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Soluble and Insoluble: High Fiber Diet Benefits - 24 Mantra organic

Soluble and Insoluble: High Fiber Diet Benefits - 24 Mantra organic

Importance-of-Soluble-and-Insoluble-Fibre-in-Your-Diet

Importance of Soluble and Insoluble Fibre in Your Diet

Health and Nutrition
11.11.2020

Fibre has been the latest buzzword doing the rounds lately. Almost everyone is talking about the benefits of fiber in your diet. In addition to reading about high fiber diet benefits, you may have even considered going on one for its weight loss capabilities.

However, as they say – one man’s meat could be another man’s poison. A diet rich in fibre could aggravate gastrointestinal issues, such as GERD. Hence, one may have to avoid high fibre foods in some conditions!

Thus, it is always wise to learn the science behind any diet before jumping right into it! Fortunately, we are here to break down the importance of soluble and insoluble fibre in your diet.

What are Dietary Fibres?

In simple words, dietary fibres are a part of plant-based carbohydrate that the body cannot absorb or digest. Hence, it passes right through your system without breaking down. Since it is a complex carbohydrate, it does not raise the blood sugar levels, which is responsible for a host of high fiber diet benefits.

Dietary fibres are available in the soluble and insoluble forms. Let’s check out what these are:

Soluble vs. Insoluble Fibre

A high fiber diet benefits the body by supplying both soluble and insoluble fibre.

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Soluble fibre combines with water or gastrointestinal fluids upon entering the stomach and the intestines. It absorbs all the liquid to assume a gel-like consistency that gets digested by the bacteria in the large intestines. The digestion of soluble fibre releases gas and a few calories.

Insoluble fibre mostly remains unchanged as it makes its way through the digestive tract. However, it does attract water and softens the stool, thereby making bowel movement easier and less strenuous. Since insoluble fibres do not undergo digestion, they do not supply the body with any calories.

Benefits of Fiber in Diet

Reducing appetite and promoting satiety is one of the best-known benefits of fiber in diet. As a result, it plays a crucial role in creating a calorie-deficit that could lead to weight loss. Additionally, it can also reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, chronic metabolic conditions, etc.

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Since there are several high fiber diet benefits, we will examine these after categorising them into two depending on the type of fibre:

Benefits of Soluble Fiber in Diet

  • Soluble fibre, due to its gel properties, lowers the body’s ability to digest or absorb fats, which helps in weight management.
  • It prevents the absorption and digestion of dietary cholesterol, which helps bring down the level of free cholesterol in the blood.
  • Since it slows down the overall digestion of carbohydrates and other macronutrients present in food, it also helps in regulating the blood sugar level. Resultantly, it will prevent the blood-glucose spike that normally follows a meal.
  • By lowering the cholesterol levels, stabilising blood-sugar spikes, and decreasing fat absorption, soluble fibres can improve your cardiovascular health and prevent the onset of any heart condition.
  • Soluble fibres feed the gut bacteria, which promotes the development of a healthy biome in the digestive tract. Hence, it improves overall gut health.

Benefits of Insoluble Fiber in Diet

  • Insoluble fibre acts as roughage and attracts all the fluids and byproducts of digestion that need to be eliminated by the body. It catalyses the waste production process and speeds up bowel movement, which prevents constipation.
  • Since insoluble fibres keep everything moving within the digestive tract, it reduces the risk of haemorrhoids or diverticular disease. It may also cut down the risk of colorectal cancer.

Sources of Dietary Fibre

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If you wish to gain the benefits of fiber in diet, you need to know where to look. Here are some of the best sources of soluble and insoluble fibres:

Soluble Fibre

  • Peas
  • Oats
  • Beans
  • Carrots
  • Psyllium Husk (isabgol)
  • Apples
  • Barley
  • Citrus fruits

Insoluble Fibre

  • Wheat bran
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Cauliflower
  • Green beans
  • Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Nuts

Recommended Daily Intake of Dietary Fibres

Dietary fibres are a core component of a balanced diet. Hence, it is crucial to know the right amount. According to the American Heart Association, individuals must consume about 25 to 30 grams of dietary fibres (soluble and insoluble) from foods and not supplements. Additionally, this amount is subject to change depending on the age and sex of the individual. Here is a handy table for reference:

 

Men, aged 50 and under 38 grams/day
Men, over 50 30 grams/day
Women, aged 50 and under 25 grams/day
Women, over 50 21 grams/day

Luckily, you can meet your daily goals by consuming an array of raw, fresh, and organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.

 

While we understand the high fiber diet benefits, it is worth mentioning that those suffering from digestive issues, such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, etc. must avoid consuming too much fibre. Your physician may also put you temporarily on a low-fibre diet if you were to undergo colonoscopy or have abdominal cramps, constipation, or diarrhoea. However, you may have to reintroduce fibre into your diet.


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