Dietary Fiber: Insoluble and Soluble Fiber

What's the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber? Insoluble fiber stays mostly intact in your GI tract, adding bulk and pushing things along. Helps prevent diverticulitis. (Little pouches int he lining of your GI tract that can collect food)

Sources: whole wheat, whole grains, wheat bran, corn bran, seeds, nuts, barley, couscous, brown rice, bulgur, zucchini, celery, broccoli, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, raisins, grapes, fruit, and root vegetable skins.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and turns into a gel (ever try Metamucil and let it sit for more than 10 seconds?) The gel slows down digestion and makes you feel fuller. It also helps blood sugar levels and aids in reducing cholesterol. 

Sources: oatmeal, oat cereal, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, oat bran, strawberries, nuts, flaxseeds, beans, dried peas, blueberries, psyllium, cucumbers, celery, and carrots.

How much? 

The USDA currently recommends about 14 grams of fiber per 1000 calories a day.