Why is fibre so important to have in our diet? How can I get more fibre into my diet? These are questions I am often asked by patients.
Fibre is important to have in your diet as it:
– Is good for bowel health as it helps to keep you bowels working regularly
– Takes longer to break down so it means high fibre meals keep you fuller for longer – this can aid in weight loss and/or maintainance
– For diabetics choosing foods high in fibre also helps with blood sugar control because again the carbohydrate food takes longer to break down so doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels as high
– Oats are high in a fibre called beta-glucans – research has found this can help lower blood cholesterol levels
There are 2 types of fibre – soluble and insoluble. Think of an apple, the skin is the insoluble fibre and the inside flesh of the apple is the soluble fibre. The role of insoluble fibre is to add bulk to our stools and the role of the soluble fibre is to keep everything moving in our bowels.
High fibre foods include whole grains, fruits and vegetables. A good tip is avoid peeling your fruits and vegetables as the skin is high in insoluble fibre.
For those people who feel they don’t get enough fibre in their diet there are supplements you can add into your meals to increase your fibre intake such as Psyllium husk and Metamucil. If fibre intake is something you feel you are struggling with come and see one of our dietitians – we can help you find sneaky ways to get extra fibre in your diet through whole foods!
To finish off an easy tip to use: when looking at the fibre content in products look at the fibre per serving on the nutrition label and aim for 3g or more fibre per serve!