- Author Dennis Chiu
- Published January 10, 2010
- Word count 377
Dietary fiber is known to be good for you. Too bad that there are quite a lot of things that you might not know about it. Here are some of the facts about fiber that you should really know about.
Not all dietary fiber is the same.
Most people think that dietary fiber is the same no matter where you get it. The fact is, there are actually different types of fiber and they have different functions. There are basically two types of dietary fiber.
Insoluble fiber is the type that do not dissolve in water. It is usually found in food such as wheat bran, nuts and various vegetables. They go through the digestive tract and works just like a broom to clear out toxins that they might pass along. Soluble fiber is the type that dissolves in water and form a gel-like substance as it goes through the digestive tract. What soluble fiber does is allow the slower absorption of sugar in the bloodstream. It can also help reduce or lower LDL or bad cholesterol levels to a certain degree.
Fiber also has calories.
Fiber is essentially composed of sugar molecules being held together by strong chemical bonds that the body has great difficulty trying to break. The small intestine cannot break down soluble and insoluble fiber as they pass through it, partly the reason why some believe that they do not contain calories since they just pass through the digestive system.
But the fact is that soluble fiber actually goes through a process of conversion when it passes through the large intestine. The soluble fiber molecules are converted into short chain fatty acids which do contain calories. A gram of soluble fiber has about 4 calories. It is insoluble fiber that essentially has zero calorie count.
Supplemental fiber is beneficial.
It may not sometimes be possible for people to source out their need for fiber solely though food. Using supplemental fiber to boost up fiber intake may actually be beneficial. There are many fiber supplements nowadays that can be added to one's regular diet to make sure that you get your fiber needs daily. Although it may not be similar to what you might get naturally from food, it nevertheless may offer the same benefits.
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