Soluble or Insoluble fiber – What’s the Difference


Much hear about fiber. Who is on a diet does not give up them. Food labels almost always mention, however, not enough to know if you are eating fiber, you need to understand which one is part of our food.

At first, he had the impression that the fibers were unable to provide energy to the body, however, we now know that some of them, after being fermented in the gut by bacteria common to the intestinal environment, produce fatty acids that can be absorbed by bloodstream, providing a small amount of energy to the body.

It is important to note that this is not the main function of the fibers, even because the energy provided by them is negligible.

Each and every food when consumed raw, will have their properties intact, so whenever possible, make this option. The fibers, when cooked, will not have the same effects.

Soluble fiber Insoluble fiber x 

In a very simplistic form, it is meant that the soluble fiber and insoluble, to pass through the digestive tract, behave differently. While soluble fiber absorbs water and becomes gelatinous, insoluble does not dissolve in the presence of water being eliminated unchanged.

Although it sounds simple, these differences are determining the functions of these fibers in the body.

Main sources of soluble fiber 

Oats, oatmeal, oat bran, flaxseed, grains, lentils, beans, peas, apple, pear, orange, strawberry, cucumber, carrot, walnuts, blueberries, psyllium, celery, fruit peels.

Main sources of insoluble fiber 

whole grains, whole wheat, wheat bran, corn bran, seeds, soybeans, barley, brown rice, zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, celery, onion, tomato, cucumber, vegetables, dark green leaves, raisins, etc.

The fibers and digestive and intestinal health 

Some people, after starting a diet rich in fiber, report bloating, discomfort and bloating. These symptoms tend to disappear once the body adapt to the new food.

It is important when starting a high-fiber diet, increasing water consumption, because once it does not, the opposite effect can occur, and the fibers, rather than facilitating intestinal flow, may arrest him.

A diet low in fiber may be associated with bowel problems such as constipation, flatulence, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, intestinal and colorectal cancer.

The fibers and cholesterol 

A higher intake of fiber helps reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood. These oats which has proved entirely effective in lowering low density lipoprotein.

The fibers and diabetes

Some studies realize that a diet rich in fiber reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and they still show important in the control of blood glucose levels.

When we eat more fibers, they fill the stomach and slow digestion. This digestive slowness is related to the levels of blood sugar, which for this reason are released more slowly into the bloodstream, decreasing the glycemic index, being very beneficial to the control of insulin. Therefore, the fibers are important in controlling diabetes.

The fibers and slimming

Foods rich in fiber helps to reduce hunger, promote a feeling of fullness, thereby decreasing food intake. The increase in fiber intake is very beneficial for weight loss.

Food poor in fiber

Although they should also be present in the feed in proper amount, the following foods are very poor in providing fibers: dairy products, farinaceous, most non breads and products rich in starch.

How much fiber consume daily?

The vast majority of people do not eat fibers in an amount sufficient to maintain health, either soluble or insoluble fiber. The recommended is 25 grams per day, however, the average consumption among women is 12.8 grams per day, while men reach 14.8 grams per day.

Tips to eat more fiber

Many people, accustomed to eating processed and / or refined foods tend to have greater resistance to introduce fiber to your diet. To start this new phase, try the following:

  • Replace the fruit juices "in natura".
  • Eat fruits and vegetables with the skin wherever possible.
  • Start adding vegetables and seeds to soups, salads and stews.
  • Replace white bread for whole wheat bread. The same applies to the masses and rice.
  • Place a tablespoon of oatmeal in your yogurt.
  • Replace common crackers for whole wheat crackers or cereal bars.

Gradually, the taste will get used, and this increase enables the fibers during the day, as well as diversification.

Side effects

Although extremely healthy and necessary, the fibers, when taken improperly, in amounts greater than those recommended or by people not used to them, may cause some side effects. Are they:

  • gas formation;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Hinder the absorption of some minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc and manganese.

Understanding the fibers in our body

To illustrate the behavior of fibers in our body, we add a video, which will serve as a complement to our article:

Final considerations

The fibers can not get off the diet at any age. Fortunately, much soluble fiber as insoluble fiber are easy to find and are available in a wide range.

Although there are fiber-based supplements, it will always be preferable consumption naturally. Look consume them in the main meals daily. Thus, the beneficial effects will be noticed in no time.

Do you believe that is a higher consumption of soluble fiber or insoluble in your diet? You need to increase it, as it has suffered some symptoms of lack of fiber? Comment below!