A diet high in soluble fiber can help lower cholesterol and promote healthy blood sugar levels. As the name suggests, this type of fiber dissolves in water, where it forms a sticky, gel-like substance that helps slow digestion. Insoluble fiber is another type of fiber. It doesn't dissolve in water; it promotes digestion by adding bulk to stool. Aim to consume 25 grams to 35 grams of total fiber per day, recommends Harvard University Health Services. This includes insoluble fiber and is equivalent to about 6 to 8 grams per meal or 3 to 4 grams per snack.
Road to Roughage
Plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes contain fiber, a type of carbohydrate your body cannot digest. Lima, navy, pinto, kidney and black beans are rich in soluble fiber. Good fruit sources include apples, apricots, figs, mangoes, oranges, peaches and pears. The best vegetable choices for soluble fiber include okra, peas, turnips, sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts. Other foods with a rich soluble fiber content include flaxseeds, bran cereals, oatmeal, barley and whole-wheat spaghetti.