Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber

August 23, 2021

Gut Health

Dietary fiber plays a major role in maintaining good digestive health. People with optimal digestive health experiences less gastrointestinal symptoms.

The 2 types of dietary fiber help improve bowel movement in different ways. Insoluble fiber helps to increase bulk to promote regular bowel movement while soluble fiber absorbs water in the intestines, which helps softens the stool for smoother bowel movement.

Managing Satiety

Dietary fiber reduces the time taken for food to move from your stomach into your intestine and this keeps you feeling full for a longer time. In addition, food with higher dietary fiber content takes a longer time to chew, thus slowing down your food intake.[1]

Controlling Blood Sugar Level

Some studies have shown that even a small increase in intake of dietary fiber may help improve sugar level in the blood. Dietary fiber delays the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream from the digestive tract. Hence, reducing sudden spikes of glucose in the blood and enabling the body to manage blood sugar level more efficiently.[2]

Cholesterol levels

Cholesterol plays a role in bile production in the body. When dietary fiber is present in the diet, it hinders the reabsorption of bile and hence the body will be required to replace the unabsorbed bile salts. This increases the amount of cholesterol being removed from the blood for bile production.[3]

1. J. Slavin and H. Green “Dietary fibre and satiety” 7 British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin 2007; Vol 32; p.32-42
2. Linda M Delahanty. “Patient Education: Type 2 Diabetes and Diet. (Beyond the Basics)” UpToDate 2021.
3. Jovanovski E, Yashpal S, Komishon A, et al. “Effect of psyllium (Plantago ovata) fiber on LDL cholesterol and alternative lipid targets, non-HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials” Am J Clin Nutr 2018; 108:922.