View Single Post
Old 11-20-2008, 02:27 PM   #12
Working My Way Back Down
WaterRat's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Alaska
Posts: 4,982


Soluble fiber is ... well ... soluble. It dissolves in liquid to some degree and forms more of a "paste" (in layman's terms). It binds with fatty acids. It helps reduce bad cholesterol. It keeps you feeling fuller, longer because it stays in your stomach longer.

Insoluble fiber doesn't dissolve - it stays whole. It moves through your system faster and keeps your colon clean and working properly. If you're constipated, insoluble fiber is the way to go.
If you read up on fiber, you'll see - as Photochick has stated - that you need to be sure you're getting both kinds of fiber. Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fiber - it's why you see the ads for cholesterol reduction after eating oatmeal for x days. But if you're looking for regularlity, it's the insoluble fiber you want.

I found the following information which puts is all pretty simply at,

Functions of Insoluble Fiber
move bulk through the intestines
control and balance the pH (acidity) in the intestines

Benefits of Insoluble Fiber

promote regular bowel movement and prevent constipation
remove toxic waste through colon in less time
help prevent colon cancer by keeping an optimal pH in intestines to prevent microbes from producing cancerous substances

Food Sources of Insoluble Fiber

Vegetables such as green beans and dark green leafy vegetables
Fruit skins and root vegetable skins
Whole-wheat products
Wheat oat
Corn bran
Seeds & Nuts

Functions of Soluble Fiber
bind with fatty acids
prolong stomach emptying time so that sugar is released and absorbed more slowly

Benefits of Soluble Fiber

lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) therefore reducing the risk of heart disease
regulate blood sugar for people with diabetes

Food Sources of Soluble Fiber
Oat/Oat bran
Dried beans and peas
Flax seed
Fruits such as oranges and apples
Vegetables such as carrots
Psyllium husk

Key Message: An average diet contains 75%:25% insoluble fiber: soluble fiber. When making a food choice decision, don't worry about choosing a specific type of fiber. Many foods such as oat, oat brans, psyllium husk and flax seed are rich in both insoluble and soluble fiber. Eating enough fiber is more important! The recommended intake of fiber is 25g per day. If you eat at least 5 servings of fruits & vegetables as well as at least 6 servings of grain products per day (at least 3 of which are whole grains), you are very likely meeting the fiber requirements.

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." Christopher Robin to Pooh
WaterRat is offline   Reply With Quote