Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber is a complex carbohydrate. However, it is normally discussed in a separate category due to its importance in the human diet. Even though it is not an essential nutrient, it is a very crucial ingredient in the diet.

Dietary fiber is part of a plant. Humans eat it but do not digest it. There are two types fiber: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Both types of fiber help to control blood sugar levels, make you feel fuller longer, and help exercise the digestive system.

Fiber differs from starch in the fact that it cannot be broken down in the digestive tract. This is especially true of the insoluble fiber. Most foods contain both types of fiber; however, there is usually an abundance of one type, and smaller amount of the other.

Because fiber is a part of the plant, it can only be found in plant foods. This includes whole grain breads and cereals, beans, fruits, and leafy green vegetables.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber helps maintain and lower blood cholesterol levels, as well as reduces the risk of heart disease. It is able to dissolve in water. It is known as a carb that's a "no-carb". This is because the human body does not have the enzymes to break it down. As a result, it remains undigested through the gastrointestinal tract. Soluble fiber is found in fruit seeds, brown rice, oats, and fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, prunes, citrus fruits, strawberries, bananas, most beans, broccoli, carrots, and potatoes.

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber keeps the bowels healthy. It does not dissolve in water; however, it does hold large quantities of water. It is for this reason you feel full long after you have eaten insoluble fiber. Also, it creates bulk and moisture in stool.

The human body does not have the enzymes to break down insoluble fiber. This is why it is sometimes referred to as the carb that's a "no-carb". Insoluble fiber passes through the system undigested. It is most often found in whole grain and fruit skins. The most insoluble rich fiber foods include grapes, prunes, apple skins, pear skins, berries, celery, beets, carrots, broccoli, potato skins, and bran.

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