What are the types of fiber?

Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics
There are two main types of fiber that have different functions and distinctive health benefits.

The two types of fiber are “soluble fiber" and "insoluble fiber," but within each category there are many different fibers. Soluble fibers bind with fatty acids and slow digestion so blood sugars are released more slowly into the body. These fibers help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and help regulate blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. Insoluble fibers help hydrate and move waste through the intestines and control the pH levels in the intestines. These fibers help prevent constipation and keep you regular.

Fiber from whole foods is best, because they contain many other healthful plant compounds. 25 to 38 grams of fiber per day is ideal. Eating a wide variety of fibers is the ideal solution to gaining all the health benefits. Added functional fibers can help fill in the gap.

Fiber consists of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is found in the parts of plants that the body can’t digest, such as wheat bran and fruit and vegetable skins. It aids in the normal functioning of the digestive system. Soluble fiber is found in foods such as oats, barley, fruits, and vegetables. It can help improve serum lipid levels. Twenty-five to 30 grams of fiber per day are generally recommended.

Dr. Doris Day, MD
There are two types of fiber:
  1. Soluble, found in fruits and vegetables, beans and oats. These dissolve in water and help keep total cholesterol under control.
  2. Insoluble, found in whole grain foods such as wheat bran. These help us feel fuller and may help reduce risk of colon cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.