This article is an extension of our original article on dietary fibre.
What is insoluble fibre and what are its benefits?
Insoluble fibre is a type of dietary fibre (an indigestible carbohydrate) that does not dissolve in water. It does not absorb water and passes through your digestive tract. It can help you to add bulk and softness to your stools to promote bowel regularity. Once your stool is able to pass through the intestinal tract easily, it helps you to avoid constipation and maintain your bowel health. Moreover, insoluble fibre decreases the transit time of food waste through your intestinal tract. This means that the chances of potentially harmful substances in food waste coming in contact with your intestinal wall is reduced.
Insoluble fibre also helps you to control your blood sugar levels to prevent and manage diabetes.
Where can I get insoluble fibre from?
Insoluble fibre is important for maintaining good gut health. Good sources include green vegetables, fruits (with skin on), beans and whole grains like brown rice and wholemeal bread.
If you’d like to add more insoluble fibre in your diet, you can try to switch from white bread to whole grain bread and eat oatmeal instead of regular cereal for breakfast. When baking, you can use Alchemy Flour instead of regular plain or all-purpose flour to bake with the benefits of whole grain without changing the taste or texture of your bakes.
What is soluble fibre and what are its benefits?
Soluble fibre is a type of dietary fibre. Unlike insoluble fibre which does not dissolve in water, soluble fibre soaks up water, turning into a gel-like substance as it passes through your digestive system. This is helpful if you have constipation as it helps to soften the texture of your stools so that it is passed out more easily.
Soluble fibre can help you to control your blood sugar levels as it lowers the glycemic index (GI) of your carb-based food, slowing down the release of sugars during digestion. This lowers the spike in your blood sugar after meals, which is beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. Lowering the spike in blood sugar also helps you to stay alert after meals to avoid ‘food coma’.
Soluble fibre also helps to lower your overall cholesterol levels by lowering your low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol or ‘bad’ cholesterol, giving you better heart health and keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range. Studies have shown that foods with high fibre have other heart-health benefits, including reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
Where can I get soluble fibre from?
Foods that are good sources of soluble fibre include whole fruits with skin such as oranges and apples; root vegetables like carrots and potatoes; legumes like peas and beans; oats, barley and flaxseed.
Alchemy Fibre and foods made with Alchemy Fibre have higher dietary fibre, especially soluble fibre than some wholegrain variants. This is why Alchemy Fibre can help you to control your blood sugar level and even help with weight management by making you feel full longer after eating.