Nutrition and DietSoluble and non-soluble (insoluble) fiber: their main differences

Soluble and non-soluble (insoluble) fiber: their main differences

Nutritional differences and benefits of soluble fibers and insoluble (or non-soluble) fibers, which provide different virtues and properties.

An increasing number of nutritionists and doctors advise following a diet based not only on the consumption of healthy and natural foods, but also on foods rich in fiber.

They are suitable foods when it comes to enjoying both good health and for the prevention of a wide variety of digestive and intestinal disorders (for example, it is extremely beneficial in the prevention of constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis). In addition, they help you lose weight thanks to the fact that they contain an interesting satiating power.

The benefits of fiber are really many, and the vast majority not only translate into the prevention or solution of constipation. We can highlight the following:

  • They help prevent various types of cancer, such as colon or breast cancer.
  • Lowers LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels.
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • Lowers blood sugar.
  • Prevents constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulitis.
  • It brings an interesting satiating power.

From a nutritional point of view, fiber stands out as a complex carbohydrate, which means that it is digested more slowly and does not spike blood sugar levels abruptly.

Depending on the type of fiber, we can find soluble fiber on the one hand, and insoluble fiber on the other.

What is soluble fiber and what are its benefits?

Soluble fiber is made up of components that capture a lot of water and are capable of forming viscous gels, being very fermentable in the intestine, producing a large amount of gases.

For this reason, this type of fiber increases the volume of stool, decreasing its consistency.  In addition, it prolongs the emptying time of the stomach, so the sugar is released and absorbed more slowly.

Soluble fiber benefits

  • Regulates the level of sugar in the blood, being beneficial for diabetics.
  • Helps reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.

In what foods do we find soluble fiber?

    • Cereals: oats, oat bran and barley.
    • Seeds: flax seeds.
    • Legumes: dry peas and beans.
    • Fruits: oranges and apples.
    • Vegetables: carrots.

What is insoluble fiber and what are its benefits?

Insoluble fiber is made up of substances that retain little water, and therefore swell little.  They have an effect on the body of cleaning the walls of the intestine, eliminating the different wastes that have adhered to it.

In addition, the volume of stool increases, reducing both its consistency and its transit time through the digestive tract. It is ideal in the prevention of constipation.

Insoluble fiber benefits

  • Prevents constipation, by facilitating bowel movements.
  • Prevents colon cancer.
  • Controls and balances the PH in the intestines.

In what foods do we find insoluble fiber?

  • Vegetables: green leafy vegetables.
  • Legumes: green beans.
  • Cereals: wheat and corn bran, and whole grains (generally in all cereals).
  • Fruits: fruit skins.
  • Nuts.
  • Seeds.

 

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