Q:

Why is dietary fiber important?

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Quick Answer

Dietary fiber is an essential component in a person's diet; among the benefits of its regular consumption include the promotion of healthy bowel movement, better weight management and a lower risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Natural sources of dietary fiber include vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and seeds. Dietary fiber can also be consumed in the form of commercially available food supplements.

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Full Answer

There are two basic types of dietary fibers, which are soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber is the type that, when combined with water, dissolves and transforms into a gel-like substance. This type of fiber can be found in oats, psyllium, carrots, apples, citrus fruits, barley and beans.

Fatty acids bind with soluble fibers and help slow down digestion which, in turn, slows down the absorption and release of sugars in the body. Soluble fibers are beneficial for individuals who are seeking to lower their LDL cholesterol levels or for diabetics who want to manage their blood sugar levels.

As its name suggests, insoluble fiber is the type of fiber that does not dissolve. Some of the good sources of insoluble fiber are wheat bran, nuts, vegetables, whole-wheat flour and potatoes. Insoluble fiber is the type that helps regulate bowel movements. This type of fiber is beneficial for people who are suffering from constipation because it adds bulk to stools, making them easier to pass.

Learn more about Nutritional Amounts & Limits

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