Soluble fibers dissolve in water and become gummy or almost syrup like. They help lower blood cholesterol and help regulate the bodies use of sugars. Soluble fibers are broken down into two classes - pectins, and gums/mucilages.
Pectins are found in apples, carrots, beets, bananas, cabbage, dried peas and okra. Pectin helps decelerate the absorption of food, allowing sugar to be absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream. This aids in controlling blood sugar levels and is of tremendous benefit to those looking to lose body fat. On an overall health note, pectin also removes metals and toxins, lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease and gallstones.
Gums and mucilages are found in oatmeal, oat bran, sesame seeds and dried beans. These soluble fibers have much of the same benefits as pectins but they are of importance to those who are consuming a diet that is high in carbohydrates because they have a softening influence on blood sugar spikes that are often a result of the ingestion of a lot of carbs..
Cellulose is a non-digestible carbohydrate found in the outer layer of certain fruits and vegetables. It assists in the removal of cancer causing substances from the colon wall, and helps prevent constipation, colitis, hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
Hemicellulose is a non-digestible fiber that absorbs water, aiding in weight loss, constipation prevention, and control of carcinogens in the intestinal tract. Lignin is a form of fiber that helps lower cholesterol, prevents gallstone formation by binding with bile acids, and is beneficial for those with diabetes or colon cancer.
A diet rich in fiber will promote optimal transit time in the gastrointestinal tract, pushing all contents through with speed. Letting anything that you eat sit and fester in your gut isn't a smart idea. A fiber rich diet will also create a more favorable environment in your stomach, ensuring that good bacteria are in control and toxin producing bacteria and yeast don't get the upper hand.
From a caloric perspective, green veggies and the foods listed above can be eaten in large amounts, as one of the nice things about fibrous foods is their lack of calories. Whether part of a body fat reducing strategy or for overall health, fiber is one compound that you do not want to miss out on!