What Is Fiber?

Last Editorial Review: 3/25/2002

Dietary fiber comes from plant sources. Dietary fiber is composed of complex carbohydrates and substances which make up the plant cell walls and structure. Complex carbohydrates from plants are rich in starch and fiber. Examples of plants that provide complex carbohydrates are fresh fruits and vegetables, breads, and cereal grains. Simple carbohydrates, such as common sugar, have no fiber.

Dietary fiber can have many benefits including promoting bowel regularity, lowering cholesterol, prevention of colon cancer (recently disputed), as well as easing conditions such as hemorrhoids, colitis, and diverticulosis. Dietary fiber can also aid in weight maintenance as it requires more chewing and promotes hunger satisfaction by giving the stomach a sense of fullness.

For more, please visit the MedicineNet.com Fiber Center.

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