Home » Life Advice » Soluble and insoluble fiber: what they are, the differences and why to consume them –

Soluble and insoluble fiber: what they are, the differences and why to consume them –

That the food fibers are important, that everyone already knows. However, did you know that there are two different types of fiber – soluble and insoluble – and that we need to consume both frequently? So it is!

For those who don’t remember, fibers are substances found in plant-based foods that are not digested by our bodies – on the contrary, they are absorbed and act directly on the functioning of our gastrointestinal system.


“Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a type of gel in the colon,” explains Dr. Dr. Esthela Oliveira, sports physician and specialist in integrative medicine. “They act by delaying gastric emptying, promoting a greater feeling of satiety, helping to regulate intestinal transit and also to reduce cholesterol and blood glucose.”

Among the benefits of soluble fibers, we have:

Helps maintain blood sugar levels: what is essential, mainly, for people with type 2 diabetessince foods with soluble fiber, unlike common carbohydrates, do not cause spikes in blood glucose.
Helps to reduce “bad” cholesterol (LDL Cholesterol): in short, soluble fibers act directly on the production, release and absorption of bile by the body, which also directly influences in cholesterol levels in the blood.
Feeds the “good” bacteria in the gut: although the body does not digest soluble fibers, they are “broken” by the bacteria that inhabit our intestine. In this way, these fibers act as natural probiotics and the process not only improves intestinal health but also generates a series of benefits for the body, such as collaborating with the feeling of satiety.

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You must be wondering: where do we find soluble fiber? Write down our list:

Beans and other legumes
Chia seeds
Sweet potato


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Literally unlike the previous item, insoluble fibers are those that do not dissolve and remain intact while food moves through the gastrointestinal tract. As opposed to their soluble sisters, they do not gel in the intestine, but collaborate to the formation of fecal cake.

The main benefit of consuming insoluble fibers is precisely to keep your intestinal functioning regulated. It collaborates for the consistency of the stools and also for the speed of transit of the fecal cake through the intestine – that is, for the time it takes food to leave the body through the poop.

For those who suffer from coldinsoluble fibers are great friends, as well as for patients with irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease – both conditions that directly interfere with gastrointestinal functioning.

Need help knowing where to find these fibers in food? Let’s go:

shelled almonds
Green olive
pear in shell


In summary, it is important to warn: consuming sources of soluble and insoluble fibers daily is essential for the proper functioning of the intestine and, of course, the entire body.

“Soluble and insoluble fibers have different functions in our gastrointestinal system, and both bring many benefits to the functioning of our body, so it is important, with the help of a professional, to make a personalized and balanced diet incorporating both types in it. fibers”, explains the doctor.

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