Healthy Eating provides a concise list of foods that are high in soluble fiber. A more lengthy chart that lists food high in soluble fiber is available on the Prebiotin website, which also compares the amount of soluble fiber to the insoluble fiber in each food.
Soluble fiber is an important element in the human diet. Good food sources include oatmeal, vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts. Unlike insoluble fiber, soluble fiber easily dissolves in water and is readily fermented by the colon into gases and other by-products. Some soluble fiber absorbs water and becomes a gelatinous, viscous mixture that slows down digestion and aids nutrient absorption. Soluble fiber may also alleviate the symptoms of diarrhea, constipation and abdominal discomfort.
The average American adult eats only 15 grams of fiber per day. This is far less than the recommended daily allowance for men, which is 38 grams per day, or woman, which is 25 grams. An effective way for people to increase their fiber intake is to eat whole-grain bread and crackers instead of refined-grain products. Leaving the peels of fruits and vegetables on before consuming them is also helpful.
Fiber is listed as a carbohydrate, but it does not get broken down in the course of digestion, so it doesn't add any calories. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that people with diabetes who consumed a lot of soluble fiber were able to control their blood glucose levels better than people who ate less fiber.