The fiber fear is alive and well and I thought it was time that we put some of those fears to rest. I want to make one thing perfectly clear! If you are struggling with gut issues, fiber is not the enemy, fiber is your friend!
Alright, now having said that there are some things you should know! Not all fiber is the same and not all fiber is right for you if you are experiencing diarrhea or constipation.
In fact, if you are eating the wrong type of fiber it could be making things worse. So let's break it down, shall we?!
Typers of fiber
There are two types of fiber you should know about, soluble and insoluble fiber. To keep things squeeky clean and simple, I want you to think of a dish sponge. You have the yellow sponge side super effective at absorbing liquid and creating bulk (thats your soluble fiber) and then you've got the green scratchy side super great for cleaning (that's your insoluble fiber).
What this means is your soluble fiber is great for diarrhea for it's bulking ability where as insoluble is great for cleaning the colon walls and loosening stool. Makes sense right?
Problems arise however if for example you have diarrhea and you are loading up on insoluble fiber (the scrachy/cleaning side of the sponge), such as ground flax seed, that could further irritate your situation. On the other hand, if you have constipation eating soluble fiber such as psyllium husk which is extremely bulking, can in fact make your poops worse!
To keep things super simple let's break things down by types of poop!
Fiber for diarrhea
Ideal type of fiber: Soluble Fiber
Fiber for constipation
Type: Insoluble Fiber
When it comes to your poop, nothing is ever black and white and it is certainly not that way with your fiber. Many foods such as oat, oat brans, psyllium husk and flax seed are rich in both insoluble and soluble fiber so use the food lists above to help you understand which type of fiber your food is highest in.
Bottom line is you need fiber, whether you are in a diarrhea or constipation state. Focusing on the right fiber for your needs will greatly improve your poops.
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