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Soluble and Insoluble Fiber

Timeless Nutrition Tip

Soluble and insoluble fiber -- what is the difference?

Whole Grains for Soluble and Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve, but holds onto water. By adding bulk and softness to stools, insoluble fiber keeps bowels moving smoothly. And scientists believe it lowers risk of colon cancer by moving potential cancer-causing agents more quickly through the digestive tract and diluting their concentration with bulk.

You get insoluble fiber from whole-wheat products, wheat bran, corn bran, many vegetables, certain fruits and dried beans.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble and Insoluble Fiber Soluble fiber dissolves to a rather gummy substance. By binding fatty substances in the digestive tract, it helps lower blood cholesterol, and it helps control blood sugar by slowing carbohydrate absorption.

You get soluble fiber from oats, barley, dried beans and a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Interestingly, while many people think of lettuce as a source of "roughage," it is not a good source of either type of fiber, so make sure to include a wide variety of other vegetables and fruits every day. Both types of fiber are important to good health.

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