Fibre Fundamentals

Uncategorized Dec 03, 2020


Fibre. What is it? Where does it come from? And why is it so good for us?

Today we will answer those fundamental questions and provide you with practical strategies to increase your fibre intake. This will reduce your risk of chronic disease, whilst also improving your overall health outcomes.

Fibre is the roughage of plant-based products. In terms of health benefits, fibre feeds our healthy gut bacteria, supports weight loss, can improve blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. 


 Sources of fibre

  1. Plant-based foods. Think fruits and vegetables, with the skin on and not overly cooked.
  2. Whole-grain cereals.
  3. Pules. This includes foods like beans, chickpeas and lentils.
  4. Nuts.


Benefits of fibre

Research shows that fibre-rich foods have an abundance of health benefits.

  • Firstly, they are generally low in calories, which is why they are associated with weight loss.
  • Secondly, they lower the glycaemic index of foods, which means digestion slows down and we are more likely to feel full after consumption.
  • Thirdly, they are very high in polyphenols and antioxidants, which are cancer-fighting agents.


Fibre targets:

In terms of fibre targets, men are recommended 30g and females are recommended 25g each day. In reality, men should be aiming for 38g and women 28g to prevent the risk of chronic disease. Interestingly, it is has been proven safe to have upwards of 50g and beyond of fibre – although that can be difficult to achieve!


But what does 1g of fibre look like?

  • A medium-sized pear = 6g of fibre.
  • An apple = 4-5g of fibre.
  • A slice of bread = 3-4g of fibre.
  • ½ a cup of peas = 6g of fibre.



Consequences of not having enough fibre.

People who do not have enough fibre tend to have higher rates of bowel issues. This can include short-term upset like constipation, or the development of diverticular disease. This disease describes the progression of little pockets in the bowel, causing pain and inflammation.


5 tips to support fibre intake

  1. Avoid highly processed foods, as they have generally had the fibre removed. For instance, in white bread, a lot of the natural fibre has been stripped.
  2. Opt for multigrain, whole grain and wholemeal types of fibre.
  3. Eat the skin on the fruits and vegetables (where appropriate – don’t go gnawing down on pineapple skin).
  4. If you can’t reach your fibre goal, consider using a fibre supplement. Just be mindful that taking a fibre supplement means missing out on extra nutrients that come with fibre-rich food.
  5. Always select natural products, as they are likely to contain adequate amounts of fibre, as well as a varied nutrient profile. Therefore, it is crucial to be mindful about products that state ‘added fibre’. It can mean that food manufacturers have removed essential B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin to make extra room.


If you need assistance determining your overall fibre consumption, or if you are wanting tailored advice, book a consult at CQ Nutrition. Our lovely team of dietitians will analyse your intake of fibre and will develop a personalised plan.


Here is a link to book in with one of our expert dietitians at any of our locations https://www.cqnutrition.com.au/booking/ 

Want an online consultation? Book in on my calendar and in comments write online: https://bit.ly/AnnieROK 

Written by Annabel Johnston, BAppSc&MDietPrac




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