Fibre is a crucial ingredient in a healthy diet, but many people don’t know its full benefits or where it comes from. Bondi Beauty nutritionist Shane Landon helps fill in the fibre blanks.
Fibre is a greatly overlooked nutrient according to a recent Newspoll survey on Aussies by Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing. The truth is most of us don’t really think about it, but should. Most of us link fibre with its ability to keep us ‘regular’. However, only just over half of us know about the role it plays in helping to prevent cancer and diabetes. While around a third of people are also unaware of its connection to cardiovascular disease prevention.
Women should aim to get at least 25 grams of fibre per day. To maximise the disease fighting power of fibre, the government recommends women consume 28 grams of fibre each day. In many cases all it takes is a simple swap in your diet to achieve this.
Go to Grains.
Choose grain based and wholemeal products instead of white flour, such as wholemeal bread, brown rice and wholemeal pasta.
Swap your cereal.
When buying cereals, look for wholegrain and fibre increased varieties. Products with wholegrain ingredients such as wheat, brown rice, barley, oats, rye, millet, sorghum or triticale are a good choice.
Use legumes such as kidney beans, lima beans, soybeans, chickpeas, dried peas and lentils to soups, casseroles, salads and sauces. Baked beans on wholegrain bread is a tasty and convenient high fibre option.
Sprinkle chopped fresh or dried fruits, wheatgerm or seeds on breakfast cereal or include in snack packs and nut mixes.
Instead of a milkshake try a fruit smoothie made with banana or other fresh fruit. Add rolled oats for an additional fibre boost; or a fibre-supplement product like Fibrestart which is a milk-alternative that gives you 1/3 of your daily fibre intake in one serve.
Keep the skin on.
The skins of fruits and vegetables are a valuable source of fibre. Save time and increase your fibre intake by eating unpeeled fruits and vegetables wherever possible.
Choose fresh fruit over juice to optimise fibre intake. Fruit juice is often full of sugar; by reducing the amount of juice you drink you will also cut down your sugar intake.
Use the information given to you.
Look on the nutrition panel of food products and choose those which provide at least 2 grams of dietary fibre per serve.
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