See Also: A Grain of Truth About Fiber
A bowl of oatmeal and a pear contain about the same amount of fiber.
Dietary fiber generally refers to parts of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes that can't be digested by humans. Meats and dairy products do not contain fiber. Studies indicate that high-fiber diets can reduce the risks of heart disease and certain types of cancer. There are two basic types of fiber - insoluble and soluble. Soluble fiber in cereals, oatmeal, beans and other foods has been found to lower blood cholesterol. Insoluble fiber in cauliflower, cabbage and other vegetables and fruits helps move foods through the stomach and intestine, thereby decreasing the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum.
Reprinted from the International Food Information Council Foundation
It has been called bulk or roughage, but today we call it fiber. Fiber is a general term for the indigestible part of plant foods. It provides almost no energy or calories, yet is an important part of a healthy diet. Grain products, fruits, legumes and vegetables are significant sources of fiber. In contrast, virtually no fiber is present in dairy products, meat, poultry, fish, fats and sweeteners. Cooking, freezing, canning and other preservation methods have little effect on fiber content.
Soluble fiber forms a gel when mixed with liquid, while insoluble fiber does not.
Insoluble fiber passes through your digestive tract largely intact.
Both types of fiber are important in the diet and provide benefits to the digestive system by helping to maintain regularity.
INSOLUBLE FIBER: Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as wheat bran, other whole grains, vegetables and seeds.
SOLUBLE FIBER: Soluble fiber is found in legumes, various brans (oat, rice, barley and corn), white flour products (white bread, bagels, pasta, etc.) and some fruits and vegetables
Wheat Foods Council www.wheatfoods.org