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FIBER 101

What is Soluble Fiber and Where Can I Find It?

There are two types of dietary fiber that many are familiar with—soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is conveniently named for its ability to dissolve in water. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. Not all types of dietary fiber are created equally. When considering dietary fiber, it’s important to understand how each works in the body to get the health benefits you want out of your fiber intake.

Even further, there are different types and amounts of soluble fiber found in many plant-based foods, each with different health benefits. Some soluble fibers form a thick gel when they absorb water, while others do not have any impact when mixed with water.1 Plus, the good bacteria in your digestive tract can digest some forms of soluble fiber. These characteristics give soluble fiber several important health benefits.

So how does one get soluble fiber into their diet, you ask? Soluble fiber is in some foods and dietary fiber supplements like Metamucil’s psyllium fiber supplements. Keep reading to find out how you can get more soluble fiber into your diet.

10 Sources of Soluble Fiber to Increase Your Daily Fiber Intake

1. Prunes

Turns out your grandma was right about prunes. With 3.6 grams of soluble fiber per half cup serving2,3 prunes definitely earn their reputation for getting your bowel movements going. A 2019 study found that the daily addition of approximately 1/2 a cup of prunes to the diet increased the amount of bowel eliminated and elimination frequency.4

2. Kidney Beans

Whip up your favorite chili recipe with kidney beans to help you get lots of soluble fiber into your diet. Whether you like your kidney beans in chilis, curries, bean salads, or all of the above, kidney beans are a valuable addition to a healthy high fiber diet. Kidney beans consist of up to 47% fiber5 and provide 3.48 grams of soluble fiber per cup.3,6,7

3. Carrots

Did you know carrots are high in beta carotene and soluble fiber? Raw carrots provide 1.13 grams of fiber per cup. 8 Swap your snacks out for a cup or two of crunchy raw carrots, plus your favorite dipping sauce for some added flavor.

4. Metamucil Powders

Getting enough daily fiber in your diet is a challenge. Figuring out how much of that fiber is soluble is an even bigger hurdle to cross. To help close the fiber gap, you can always turn to a dietary fiber supplement like Metamucil. Metamucil powders are made with the super fiber psyllium. If you take two rounded teaspoons of Sugar-Free Orange Smooth Powder daily, you’ll get 6g of dietary fiber total, with 5g of that being soluble fiber. Plus, in addition to helping support your digestive health,* Metamucil also helps you control your appetite,* maintain healthy blood sugar levels,* and lower cholesterol to promote heart health.†

5. Oats (Instant Oatmeal)

Oats contain high levels of a heart-healthy soluble fiber known as beta glucan.1,9 With 1.64 grams of soluble fiber per cup,8 you can increase your soluble fiber intake by adding oats into cookies or muffins.8 Or you can always eat oatmeal for breakfast or take a granola with you on-the-go for a high-fiber snack.

6. Avocado

Avocadoes are known for their healthy fat, plus they’re loaded with soluble fiber. A medium-sized avocado provides about 3.13 grams of soluble fiber. 3,7,10 Avocados make a delicious snack on their own. You can also eat it for breakfast on toast, with lunch as guacamole, or cut up for dinner as a fresh side dish when cut into cubes and dressed with olive oil and vinegar.

7. Broccoli

Though it has lots of structure-forming insoluble fiber (and even looks like tiny trees!), broccoli is also a great source of soluble fiber. In fact, soluble fiber makes up an impressive 40% of its total fiber content. One cup of broccoli provides 2.89 grams of soluble fiber, and 7.27 grams of dietary fiber in all.3,11

8. Oranges

You might be surprised to learn that navel oranges make very respectable showing in the soluble fiber department. Soluble fiber comprises of 58% of their total fiber content.3 One medium-sized navel orange provides 1.9 grams of soluble fiber,3,12 making it a refreshing, fiberlicious snack for any hot summer day.

9. Metamucil Capsules

You can also get psyllium fiber in capsule form. Metamucil offers 3-in-1 Fiber Capsules or 3-in-1 Fiber Capsules Plus Calcium. Taking 5 capsules per serving will give you 2g of soluble fiber, and 3g total of dietary fiber. You can take several servings to get more fiber in your diet, but it’s always best to start small and build up your fiber intake as your body adjusts to more fiber in your diet. Aside from increasing your daily fiber intake, Metamucil Capsules supports your digestive health by promoting regularity,* supports heart health by lowering cholesterol,† and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.*

10. Pears

Just one average-sized pear provides 20% of the recommended fiber intake for the day. 13 Most of the soluble fiber in pears is gel-forming pectin.14 Pears can be a refreshing snack on their own. Or you can also add pears to a salad, as a side to your meal, or bake them into your favorite treat (although note – baking pears may cook out some of their fiber content).

Check out our recipes page for ideas on how to incorporate Metamucil’s psyllium fiber into your everyday diet.

  1. McRorie JW Jr. Evidence-Based Approach to Fiber Supplements and Clinically Meaningful Health Benefits, Part 1: What to Look for and How to Recommend an Effective Fiber Therapy. Nutr Today. 2015;50(2):82-89.

  2. USDA. Prune, dried. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1102639/nutrients.

  3. INDIVIDUAL SUGARS, SOLUBLE, AND INSOLUBLE DIETARY FIBER CONTENTS OF 70 HIGH CONSUMPTION FOODS. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 2002 https://sci-hub.se/10.1006/jfca.2002.1096#

  4. The effect of prunes on stool output, gut transit time and gastrointestinal microbiota: A randomised controlled trial. Clin Nutr, 2019. 38(1): p. 165-173 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29398337/

  5. Nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidant activities of 26 kidney bean cultivars. Food Chem Toxicol, 2017. 108(Pt B): p. 467-477 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27613272/

  6. USDA. Beans, kidney, all types, mature seeds, canned. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173741/nutrients

  7. Metamucil High Fiber Foods: https://www.metamucil.com/en-us/articles/fiber-101/high-fiber-foods

  8. Fiber Facts,” Washington University

  9. Effects of daily consumption of psyllium, oat bran and polyGlycopleX on obesity-related disease risk factors: A critical review. Nutrition, 2019. 57: p. 84-91 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30153584/

  10. USDA. Avocado, raw. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1102652/nutrients

  11. USDA. Broccoli, fresh, cooked, no added fat. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1103172/nutrients

  12. USDA. Oranges, raw, navels Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169917/nutrients

  13. USDA. Pears, raw, bartlett Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/746773/nutrients

  14. Pectins and pectic-oligosaccharides inhibit Escherichia coli O157:H7 Shiga toxin as directed towards the human colonic cell line HT29. FEMS Microbiol Lett, 2003. 218(1): p. 101-5 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12583904/

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