Soluble and Insoluble Fiber
Timeless Nutrition Tip
Soluble and insoluble fiber -- what is the difference?
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 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.
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.