Dietary fiber is a component of food that is not digested by the enzymes of the gut. Fibre plays an important role in metabolism by:

  • Providing bulk to the food leading to a sense of satiety.
  • Providing bulk to the stools.
  • Preventing constipation and diarrhea.
  • Controlling blood glucose level.

Fiber can be of two types:

Soluble fibre

These include pectins, gums, mucilages and hemicelluloses. Oats, legumes, barley, guar gum, apple, carrot and citrus fruits are sources of such fibre. Soluble fibre helps in lowering the blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

Insoluble fibre

These consist of celluloses, lignin and some of the hemicelluloses. Sources of these are: whole-wheat flour, bran, vegetables, whole grains and fruits with edible seeds. This type of fibre is known to be helpful in loosing weight.

Fiber content of foods