Fact Friday : Fibre
Fibre has become a buzz word over the last couple of years, UK guidelines recommend adults have 30g of dietary fibre per day however for the most of us we manage to consume on average 19g (based on NDNS data). Although these figures are still below the recommended, interestingly for men fibre intake has seen an upward trend.
The two main types of fibre are soluble and insoluble fibre:
Insoluble fibre - although not digested by our guts it has an important role as it adds bulk to our stool, and can encourage the movement of our poop through our bowels. Plant sources such as nuts and seeds are good sources of insoluble fibre.
Soluble fibre is actually fermented by short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) produced by our gut microbiome in our large bowel. Soluble fibre can be found in Rye, Oats and Barley along with certain fruits and vegetables.
We can find different types of fibre in a variety of foods and it's important to eat a variety of sources to help keep our gut microbiota diverse, sources of fibre can be found in fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds, beans and pulses. Fibre helps keep us regular by increasing the bulk of stool and rate at which stool passes through our bodies. For the majority of the population, research has shown following a high fibre diet is associated with beneficial effects on our health such as feeding our gut bacteria, help regulating blood glucose levels, our cardiovascular health, decreased risk of certain cancers and many more.
When looking at increasing our fibre intake it is important to increase fibre slowly with little additions to allow our bodies to get used to eating larger amounts of fibre, otherwise you may notice symptoms such as bloating and abdominal pain. Ensuring that we are having adequate amounts of fluid (6-8 cups fluid/day) in a day is also important with a higher fibre diet to help keep us regular and minimise constipation.
Below I have listed a few ideas on how you could add more fibre to your day. What's great is that high fibre foods such as lentils/pulse you can now buy canned which are easy to use and store. Ryvita also have a great resource their - Ryvitas Fibre fit 30-day challenge to increase your fibre intake.
Ideas to increase fibre intake:
Swap to wholegrain/seeded bread
Add lentils/pulse to meat dishes such as bolognaise/lasagne/casseroles or even soups
Add fruits to your breakfast for example adding raspberries (highest fibre of the berries) to your porridge/weetabix
Add seeds to salads/soups
Keeping your skins on your potatoes - even better you could add baked beans and increase fibre content further
Add frozen peas to pasta dishes, fish and chips etc
Visit Ryvitas Fibre fit to sign up for their 30 day challenge
That's all for this week's Fact Friday, I hope this article was useful and I would love to see the ways you have increased your fibre in your diet. Tag us @delightfullydietetic and we'll share any useful tips and ideas.