I have had so many clients totally confused about fiber, what it is, what's the difference, and why it's so important!
Answer: fiber is SO important for preventing disease and keeping you healthy. Here's what it is...
There are two different types of fiber -- soluble and insoluble. Both are SO important for health, digestion, preventing diseases, and helping you live longer. Your body needs both types to do those things.
Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. This slows digestion down. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. It is also found in psyllium, a common fiber supplement. Some types of soluble fiber may help lower risk of heart disease. When eaten regularly, soluble fiber can help lower blood cholesterol, mainly be lowering LDL-cholesterol or “bad” cholesterol. Soluble fiber is found in yams, potatoes, winter squash, beets and certain fruits. Oats have the highest proportion of soluble fiber of any grain.
Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. It adds bulk and appears to help food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines.
Most foods contain both insoluble and soluble fiber but are usually richer in one type than the other.
The easiest way to tell them apart: Soluble fiber absorbs water, turning into a gel-like mush (think of what happens when you add water to oatmeal) while insoluble fiber doesn’t (think of what happens when you add water to celery).