Published in: April 19, 2021

How to Add Both Kinds of Fiber to Your Diet

Dietary fibers found naturally in the plants are generally classified as soluble and insoluble fibers.

How to Add Both Kinds of Fiber to Your Diet

Fibers usually don’t break down in the stomach; instead, pass through the intestinal tract undigested. Both types of fiber are important for your health, digestion, and also preventing diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart attack, constipation, and more. Before knowing how to add both kinds of fiber to your diet, let us know more about them.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber is a type of fiber that usually dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance as it moves through the digestive tract. It can help improve your body’s health by gradually decreasing the rate at which the intestine absorbs glucose and cholesterol. By doing so, soluble fiber makes you feel full by delaying the process of emptying your stomach. This will help you control your body weight. Soluble fiber can also affect your blood sugar levels and have a beneficial impact on insulin sensitivity, which in turn helps prevent or control diabetes. Of the recommended 25-30 grams of total dietary fiber intake, approximately 25% (between 6-8 grams) should derive from soluble fiber.

Insoluble Fiber

As the name suggests, insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. However, when it does, it adds to the bulkiness of waste materials passing through your intestinal tract, and, by doing so, it promotes regular bowel movement that’s easy and no trouble to pass. By preventing constipation and decreasing the possibility of developing diverticular and hemorrhoids disease, insoluble fibers help keep the digestive system always in good working condition.

Source of Soluble and Insoluble Fibers

  • Soluble Fiber – Oranges, pears, grapefruit, prunes, Brussels sprouts, and legumes – such as kidney beans, black beans, and lima beans -are good sources of soluble fiber. Oatmeal, barley, oat bran, bananas, apples, peaches, blackberries, nectarines, carrots, broccoli, chickpeas, and lentils are also good sources.
  • Insoluble Fiber – Whole grain foods, nuts, vegetables, legumes like dried beans, are excellent sources of insoluble fiber. This group includes whole wheat bread and other baked items made from whole grain flour, wheat, and wheat-bran cereals, cauliflower, cabbage, and turnips. Although the fleshy part of an apple is rich in soluble fiber, the skin of the fruit is high in insoluble fiber.

Tips on How to Add Both Kinds of Fiber to Your Diet

Getting proper dietary fiber in your diet can be a challenge, particularly if you are used to consuming lots of refined and processed foods.

Use the below tips to get more fiber content in your diet:

  • Eat more fruits instead of drinking fruit juice;
  • Read labels. Search the word “whole” before any grain on the list of ingredients and look at the amount of dietary fiber on the nutritional facts given in the packages to choose high fiber foods;
  • Eat a bowl of bran or any other high fiber cereal in the morning that contains at least 5-grams of dietary fiber per serving;
  • Snack on fresh and raw vegetables;
  • Add seeds, legumes, and nuts in salads, stews, and soups;
  • Replace pasta, rice, and white bread with whole-grain food products;
  • Eat a vegan meal at least once a week.

Both types of dietary fibers have significant benefits; therefore eating a variety of foods to get a sufficient amount of both types is very important.