There are five major types of fiber: cellulose, hemicullose, gum, lignin and pectin. Fiber has long been associated with regularity, but there are other health benefits as well.
Diets high in soluble fiber and low in fat may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and have also been shown to promote cardiovascular health. In addition, high fiber diets help control blood glucose and reduce the risk of diverticulitis and other digestive disorders.
The National Cancer Institute recommends a dietary intake of 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day for adults, but most people consume only about half that amount.
- “whole” grains
When supplementing, look for products with:
- all five major types of fiber in one source
- a blend of soluble and insoluble fiber
- derived from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts
Go back to the Basic Nutrient Glossary
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