Why Fiber is Important in Your Diet

By

Denise Mann

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"Eat more fiber." This seems to be the blanket solution to many a health woe. But just why is fiber so fabulous and healthful?

Fiber or roughage is the indigestible part of a plant that pushes through our digestive tract. There are two main types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber, such as bran, nuts, seeds and beans, holds water and turns to gel during digestion. Insoluble fiber, by contrast, speeds the passage of foods through the stomach.

Types of insoluble fiber include wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. The current recommendation for daily fiber intake is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. (These needs decrease after age 50.)

Medical Reviewer: Robert Williams, MD Last Review Date: Apr 9, 2013