Soluble And Insoluble Fibre: Everything You Need to Know
Published on: 08-Aug-2022
10 min read
Soluble And Insoluble Fibre: Everything You Need to Know
Fibre is a plant-derived component that can not be digested but is exceptionally beneficial for the body. Have you ever wondered why? Fibre has multiple health benefits and is especially recommended for a healthy digestive system.
Do you know the types of fibre? Yes, you read it right! The two types of fibres are soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Both can be found in plants and forms of carbohydrates but still are different. How? Let us find out.
Table of Contents
1. What Is Fibre?
2. What Are The Types Of Fibre?
3. Tips For High Fibre Diet
4. Things to Keep In Mind
5. The Final Say
What Is Fibre?
Fibre is a complex carbohydrate that we usually get from vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Food rich in fibre promotes digestion by adding bulk to the stool.
If you are trying to reduce some weight, you can add fibre-rich food to your diet. Moreover, they induce the feeling of fullness, which keeps the untimely cravings at bay. It also helps to lower obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and others.
What Are The Types Of Fibre?
There are two types of fibre. Both are known to benefit our health in various ways.
Soluble fibre dissolves in gastrointestinal fluids and water when it enters the stomach and intestines. It gets converted into a gel-like substance and is digested by bacteria in the large intestine, releasing gases and a few calories.
Here are a few foods that are high in soluble fibre:
- Grains- Barley, oats and rice brans.
- Seeds- Sunflower seeds, chia seeds and flaxseeds.
- Fruits- Apples, guavas, pears and apricots.
- Vegetables- Cabbage, sweet potatoes, broccoli, turnip and asparagus.
Benefits Of Soluble Fibre
- It lowers fat absorption and helps in weight management.
- It lowers cholesterol levels in the blood.
- It stabilises blood sugar levels.
- It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- It feeds healthy gut bacteria.
Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in gastrointestinal fluids or water. It remains unchanged as it moves through the digestive tract. Therefore, insoluble fibre is not a source of calories.
Here is a list of food high in insoluble fibre:
- Whole Grains- Popcorn, whole wheat flour, wheat cereals and wheat bran.
- Legumes and Beans- Kidney beans, lima beans, chickpeas and black-eyed peas.
- Vegetables- Potatoes, cauliflower and green beans.
Benefits Of Insoluble Fibre
- Prevents constipation.
- Lowers the risk of diverticular disease.
- Process body fat better.
- Improves bowel health.
- Treats constipation.
Tips For High Fibre Diet
Following are the tips you must follow to increase fibre in the diet.
- Pick the products that have whole grains.
- Choose foods naturally rich in fibre instead of supplements.
- Eat beans, peas and lentils regularly.
- Consume fruits and vegetables with their skins when possible.
- Pick unrefined grain and cereal products.
- Pick whole fruits and vegetables instead of juices.
- Add peas, beans and lentils to salads and soups.
- Eat at least one food that contains 20% DV (daily value) per serving.
- Eat unsalted nuts, seeds or dried fruits as snacks.
- Start your day with whole-grain breakfast options.
- Pick brown rice above the white variety.
- Make dips or spreads out of chickpeas, beans, lentils and other pulses.
- Look for the best. The amount of dietary fibre in many foods changes depending on whether they are raw, cooked, stewed, steamed, fried or baked.
Things To Keep In Mind
If you are planning to increase fibre in your diet. Here are a few things you must keep in mind.
- Canned and processed foods have less fibre as compared to whole foods
- Foods with added fibre have chicory root or inulin listed in the ingredient list.
- Plants have varying levels of insoluble fibre and soluble fibre. Therefore, eating various fruits, vegetables and grains is the best way to derive benefits from both types of fibres.
- Consult a paediatrician before giving your child any fibre supplements.
The Final Say
Both fibres are good for our health. No scientific fact or proof is backed by any research or medical study stating that one is better than the other. Our bodies need both for the proper functioning of our body, especially weight management.
The easiest way to ensure you get enough fibre-both soluble and insoluble is by eating a wide variety of vegetables, seeds, fruits, lentils, and whole grains daily.
Ensure not to overload your diet with fibre. Practice moderation, as going over the board may increase the risk of having gastric problems, bloating or stomach cramps. Consult your doctor or dietician before you add any new food to your daily diet.
1. How much fibre do you need to eat?
For every 1000 calories ingested, 14 grams of fibre is advised, which works out to at least 38 grams per day for males and 25 grams per day for women.
2. Why does fibre cause gas and indigestion?
These problems are brought on by the colon's fermentation of soluble fibre. Undigested soluble fibre enters the colon and produces gas as the gut bacteria try to break it down.
3. Which type of fibre do oats have?
Oats are rich in soluble fibre. They make you feel fuller for longer and help to control blood sugar.
4. Can too much fibre cause constipation?
Overeating fibre can lead to symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and constipation.
5. Why am I feeling constipated, even though I am eating healthy?
Constipation can be caused by various factors, the most common of which are a low-fibre diet, dehydration, and a lack of exercise.
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