In 2015, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, recommended we increase our daily fibre intake to 30g/day. Fibre covers all carbohydrates that are neither digested or absorbed and is essential for good gut health.
Why should I increase my fibre intake?
There is strong evidence that shows that increased intakes of fibre, particularly from cereals and wholegrains, are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as helping to improve digestive health.
There are two main groups of fibre - soluble and insoluble. They work in different ways so it is important to include both types in your diet.
Soluble fibre is broken down in the colon by beneficial bacteria and helps to control blood sugar levels after meals. Beta glucan is a type of soluble fibre that has also been shown to reduce cholesterol. Sources of soluble fibre include grains like oats and barley, beans, pulses, fruit and vegetables.
Insoluble fibre helps keep your digestive tract in good working order. Sources of insoluble fibre include grains and cereals, wholemeal and wholegrain foods such as brown rice and wholemeal bread, nuts & seeds and fruit & vegetables (especially the skins).
- A type of soluble fibre found in oats called beta glucan, can help to reduce cholesterol.
- Insoluble fibre absorbs water as is passes through the digestive system, aiding bowel movement.
What does 30g fibre per day look like?
The table below shows an example of what you would have to eat in a day to meet your 30g fibre intake
Simple ways to increase fibre
• Start the day with a high fibre breakfast cereal
• Opt for wholegrain and wholemeal versions of your favourites
• Keep skins on potatoes
• Pile your plate with vegetables
• Add beans and lentils to soups, pasta sauces, stews etc.
• Snack on vegetables and fruit including dried fruit
• Swap plain flour for wholemeal or go half 'n half in everyday recipes
• Snack on nuts and seeds