Body health


Nutrition (1)



With this name “FIBER” the very first question that comes to our mind is “WHAT IS FIBER?” , so lets know about it.


Fibre is defined as the plant polysaccharide resistant to hydrolysis by the digestive enzymes in the human intestinal tract.

The American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC) along with the Carbohydrate Technical Committee of the North American branch of International Life Sciences Institute developed the definition as:

“ Dietary fiber is the edible part of plant or analogous carbohydrates that are resistant to digestion and absorption in small intestine with complete or partial fermentation in large intestine. It includes polysaccharides, oligosaccharides, lignin and associated plant substances. It promotes beneficial physiological effects including laxation(a bowel movement) and/or blood cholesterol and/or glucose attenuation . ”

It is found as water soluble and water insoluble form.


Water soluble form of fibers are gums, pectin, mucilage.


  • Helps in increasing viscosity of foods
  • Gives a satiety value
  • Reduces serum triglycerides and serum cholesterol
  • Reduces postprandial plasma glucose
  • Increases tissue insulin sensitivity and insulin receptors


Sources of water soluble fibers are oats, legumes, guar, barley, prunes, figs, citrus fruits, isabgol, etc.



Water insoluble form of fiber is cellulose.


  • Form bulk of the stools
  • Help in regulation of bowel movements
  • Gives satiety value


Sources of insoluble fiber are whole wheat flour, bran, vegetables, fruits, edible seeds such as flax seeds.


  • The majority of epidemiological studies support an inverse relationship between consumption of vegetables and fruits and colorectal cancer risk. Fruits ,vegetables and grains, in addition to fiber,  also contain a variety of anti-carcinogenic compounds which may contribute to the protective effect. The fiber either binds with the potential carcinogens or dilutes them.



  • Ingestion of a high fiber food induces a feeling of satiety, reduces meal size and food intake. The formation of viscous gel slows the rate of gastric emptying and creates a feeling of postprandial satiety.


  • The inclusion of viscous polysaccharides reduces the post prandial glucose level concentration thereby proving beneficial in controlling hyperglycemia.


  • Dietary fiber especially fermentable fibers, play an important role in maintaining the integrity of gut. Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) generated during fermentation stimulate the proliferation of mucous cells in the gut and thus maintain its integrity.


  • Fiber rich diets assist in weight loss too by delaying gastric emptying time and hence reducing the food intake.

Total dietary fiber intake should be 25 to 30 grams a day preferably from food not supplements.

An Article by Dt. Deepanshi Malhotra

Freelance dietician at Nutriento
Facebook: Nutriento
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