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Dietary Fiber

  • Definition

    Dietary fiber (also know as "roughage" or "bulk") is the part of the food that is indigestible. Found only in plant foods, it moves largely unaltered through the stomach and small intestine and into the colon.


    There are two types of dietary fiber: insoluble and soluble.

    Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and travels through the small intestines quickly. Wheat bran, whole grains breads and cereals, as well as the skins of many fruits and vegetables are considered insoluble.

    Soluble fiber breaks down as it passes through the digestive tract forming a gel that traps some substances that are beneficial in lowering cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugar and affecting nutrient absorption. Examples of soluble fibers are oats, beans, barley, and many fruits and vegetables.


    How do you know if more fiber is needed in the diet?

    What if a person is allergic to whole grain foods?

    Should a nutritionist be consulted in regards to changing the current diet?

    Are there signs and symptoms to watch with respect to eating too much fiber?

    What is your opinion regarding fiber supplements?