A Message From Lesley
Why do we need fibre in our diet?
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. Fibre also makes us feel fuller and 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.
Go for wholemeal or granary breads, or and choose wholegrains 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.
It is recommended that Adults should eat 30g of fibre a day. But they call this an “adequate” amount for improving health and say there are benefits for pushing past 30g (1oz).
Listed below is the fibre content of some example meals and these will give you about 32g fibre
Fibre at breakfast Two thick slices of wholemeal toasted bread (6.5g of fibre) topped with one sliced banana (1.4g) and a small glass of fruit smoothie drink (1.5g) will give you around 9.4g of fibre.
Fibre at lunch A baked jacket potato with the skin on (2.6g) with a 200g portion of reduced-sugar and reduced-salt baked beans in tomato sauce (9.8g) followed by an apple (1.2g) will give you around 13.6g of fibre. You can always add a salad for some extra fibre!
Fibre at dinner Mixed vegetable tomato-based curry cooked with onion and spices (3.3g) with wholegrain rice (2.8g) followed by a lower fat fruit yoghurt (0.4g) will give you around 6.5g of fibre. Bear in mind that fruit yoghurts can sometimes be high in added sugars, so check the label and try to choose lower-sugar versions.
Fibre as a snack A small handful of nuts can have up to 3g of fibre. Make sure you choose unsalted nuts, such as plain almonds, without added sugars.