Dietary fiber is the part of plant-based food that mostly passes through your digestive system without breaking down or being digested. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water, and includes plant pectin and gums. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water. It includes plant cellulose and hemicellulose.
Most plants contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, but in different amounts. Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet and supports many different body systems.
Soluble and insoluble fibers have unique benefits.
As soluble fiber dissolves, it creates a gel that may improve digestion in a number of ways. Soluble fiber may reduce blood cholesterol and sugar. It helps your body improve blood glucose control, which can aid in reducing your risk for diabetes.
Insoluble fiber attracts water into your stool, making it softer and easier to pass with less strain on your bowel. Insoluble fiber can help promote bowel health and regularity. It also supports insulin sensitivity, and, like soluble fiber, may help reduce your risk for diabetes.
Did you know?
Increasing your intake of dietary fiber by two servings of whole-grain products each day might lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by as much as 21 percent.