Starch and fiber

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:47 pm
'Starch' is the chief storage form of carbohydrate (car-buh-HIGH-drut) in plants. 'Fiber' is the indigestible (in-duh-JESS-tuh-bull) part of plants that we eat. Fiber is found in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Animal products contain no fiber. Dietary fiber consists of two forms: soluble (SAUL-you-bul) and insoluble. 'Insoluble' fibers increase the bulk in stools and decrease the amount of time it takes for food to pass through the intestines. Because food passes more quickly and doesn't have time to putrefy (PEW-truh-fy), your colon is less exposed to cancer-causing agents. This may be one reason why your risk of getting colon cancer is lower with a high-fiber diet. High fiber also lessens the possibilities of getting hemorrhoids (HEM-ur-oids), appendicitis (uh-PEN-duh-SY-tus), and other diseases of the digestive tract. 'Soluble' fibers delay the absorption of certain foods, including cholesterol. Oatmeal and rice bran are two examples. They also slow absorption of carbohydrates, so blood sugar levels remain more constant. For more information on starches and fiber, contact a healthcare professional.
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