Soluble and Insoluble Fiber: What's the Big Difference?

Posted by Tomohiro Matano on Jun 2, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Dietary fiber breakdown, what’s the big difference?

After a month's worth of blog posts you’re probably well aware that Mochi barley is a HUGE source of dietary fiber, even more so than your typical pearled barley.


But what exactly does dietary fiber do for you and more importantly, what are the differences between the two types; soluble and insoluble fiber?

Here’s what we know about INSOLUBLE FIBER:

According to Merriam Webster, “insoluble” means (of a substance) incapable of being dissolved, especially in water. So instead of dissolving in water, insoluble fiber holds water. And this holding of water does a number of things to help aid in digestion.

Along with giving you that “full” feeling, insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and helps it pass quickly through the stomach and intestines. As it passes, it helps remove toxic waste from your system and helps control the balance of PH (acidity) in your intestines, which in turn, is beneficial in helping to prevent colon cancer.

Because insoluble fiber keeps you “regular,” it helps to improve bowel related health problems such as constipation, hemorrhoids, and fecal incontinence; the inability to control bowel movements.

And here’s the deal with SOLUBLE FIBER:

Since you now know that insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water, I bet you can guess that soluble fiber DOES dissolve in water. When soluble fiber dissolves in your stomach it forms a gel that not only gives you that “full” feeling, it also slows down digestion. This slowing prolongs your stomach from emptying, therefore sugar is released and absorbed at a slower pace which means your blood sugar doesn't spike. Perfect for diabetics.

This gel also forms a bond with fatty acids and more importantly, bile acids, as it moves through your intestines. By removing bile acids from your body your liver is forced to make more bile salts. In order to make more bile salts, the liver must pull LDL cholesterol from your bloodstream which in turn lowers your cholesterol.

Your body needs both soluble and insoluble fiber!

So as you can see your body needs BOTH forms of dietary fiber. For a healthy adult, it is recommended that you ingest roughly 25 grams of fiber per day. The typical diet though has a insoluble to soluble ratio of roughly 3:1.

So how do you get more soluble fiber in your diet?

Mochi Mugi barley has more soluble fiber than most other grains. With 8.9 grams of soluble fiber and 4.1 grams of insoluble fiber per 100 gram serving, Mochi’s dietary fiber is flipped with a ratio of 2:1 soluble to insoluble fiber. Perfect to help hit that 25 grams per day and even out the insoluble to soluble ratio.

Need some inspiration on how to add more fiber to your diet through barley? Grab our free Mochi Recipe guide for 5 super-easy meals for your family.

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You know the benefits of barley, being a functional food and all, and that it’s even healthier for your heart than America’s #1 breakfast cereal, Cheerios.

Topics: healthy eating, soluble fiber, Fitness food

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