Soluble Vs Insoluble Fibre: Taking Care Of Digestive And Cardiovascular Health

Consuming adequate dietary fibre is important to the maintenance of health, well-being and the management of body weight and composition. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) we need 14g of dietary fibre per 1000kcal of food we consume, but the majority of adults do not meet these requirements.

There are two types of dietary fibre: Soluble and insoluble.

Soluble Fibre

- Dissolves in water, forming a gel-like substance during digestion.

- Satiates appetite.

- Helps to lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar levels and prevent cardiovascular disease.

- Foods containing good sources include oats, barley, flaxseed, peas, beans, seeds, citrus fruits, strawberries and apples (particularly the skins of fruits).

Insoluble Fibre

- Does not dissolve in water.

- Aids digestive transit and encourages regular bowel movements.

- Helps relieve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS - C or constipation), constipation and can help aid recovery from illness/operations/injury.

- Foods containing good sources include whole wheat pasta, whole grain rice, wheat bran, nuts and vegetables (again, particularly the skins).


Wallstrom P, Sonestedt E, Hlebowicz J, Ericson U, Drake I, Persson M, Gullberg B, Hedblad B, Wirfalt E, Dietary Fibre and Saturated Fat Intake Associations with Cardiovascular Disease: A prospective Study, PLoS ONE, 2012, 7(2): e31637.

About the Author

Job Role Sports Nutritionist and Social Media Coordinator Qualifications Bsc Sport and Exercise Science Steph has a competitive athletic background which spans 19 years. As a child she performed with the English Youth Ballet and had performed on the West End stage by the age of 10. Her enthusiasm for sport and fitness continued to grow as she did, encouraging her to learn more about nutrition and training. She began using her knowledge and personal experience to help others when she began coaching at the age of 16. From here, she went on to study Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Essex during which time she also received the Most Promising Newcomer Award from her University to mark her outstanding contribution to sport. During her first year of study she was introduced to partner stunt acrobatics and artistic gymnastics. After one year of dedicating herself to a lifestyle revolving around her sport, she was training with the best team in the UK who are currently ranked fifth in the world. Steph has worked in both the private and public sector coaching children and adults from grassroot to elite level as well as providing them with cutting edge advice on how to reach their goals. Steph has received awards for her choreography and has competed nationally and internationally meaning that she can back up her scientific knowledge with a wealth of experience. As our resident Sports Nutritionist, Steph is here to provide the most current and evidence based fitness, health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals.
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