Why is fiber important? (Part 1)

Dietary fiber is sourced from plant based foods that include fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes. While fiber is primarily a kind of carbohydrate that the body is unable to digest, it is different from other carbohydrates since it does not yield calories or energy. Instead it simply travels through the digestive tract.

However, this does not imply that fiber has no role to play in the body other than as a pilgrim. Instead of being broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream like other food, fiber has a different task to accomplish. Foods that have a high fiber content take up more space in the digestive tract than others which do not. One benefit for example is that for most people it means that they feel more full by eating less. Additionally, meals containing fiber move more slowly in the digestive tract so that that the feeling of being full lasts longer.

However not all fiber is created equal and these benefits depend on the different types of fiber consumed. There are two main types of fiber being either soluble or insoluble. Read more about soluble and insoluble fiber in Part 2 of this article.

 


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