Why is fibre so important and why do you need to add more fibre to your diet?
While I was creating my 28 day menu plans in books 5 and 6, I became very conscious of meeting the Australian Dietary Standards. A huge challenge was getting enough fibre into the menus; it’s recommended a woman should have at least 25 grams of fibre a day and a man 30 grams; chances are you need to add more fibre to your daily intake.
The benefits of a high fibre diet are many, such as protecting against bowel disease and some cancers, helping to prevent constipation, assisting in lowering blood cholesterol and aiding the control of blood sugar levels.
Fibre also helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer, making you less likely to reach for a quick fix to get you through the day.
Most Australians aren’t getting enough fibre so here are five tips to help you fibre up:
- Include fresh or dried fruit. Fruit is a great way to add fibre to your diet especially when you eat the skin. Include at least two serves a day; a 150g apple contains around 3g of fibre.
- Boost your veggie intake. Getting your five serves of vegetables a day is another great way to boost your fibre intake. A serve of vegetables contains around 3g of fibre.
- Choose whole grains over refined grains. Whole grains found bread and cereal products will help you reach your daily fibre quota. Two slices of 9 Grain Bread contain 4.8g of fibre.
- Read the nutritional panel. If a product contains fibre this will be included on the nutritional panel, if there’s no fibre listed there’s little or no fibre in the product.
- Make sure you include at least 8 glasses of water a day. A sudden increase in your fibre intake can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable, keeping up your water intake will assist with symptoms.
It’s interesting to note that animal products don’t contain fibre. So, meat and dairy products aren’t going to add to the daily tally of fibre unless there are other ingredients in the mix. For example, yoghurt with added fruit will contain some fibre, check the label of your favourite brand.
Here are a few easy ways to increase your fibre intake:
- Eat fruit rather than drink fruit juice
- Sprinkle wheat bran over yoghurt or cereal, mix it into meat loaf and rissoles or add to breadcrumbs
- Place cut up vegetables into a container and keep in the fridge for crunchy snack
- Add kidney beans, lentils or chick peas to salads, stews, soups, tacos and mince dishes
- Look for packaged foods that contain whole grains; ingredients are listed by quantity so make sure whole grains appear near the top of the ingredient list
Want to learn more? Read my 5 healthy eating tips