Friday, September 16, 2011

FIBER 101: Soluble Fiber vs Insoluble Fiber

No woman I know likes having flabby arms, chubby thighs, or bountiful hips. But fat in these areas is considered subcutaneous fat; meaning "under the skin". It's not pretty, but it's not as hazardous to your health as visceral fat; meaning "deep".

Visceral fat is found around the waist and belly and surrounding the vital organs. This type of fat may increase one's risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, according to an article in Science Daily.

In a study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina, you may be able to reduce the amount of harmful visceral fat by eating more soluble fiber. When participants consumed more fruits, beans, and vegetables, and got moderate exercise, they lost visceral fat, the study showed.

So fiber is a health benefit! It not only promotes good health, it also helps reduce the risk for some chronic diseases. It prevents constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulosis according to some studies.  Also lowers the LDL cholesterol and the total cholesterol therefore reducing the risk of heart disease.

Adding soluble and insoluble fiber to your healthy eating habits for less belly fat! Both fibers are undigested. They are therefore not absorbed into the bloodstream. Instead of being used for energy, fiber is excreted from our bodies. Soluble fiber forms a gel when mixed with liquid, while insoluble fiber does not. Insoluble fiber passes through our intestines largely intact.

Functions of Insoluble Fiber: moves bulk through the intestines and controls and balances the pH (acidity) in the intestines.

Benefits of Insoluble Fiber: promotes regular bowel movement and prevents constipation; removes toxic waste through colon in less time; helps prevent colon cancer by keeping an optimal pH in intestines to prevent microbes from producing cancerous substances.

Food Sources of Insoluble Fiber:  Vegetables such as green beans and dark green leafy vegetables; fruit skins and root vegetable skins; whole-wheat products; wheat bran; corn bran; seeds and nuts.

Functions of Soluble Fiber:  binds with fatty acids; prolongs stomach emptying time so that sugar is released and absorbed more slowly.

Benefits of Soluble Fiber:  lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the BAD cholesterol) therefore reducing the risk of heart disease; regulates blood sugar for people with diabetes.

Food Sources of Soluble Fiber:   oat/oat bran; dried beans and peas; nuts; barley; flax seed; fruits such as oranges and apples; vegetables such as carrots.

KEY MESSAGE: An average diet contains 75:25 insoluble fiber:soluble fiber. When making a food choice decision, don't worry about choosing a specific type of fiber. Many foods such as oats, oat brans, and flax seeds are rich in both fibers. Eating enough fiber is more important!!! The recommended intake of fiber is 25 g per day.  If you eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables as well as at least 6 servings of grain products per day (at least 3 of which are whole grains), you are very likely meeting the fiber requirements.

The Lord heals your diseases, redeems your life from the pit, satisfies you with good, shows compassion to his children, and knows your frame. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Psalm 103: 3-14


  1. This is beyond just interesting information, Brenda, this is life changing practical solutions for everyone. Thank you for posting this.


  2. Thanks for sharing this!! i used to and still dont like eating alot of veggies but i guess i'll have to have more veggies, fruits and beans if i ever going to lose weight and reduce the visceral fat in me :)