Are you getting enough fibre? Do you know where dietary fibre comes from and how to increase your intake? Find out more………….
Dietary fibre is classified as a carbohydrate, which is found in fruits, vegetables and wholegrains. Fibre can be categorised as soluble, insoluble and resistant starch and all play a role in good health.
- Insoluble fibres are not easily digested and are usually found in root vegetables, grains and seeds. Insoluble fibre is the type that is fermented by bacteria to produce fatty acids (eg butyric acid) and helps keep bowel motions regular by softening and bulking stools.
- Soluble fibres are dissolvable in water and form a thick gel in the intestines which slows digestion. This assists with maintaining stable blood glucose levels, keeps you fuller for longer and can also assist with lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, whilst maintaining HDL (‘good’) cholesterol.
- Resistant starch escapes digestion in the small intestines and in the large intestines is fermented by healthy bacteria to keep the lining of the bowel healthy.
Through its actions dietary fibre also plays a role in protection from chronic diseases including obesity, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer.
Most Australians are consuming around 20 – 25g of dietary fibre per day and it is recommended that males consume 30g and for females 25g per day. Whilst, our intake is close to the recommendation, increasing dietary fibre is beneficial for good health. You can increase your intake by consuming:
- Increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables
- Consuming products that contain at least 3g of fibre per serve (not all foods labels contain fibre on them)
- Consume the skin on fruits and eat whole fruit rather than fruit juice
- Choose wholegrain varieties of breads rather than white or wholemeal
- Eat a variety of nuts, seeds and legumes in your diet
Read more here: Foodfacts Index: The essential role of dietary fibre
- Anderson, J., Baird, P., Davis, R., Ferreri, S., Knudtson, M., Koraym, A., Waters, V., & Williams, C. (2009). Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutrition Reviews, 67 (4): 188–205. doi: 1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.ezproxy.ecu.edu.au/doi/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x/abstract
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2015). Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results – Foods and Nutrients, 2011- Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4364.0.55.007~2011-12~Main%20Features~Macronutrients~703
- Australian Government; Department of Health and Ageing & National Health and Medical Research Council [NHMRC]. (2006). Nutrient reference values for Australia and New Zeal Executive summary. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia Retrieved from http://www.nrv.gov.au/.
- Dietitians Association of Australi (2015). Fibre. Retrieved from http://daa.asn.au/for-the- public/smart-eating-for-you/nutrition-a-z/fibre/
- Klosterbuer, A., Roughead, Z., Slavin, J. (2011).Benefits of dietary fiber in clinical nutriti Nutrition in Clinical Practice, 26 (5): 625-635. doi: 10.1177/0884533611416126. Retrieved from http://ncp.sagepub.com.ezproxy.ecu.edu.au/content/26/5/625
- Smith, C., & Tucker, K. (2011). Health benefits of cereal fibre: a review of clinical trial Nutrition Research Reviews, 24(1): 118-31. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.ecu.edu.au/docview/866336221?pq- origsite=summon&accountid=10675&selectids=10000025,10000025