Some foods contain fiber, which is a tough complex carbohydrate. Fiber may be
Partly soluble: It dissolves in water, and the body may be able to digest some of it.
Insoluble: It does not dissolve in water, and the body cannot digest it.
Eating too much insoluble fiber can interfere with absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.
Authorities generally recommend that about 30 grams of fiber be consumed daily. In the United States, the average amount of fiber consumed daily is about 12 grams because people tend to eat products made with highly refined wheat flour and do not eat many fruits and vegetables. An average serving of fruit, a vegetable, or cereal contains 2 to 4 grams of fiber. Meat and dairy foods do not contain fiber.
Comparing Soluble and Insoluble Fiber
Type of Fiber
Pectin (from fruit)
Helps moderate the changes in blood sugar and insulin levels that occur after eating a meal
Helps reduce cholesterol levels
May reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (including coronary artery disease)
Many vegetables, including cabbage, root vegetables, and zucchini
Whole grains and whole-grain breads and pastas
Provides bulk to feces and thus helps food move through the digestive tract, preventing constipation
Helps eliminate cancer-causing substances produced by the bacteria in the large intestine
Reduces pressure in the intestine, helping prevent diverticular disease
Makes people feel less hungry because it adds bulk to the diet, makes people chew more slowly, and keeps food in the stomach longer—and is thus helpful in losing weight
THURSDAY, June 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- People with type 2 diabetes who don't always have enough money for food have worse blood sugar control than people who don't worry about where their next meal will come from, new research finds.
"We talk about healthy eating a lot in diabetes...
THURSDAY, June 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A study of more than 67,000 women suggests that those who are obese and postmenopausal may face significantly higher odds for breast cancer compared with slimmer women.
The risk for breast cancer among the most obese women in the study was up to 58...
THURSDAY, June 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Many American children and teens aren't consuming enough liquids -- especially water -- and that lack of hydration could affect their physical and mental health, a new study suggests.
The findings "highlight a potential health issue that has not been...