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Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. There are two types of fiber: Insoluble (doesn’t dissolve in water) and Soluble (those that do dissolve in water).

Why Fiber is Important: Fiber helps prevent or relieve constipation, as well as lower risk of diabetes and heart disease. Unlike other food components, your body doesn’t digest fiber. Instead, it passes through your digestive tract, increasing the weight and size of your stool and softens it, making it easier to pass.

Daily Dietary Requirements: 25 grams

If diet has too little If diet has too much
  • Constipation
  • Infrequent stools
  • Hard stools
  • Abdominal pains
  • A general feeling of “sluggish bowels”
  • Excessive gassiness
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Stools uncomfortably frequent and large overall volume
Type of Fiber What it Does Good Food Sources
Insoluble Fiber Increases the movement of food through your digestive system and increases stool bulk, helping to eliminate constipation and regulate the digestive tract
  • Whole-wheat flour
  • Wheat bran
  • Nuts
  • Most Vegetables
Soluble Fiber Dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels.
  • Apples
  • Barley
  • Beans
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Carrots
  • Oats
  • Peas
  • Psyllium
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