Suffering with IBS? An Increase in Soluble Fiber May Help
Find out Which Food Items are Highest in Soluble Fiber
Your doctor may have recommended that you increase soluble fiber to alleviate IBS symptoms. Here are some foods high in soluble fiber that may help calm that wretched irritable bowel syndrome.
(c) Copyright Kathy Steinemann
There is much more information available about IBS today than there was just a few years ago. The consensus is that decreasing insoluble fiber and increasing soluble fiber will help both IBS diarrhea and IBS constipation.
What is Soluble Fiber?
Soluble fiber is composed of substances that dissolve in water to form a gel. Soluble fiber bulks up stool, lengthens the time that food remains in the stomach, and helps everything slide through the intestinal tract without irritation. Because of the longer transit time, this type of fiber helps you feel full longer.
Fiber supplements containing inulin or oligosaccharides also act as prebiotics, which feed the probiotics, or good bacteria, in your gastrointestinal tract.
In addition, soluble fiber helps to lower bad (LDL) cholesterol. There are other health benefits, but the most important for anyone who suffers from irritable bowel syndrome are the positive effects on the digestive process.
How Can You Increase your Intake of Soluble Fiber?
Unfortunately, most food labels display only total fiber.
If you have searched the Internet for information, you are probably aware that most websites display only total fiber. Trying to reach a target of 50% soluble fiber in your diet seems almost impossible. However, the following list should help.
Take a look at the items below. Foods and supplements are sorted by percentages of soluble fiber.
Note: These are fiber ratios.
For example, Collard greens have a total of 1.3 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup. Of that fiber, 85% (or 1.1 grams) is soluble.
Knowing the percentage allows you to look at a food label and estimate the soluble fiber by multiplying the total fiber times the percentage displayed after each food. This is not an exact science, but it will definitely help you to make the right fiber decisions. If anything is a trigger for you, please avoid it.
A Few Foods with a High Soluble:Insoluble Fiber Ratio
• 100% soluble fiber content:
Benefiber fiber supplement
Citrucel fiber supplement
• 80% or higher:
Yerba Prima fiber supplement
• 70% or higher:
Kiwifruit, raw, w/skin
• 60% or higher:
Brussels sprouts, cooked
Oranges, raw, flesh only
Squash, winter, cooked
• 50% or higher:
Bread, pita, white
Konsyl fiber supplement
Mango, raw, flesh only
Metamucil fiber supplement
Oat bran, cooked
Onions, raw, chopped
Peaches, no skin, canned
Potatoes, French fries
Potatoes, sweet, baked
Potatoes, sweet, peeled
Potatoes, with skin
Squash, acorn, baked
Be sure to check out Kathy's books:
The IBS Compass: Irritable Bowel Syndrome Tips, Information, Fiber Charts, and Recipes. This book will help you set a course to better health.
IBS-IBD Fiber Charts: Soluble & Insoluble Fibre Data for over 450 Items, Including Links to Internet Resources - helping you to monitor fiber intake, no matter where you are.