Insoluble fiber compounds don't dissolve in water and are not easily metabolized by the intestinal bacteria.
Soluble fiber either dissolves or expands in water and ferment by bacteria in the large intestine.
Most foods contain both insoluble and soluble fiber that help to make us feel full and slow down our digestion, so that we can keep that full feeling for hours without having to consume a lot of calories. Fiber absorbs water and holds it in the intestines which helps prevent constipation and aids in elimination.
Women should get 25 grams of fiber a day; while men should get 38 grams a day. This might seem like a high number, especially since most Americans don't get even close to 10 grams per day, but it isn't that hard to get your daily intake when you are eating a healthy diet.
Here's a list of some common foods and the amount of fiber they have:
- Apple 4 grams
- Apricot 3 grams
- Banana 3 grams
- Orange 3 grams
- Pear 5 grams
- 1 cup raspberries 8 grams
- 1 cup strawberries 3 grams
- 1 cup blueberries 3 grams
- Avocado 13 grams
- Broccoli cooked (1 cup) 5 grams
- Carrot cooked ( 1 cup) 4 grams
- Corn (1 cup) 3 grams
- Peas cooked (1 cup) 8 grams
- Spinach cooked (1 cup) 4 grams
- Bran cereal (1/2 cup) 10 grams
- Whole wheat bread 3-6 grams
- Oats (1 cup) 8 grams
- Whole wheat pasta 3-8 grams per serving
- Brown rice (1 cup) 6.5 grams
- Almonds (1 oz) 3 grams
- Black beans (1 cup) 15 grams
- Flaxseed (3 Tbsp) 8 grams
- Garbanzo beans (1 cup) 12.5 grams
- Lentils (1 cup) 15 grams
- Sunflower seeds (1 oz) 3 grams
PLF Daily Tip: Aim for 25 grams of fiber per day if you are a woman, and 38 grams if you are a man. Fiber helps to control blood sugar levels (great for treatment of diabetes), lower cholesterol to help prevent cardiovascular disease (our number one killer!), prevents constipation, decreases colon cancer, and aids in weight loss.