Dietary fibre: Why it’s needed?

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Dietary fibres are zero calorie foods and it has the water absorbing capacity and it can provide the person consuming the feeling of fullness. Dietary fibres are component that doesn’t undergo digestion in the tract.

Dietary fibres are of two types:

  • Soluble fibres and 
  • Insoluble fibres

Soluble fibres tends to increase the fecal bulk and helps to lower the blood cholesterol levels and lower blood glucose levels. Gum and Pectin are water soluble fibres found inside the plant cells. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables.

Insoluble fibres are also good in improving the fecal bulk and it modestly reduces the glycemic index and improve insulin sensitivity.

The important aspect of the dietary fibres are it’s ability to undergo fermentation inside the colon to produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA), which acts in variety of ways. For example, butyrate, a SCFA has the anti inflammatory activity.

Some of the fibre containing foods:

  • Wholegrain breakfast cereals, wholewheat pasta, wholegrain bread and oats, barley and rye.
  • Fruit such as berries, pears, melon and oranges.
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and sweetcorn.
  • Peas, beans and pulses.
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Potatoes with skin.

Health benefits of fibres:

  1. High-fiber diet rich in whole grains is associated with a reduced risk for developing type 2 diabetes and obesity.
  2. High-fibre diets may be useful for people who wish to lose weight.
  3. Insoluble fibre binds water as it passes through the digestive tract, making stools softer and bulkier.
  4. High fibre diet gives better results at preventing inflammation once the inflammation has subsided.
  5. The consumption of water-soluble fiber binds to bile acids, suggesting that a high-fiber diet may result in an increased excretion of cholesterol.

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