Dietary fiber is essential to a healthy diet, but it’s more than just good digestion that fiber plays a role in. In fact, studies have linked a diet high in fiber to heart health, weight management, and much more. But just what is it? And where does fiber come from?
In simple terms, fiber is a type of carbohydrate that comes from plant foods. Common sources include fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Meat and dairy products do not contain fiber.
There are two types of fiber—soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water and breaks down in the digestive system, where it acts like a sponge to soak up toxins and waste.* Insoluble fiber (also called “roughage”) does not break down in the digestive system but helps move bulk through the intestines to promote regular bowel movements.*
Am I eating enough fiber?
Even though leading experts recommend eating 20 to 35 grams of fiber every day, it might surprise you to learn that the average American consumes only about 12-15 grams daily. Taking a daily fiber supplement, along with eating more of the foods listed above, is a great way to add more fiber to your diet.