ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH FIBRE?
Today the majority of us live fast paced lives, most people could do with adding more fibre and reducing the number of added sugars we have in our diets. Eating plenty of fibre is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer.
Government guidelines published in July 2015 say our dietary fibre intake should increase to 30g a day, as part of a healthy balanced diet. As most adults are only eating an average of about 18g day, we need to find ways of increasing our intake.
Children under the age of 16 don't need as much fibre in their diet as older teenagers and adults, but they still need more than they get currently:
- 2 to 5 year-olds: need about 15g of fibre a day
- 5 to 11 year-olds: need about 20g
- 11 to 16 year-olds: need about 25g
On average, children and teenagers are only getting around 15g or less of fibre a day. Encouraging them to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and starchy foods (choosing wholegrain versions and potatoes with the skins on where possible) can help to ensure they are eating enough fibre.
There is strong evidence that eating plenty of fibre (commonly referred to as roughage) is associated with a lower risk of heart disease,stroke,type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer.
Choosing foods with fibre also makes us feel fuller, while a diet rich in fibre can help digestion and prevent constipation.
It's important to get fibre from a variety of sources, as eating too much of one type of food may not provide you with a healthy balanced diet. To increase your fibre intake you could implement a few of the below ideas
- Choose a higher-fibre breakfast cereal such as plain wholewheat biscuits (like Weetabix) or plain shredded whole grain (like Shredded wheat), or porridge as oats are also a good source of fibre.
- Go for wholemeal or granary breads, or higher fibre white bread, and choose whole grains like wholewheat pasta, bulgur wheat or brown rice.
- Go for potatoes with their skins on, such as a baked potato or boiled new potatoes.
- Add pulses like beans, lentils or chickpeas to stews, curries and salads.
- Include plenty of vegetables with meals, either as a side dish or added to sauces, stews or curries.
- Have some fresh or dried fruit, or fruit canned in natural juice for dessert. Because dried fruit is sticky, it can increase the risk of tooth decay, so it's better if it is only eaten as part of a meal, rather than as a between-meal snack.
- For snacks, try fresh fruit, vegetable sticks, rye crackers, oatcakes and unsalted nuts or seeds.
CLICK HERE FOR 20 HIGH FIBRE FOODS