minimum a few of months.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s