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Soluble vs Insoluble Fiber – What’s the Difference?

Soluble vs Insoluble Fiber – What’s the Difference?

For years we’ve been told by doctors to “increase our fiber intake” for various reasons. Unfortunately we’re not give a whole lot of direction.  There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble – and they function very differently.  If you’re new to fiber research, you may even think you need to decide which one is best.  Truth is, they’re both the best and you’ll want to make sure you’re consuming an adequate amount of both.

Insoluble fiber and soluble fiber have different benefits and they come from different sources.  How much you consume of each is largely dependent on the reason you’re seeking to add fiber to your diet, as well as your gender and age.  Both insoluble and soluble fiber are undigested, making it a very intelligent calorie source, but they do function differently while in your body.  Insoluble fiber passes largely intact, while soluble fiber will form a gel of sorts while being passed.  This makes their benefits quite different.

Benefits of Insoluble Fiber

• Maintain healthy PH in intestines and colon, lending to the prevention of colon cancer
• Prevent constipation and promote regularity
• Remove toxins quickly and efficiently
• Prevention of diverticulitis
• Aids in weight loss and healthy weight maintenance by helping an individual to feel full faster and longer

Benefits of Soluble Fiber

• Lowers cholesterol levels, primarily LDL levels
• Regulate blood sugar in people with diabetes and pre-diabetics
• Slows the absorption of sugar in the blood stream, lowering insulin levels, and preventing the conversation of sugar to fat ultimately aiding in healthy weight maintenance
• Aids in weight loss and healthy weight maintenance by helping an individual to feel full faster and longer
• Acts as a prebiotic (food) for probiotics (good gut bacteria)

There are many ways to add both insoluble and soluble fiber to your daily regimen, whether via a supplement or dietary changes.  The important thing is to understand which is which and why you’re choosing THAT form of fiber – because when it comes down to it, not all fiber is created equal.

Need some ideas to add more fiber to your diet?  Click here.

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