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Fiber: should I use the soluble or insoluble?

Updated: Jul 12, 2021


But, wait for a second, what is fiber?

Fiber or roughage is a type of carbohydrates (plant-based foods) that your body cannot breakdown into glucose (sugar molecules) therefore won’t be absorbed. This means it passes through your body undigested.

Fiber helps regulates your body’s sugar levels. Also, it will keep hunger in check because satiates for longer periods, since it stays in the stomach longer than other foods due it’s indigestible.

According to some research, the daily recommendations for intake are:

Now, fiber comes in two types:

Soluble fiber: these dissolve in water to produce a gel-like material. They help lower glucose levels, and blood cholesterol. Examples of food with this kind of fiber are oatmeal, nuts, beans, lentils, peas, apples, berries, citrus fruits, carrots, barley, and psyllium.

Insoluble fiber: these don’t dissolve in water. This type helps to promote the movement of the food through the digestive system and increase stool bulk. Thus, it will improve regularity which is beneficial for those who deal with constipation, or irregular stools. Examples of food: all wheat, whole wheat bread, wheat bran, whole-grain couscous, brown rice, legumes, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, nuts, beans, and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes.

Health benefits of fiber intake:

  • Normalizes bowel movements and helps maintain its health.

  • Decrease cholesterol levels.

  • Control blood sugar levels.

  • Reduce cardiovascular diseases.

  • Help lower the risk of cancer.

  • Help those who want to lose weight.

  • Skin health (especially taking psyllium)

Tips to get the most out of fiber:

  • Eat your vegetables and fruit with the skin.

  • Replace chips snacks with raw veggies like carrots stick, celery sticks, or fruits.

  • Add some flaxseed (grounded) to your favorite meals or snacks.

  • Drink plenty of water

  • Choose whole foods

Points to consider:

  • Fiber is good but as I always say, nothing in exceed is good.

  • Adding too much fiber to your diet could cause abdominal pain, and bloating, cramps, and intestinal gas.

  • I would recommend increasing the intake gradually so your natural bacteria in your digestive system will adapt to the change.

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