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I am confused about the role of fiber in the diet. Why is fiber important?

Fiber is a general term that refers to complex carbohydrates that your body cannot digest or absorb into your bloodstream. Fiber promotes health by:

  • Preventing constipation and promoting bowel health;
  • Helping to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer;
  • Keeping our bodies trim;
  • Controlling diabetes by helping to control blood sugar levels;
  • Preventing heart disease by helping to control cholesterol levels.

To make sure you are getting enough fiber in your diet, eat lots of whole-grain products including oats; whole fruits and vegetables with their skin; and dried beans and peas.


Barbara Willenberg, M.S., Nutritional Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia.

University of Missouri Extension Site Administrator: 

Last updated:06/17/2015
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