What is Soluble Fiber? - Definition, Sources & Examples

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has taught high school and college biology and has a master's degree in cancer biology.

Learn about soluble fiber and what foods contain soluble fiber. We will look at some examples of soluble fiber as well. You can take a short quiz to check your knowledge when you finish the lesson.

Soluble Fiber Defined

There are two types of fiber that we consume on a regular basis. One type is referred to as insoluble fiber and the other is soluble fiber. Let's look at each of these terms to get a better understanding of what we are talking about. Insoluble fiber refers to a fiber that cannot dissolve in water or another liquid. Soluble fiber defines a fiber that can dissolve in water and other liquids.

We all want to be on the same page so let's clarify what we mean when we say soluble. Soluble reflects on another term which is solubility. Solubility tells whether or not a liquid or solid can completely dissolve to the point where it is an inseparable substance that has the same composition throughout the substance. Soluble fiber actually attracts water and forms a gel when it dissolves. There are some benefits to soluble fiber doing this. This gel helps you to feel like you are full even after consuming a small amount of food. This is why soluble fiber containing foods are recommended when a person is dieting.

Soluble Fiber helps with weight loss
Picture of person on scale with a note that says lose weight

Sources of Soluble Fiber

There are several foods that contain large amounts of soluble fiber. Most fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts contain soluble fiber. There are also some grains that are composed of soluble fibers. Let's look at a couple of examples of soluble fiber containing foods.

An apple is an example of soluble fiber
Clipart of apple

You have probably heard the saying that 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away.' Perhaps apples containing soluble fiber could be the reason for this saying. We already discussed how soluble fiber can help with weight loss, but there are other perks to consuming soluble fiber. Your body may absorb less cholesterol when there is more soluble fiber in your diet. This can help to reduce the risk for heart problems, such as cardiac arrest and heart attacks.

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