Dietary fiber is divided into two components, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Both are actually good for health, but they work in different ways. As the name suggests, insoluble fiber is the type of fiber that doesn’t dissolve as it passes through the digestive tract. Increasing its intake will benefit those who’re trying to lose weight as it’s not a source of calories. It will eventually be excreted out of the body.
One of its primary benefits is to lower the risk of constipation. Meanwhile, soluble fiber is a part of dietary fiber that gets absorbed by the body. When it mixes with water, it will form a substance that resembles gel. It later binds to cholesterol and slower its absorption. That’s why soluble fiber is beneficial for heart health. Not just that, it’s equally good for controlling blood sugar levels.
Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol
Soluble fiber prevents an increase in cholesterol by binding it before it has a chance to enter the bloodstream. What happens is the soluble fiber binds to the cholesterol particles in the small intestine. Instead of being used by the body, it will be excreted out with the feces, instead. However, it’s important to remember that it works mostly for bad cholesterol or LDL. It doesn’t have much impact on HLD. That being said, it’s still good considering LDL plays a role in the development of cardiovascular disease. So by stopping it from reaching the bloodstream, you do your body a good favor.
Soluble fiber for preventing diabetes
Another benefit of soluble fiber is to control blood sugar. Diabetes is one of the most common health issues in the world. It could be genetics, but in most cases, it’s caused by unhealthy lifestyles. Increasing your intake of soluble fiber may help prevent the onset of this disease. Soluble fiber can be found in a range of foods, such as honey, oats, barley, fruits, and vegetables. It works by lowering the Glycemix Index of foods that are consumed with it.
Some foods have higher glycemix indexes, which mean they’re easier to digest. Thus, they raise blood sugar very quickly. Constant fluctuations of blood sugar will eventually interfere with the way your insulin works and may end up with diabetes. Therefore, to prevent it from happening, you need to consume foods that don’t cause fast blood sugar spikes. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance which slows down the absorption of nutrients. Additionally, it will also be consumed by good bacteria once it gets into the large intestine.
Foods containing soluble fiber
There are a bunch of foods that can provide you with sufficient amounts of soluble fiber, such as lentils, carrots, barley, oats, and beans. Some of these foods also contain insoluble fiber. Both are good for consumption. They aid in digestion in different ways. Besides, both are also beneficial for weight loss given that foods rich in dietary fiber make us feel full longer. Oatmeal is one of the best sources of soluble fiber. It comes in prepared packages that you can find in grocery stores. All you have to do is pour some into a bowl and add hot water. It can be eaten with various toppings, like dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.