Insoluble Fiber: the Sister of Soluble Fiber

Foods rich in Insoluble Fiber. Created with Canva.

Fiber is a work horse for a healthy lifestyle and body.  Fiber aids in maintaining a healthy weight, lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, and keeps the bowels moving like a champ.  It is because of these properties that fiber is an essential element that should not be overlooked.  So, what is fiber, insoluble fiber, and how do you make sure you’re getting enough in your diet?  Read on for those important answers and launch your path to a healthier you.

Fiber

Fiber is a carbohydrate that can’t be broken down into sugar molecules for the body to use as fuel.  Since, fiber isn’t broken down in the body it passes through undigested which makes the body feel full and satiated, alleviating hunger and controlling sugar levels in the body.  Fiber also helps keep the bowels moving and helps to prevent constipation. Other diseases which fiber helps prevent or control are: diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Fiber most often comes from fruit, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.  There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.  This article we will discuss insoluble fiber but if you would like more information on soluble fiber, I wrote an article titled Extra! Extra! Eat More Soluble Fiber.

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water which is why it is different than soluble fiber.  This fiber helps materials move through the digestive system and creates a bulkier stool.  Insoluble fiber’s main claim to fame is its preventative measures for constipation and irregular bowel movements.  It keeps the system move smoothly and regularly. 

Foods High in Insoluble Fiber

  • Wheat Bran
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Green Beans
  • Potatoes

Suggestions for incorporating Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber is often found in the skin of fruits and vegetables.  To incorporate more insoluble fiber, eat the skin of your fruit and vegetables.  This is not only easy but will save time in the kitchen. Instead of spending five minutes peeling fruits and vegetables, skip that step and prepare as usual.  This will give a nice crispness to your fresh fruits and vegetables but will add a bit more sturdiness to the meal which adds depth to the dish.  Sprinkle nuts on your salads or oatmeal and you apply the same concept, a nice chew and texture combination that wouldn’t have been experienced before.  I have recently taken to steaming my cauliflower and then tossing it in a low sodium buffalo sauce.  It creates heat and the texture is almost meaty, not quite like buffalo chicken but a healthy alternative.  These are just a few suggestions, but try to get creative and see what you can come up with.  Leave a comment in the bottom so others can see how you incorporate insoluble fiber into your dishes.

References

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