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Does all dietary fiber play the same role in the human body? Check out the difference between soluble versus insoluble fiber below in order to find out!
Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet. It helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, control weight, decrease the risk of diabetes, and improve gut health. It’s also been connected to longevity.
Dietary fiber includes the parts of plant foods that our bodies are unable to digest or absorb.
There are two types of fiber:
Soluble fiber. Dissolves in water and creates a gel-like substance. This type of fiber can help reduce blood cholesterol and sugar . By improving blood glucose control, this helps decrease the risk for diabetes. It may also reduce heart disease risk. Another benefit of soluble fiber is that it helps feeds your good gut bacteria to promote overall health.
It is found in oats, oranges, peas, prunes, barley, and apples.
Insoluble fiber. Does not dissolve in water and helps move material through the digestive system and increase stool bulk. This helps to ease and prevent constipation. Insoluble fiber can help promote gut health and support insulin sensitivity, which can help reduce the risk for diabetes.
Insoluble fiber is found in whole wheat bread/pasta, nuts, beans, fruit skins, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, brown rice, and berries.
So which one is better? Both! Each of these types of fibers has their own unique roles that are both integral to proper digestion and overall health; therefore, our bodies need a balance of both soluble and insoluble fibers. For the greatest health benefit, eat a wide variety of plant based foods- add fruits and vegetables to every meal, switch from white bread and pasta to whole grains, and opt for legumes as your protein source. OWYN’s Protein Shake is an excellent source of fiber and an easy way to pack in your daily fiber needs - it provides 20% of your daily fiber needs! You can also try a fiber filled oat recipe for breakfast.
If your diet is low in fiber now, make sure to gradually increase your fiber intake over a few weeks to prevent uncomfortable gut symptoms.
This easy Sea Salted Caramel Chia Pudding recipe is loaded with protein, fiber, and healthy fats that make for a perfect breakfast, mid-day pick me up snack, or end of day dessert!