This image shows a woman eating an apple - which contains soluble fiber. She has visible anatomy which focuses on the digestive tract. Soluble fiber acts like a cholesterol "sponge" by soaking up cholesterol-laden bile salts in the small intestine and eliminating these salts along with waste. Removing harmful cholesterol from the body decreases the amount of bad cholesterol collecting on the walls of the arteries, where it could increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Soluble fiber can be found in a variety of grains, fruits, and vegetables.