What really is Fiber?
What is it really?...It is calculated in Points and Points Plus so it must be important. But did you know there are two different kinds of Fiber? Soluble and insoluble - so what does that mean to you? Let's start with what is fiber - Dietary fibers are found naturally in the plants that we eat. They are parts of plant that do not break down in our stomachs, and instead pass through our system undigested. Both types of fiber are equally important for health, digestion, and preventing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, diverticulitis, and constipation. Soluble fiber dissolves in water. Insoluble fiber does not. To some degree these differences determine how each fiber functions in the body and benefits your health. Soluble fibers also attract water and form a gel, which slows down digestion. Soluble fiber delays the emptying of your stomach and makes you feel full, which helps control weight. Don’t worry about what kind of fiber you are taking in unless you are seeking a specific health benefit, such as eating more soluble fiber to lower cholesterol. Instead, focus on eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. This will provide a variety of soluble and insoluble fibers and all of the health benefits. As you increase the fiber in your diet, you may experience more intestinal gas. Increasing fiber gradually will allow your body to adapt. Because some fibers absorb water, you should also drink more water as you increase fiber. Insoluble fibers are considered gut-healthy fiber because they have a laxative effect and add bulk to the diet, helping prevent constipation. These fibers do not dissolve in water, so they pass through the gastrointestinal tract relatively intact, and speed up the passage of food and waste through your gut. Insoluble fibers are mainly found in whole grains and vegetables.
Vicki will be writing on here periodically so stay tuned!