Soluble fiber: see the benefits and how to include it in the diet

Just read or research about a healthy and balanced diet for the fibers to appear. The insoluble ones are those that help in the formation of the fecal cake, and the soluble ones are those that form a kind of gel in the stomach. They are very important for bowel function and can even promote satiety – reducing that urge to eat sweets or repeat the dish.

Learn more about soluble fibers and their health benefits:


What are soluble fibers?

Soluble fibers are those that easily dissolve in water and become a type of gel in the intestine and stomach. This type of fiber is usually fermented by intestinal bacteria and produces short-chain fatty acids.

In addition, they are slimy and involve fat molecules in the body, eliminating excess in the body. This type of gel formed by soluble fibers also helps to soften the stool, reducing constipation .

Because of this, the consumption of foods that are sources of soluble fibers provide different benefits for the body. Among them, lowering “bad” cholesterol, relieving colds, controlling blood glucose and increasing satiety.

The best known are beta-glucan, which is present in oats, barley and beans, for example; and pectin, which is a type of soluble fermentable fiber, found in fruits and vegetables.

What foods are high in soluble fiber?

There are a variety of foods that provide soluble fiber. Among them, the following stand out:

  • Beans, mainly black and red;
  • Pod;
  • Cabbage;
  • Avocado;
  • Sweet potato;
  • Broccoli;
  • Neighbor;
  • Money;
  • Nectarine;
  • Damascus;
  • Carrot;
  • Guava;
  • Oat;
  • Barley;
  • Roots.

A good strategy to achieve the ideal daily amount of soluble fiber is to include several of these foods in the diet. And also fractionate the main meals and the intermediate snacks.

What are the benefits of consuming soluble fibers?

Consuming foods that contain soluble fiber offers several benefits for the body. See details below:

Reduces “bad” cholesterol

Soluble fiber prevents part of the cholesterol consumed from being broken down and digested. Thus, it decreases the amount of HDL cholesterol, considered bad for the body.

The soluble fibers carry the fat molecules to the fecal cake and they are eliminated in the feces. They act as if they were “brooms” cleaning the excess fat and lowering the level of absorbed cholesterol.

But to maximize this benefit, it is important to drink plenty of water, since it facilitates the elimination of cholesterol through the stool. The ideal is to drink about 2 liters a day.

Stabilizes blood sugar levels

Good news for anyone who has diabetes . Soluble fibers contribute to the digestion of carbohydrates by forming a gel in the intestine. Thus, it slows down the speed at which glucose enters the bloodstream.

Contributes to satiety and weight loss

Regular consumption of foods with soluble fiber helps to increase the feeling of satiety. This is because they become a type of gel in the stomach, which makes people feel less hungry and eat less, which can contribute to long-term weight loss.

Decreases the risk of heart disease

This benefit occurs due to the reduction of bad cholesterol, which is considered a risk factor for the appearance of heart problems.

Contributes to healthy gut bacteria

Some foods with soluble fiber help to feed the bacteria in the intestine, which are fermented in the colon. So it does well to maintain intestinal health and helps prevent disease in the long run.

How to include fiber in the diet?

The best way to include soluble fiber in your diet is to vary your meals and choose foods that contain more of this compound. The consumption recommendation ranges from 20g to 38g of fiber per day.

Therefore, it is also important to make dietary changes on a daily basis. For breakfast, for example, it is worth including more cereals such as oats. And also consume more fruits with peels.

Whenever possible, opt for whole carbohydrates, such as breads or flour. For main meals, such as lunch or dinner, include vegetables regularly and also the famous bean and rice dish .

Another tip is to look at the label of processed foods and know the amount of fiber offered.

In capsules

In addition to food, it is possible to supplement the consumption of soluble fibers with capsules. There are several types available, such as oatmeal with papaya or beet, among others.

Capsule fibers can offer the same benefits as improving bowel function and increasing satiety. However, they must be indicated by a doctor or nutritionist.

Capsules are usually taken after meals and may require 2 to 6 a day. It is worth mentioning that pregnant women and breastfeeding women should avoid this supplementation, as there is no research that reports the risks for this group.

It is known that the excessive use of fiber supplements without medical indication is associated with a greater risk for the appearance of intestinal problems, especially for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, constipation and diarrhea .

In sachet (powder)

Another way to ingest more soluble fiber is through supplementation in sachet or powder. In this case, they are usually added to any drink or food without changing the taste.

In addition, powdered soluble fibers do not contain sugars or calories and contribute to the functioning of the intestine.

As with the soluble fiber in capsules, the powder version must be indicated by a health specialist. Usually, one tablespoon per day is indicated.

But, to be effective, it is important to maintain healthy habits and a balanced diet.

Soluble fibers for weight loss: does it work?

Yes. Soluble fibers help to increase satiety, that is, it contributes to the reduction of food consumption. In addition, it improves the functioning of the intestine, which is also beneficial for those who want to lose weight.

Another benefit of soluble fibers for those who want to lose weight is that they reduce the absorption of sugar and fat ingested from food. Thus, in the long run, it can favor the weight loss process.

But, for weight loss to occur, it is important to consume more foods with soluble fiber (preferably with every meal) and maintain a regular physical activity routine.

What are the precautions for ingestion?

Anyone who wants to increase their intake of soluble fiber needs to start slowly and gradually increase. In addition, it is necessary to drink plenty of water to aid digestion and prevent constipation.

Some people, when consuming too much fiber, may experience gas , pain and bloating. In such cases, it is worth consulting a doctor to verify the ideal amount and if everything is fine with the organism.

It is worth remembering that the consumption of powder or capsule versions must be guided by health professionals.

Does it cause diarrhea?

It depends. In general, soluble fibers help to regulate the intestine. Thus, regular consumption tends to normalize bowel function. In addition to contributing to the normal consistency of feces, preventing diarrhea and constipation, since they altered the intestinal microflora.

However, in exaggerated amounts, some people, especially those who suffer from intestinal diseases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or who have a good bowel function may experience diarrhea.

Therefore, in these cases, the recommendation is to consume in moderation and with the supervision of a nutritionist or doctor.

Betting on a diet rich in fiber is a great way to assist in the proper functioning of the body. And this is simple, just include natural foods, such as fruits and vegetables!

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