Post by Azmina Govindji @AzminaNutrition
News and magazine articles, labels on new products and TV documentaries have recently been highlighting fibre as the new nutrient on the block. We know fibre has been around for years, so why the sudden interest? Here we explain what all the fibre fuss is about, how much you should have, and how to get fibre higher up on your daily menu – whilst still enjoying your favourite foods.
The Big Carbs Report
In 2015, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition published the “Carbohydrates and Health” Report. This Report examined findings from robust research, and made two main recommendations:
– We should aim to reduce our intake of free sugars to 5% of our daily calories, and
– We need to increase our fibre intake to 30g a day
The media headlines stemming from the Report at the time, and even now, typically focus on the sugar guidelines only. But now is the time to give fibre centre stage. According to the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey, we’re currently eating only around 18g of fibre. So, we have a long way to go….
Five ways to eat more fibre
1. Add a veg or salad to each meal. This will also contribute to your five a day.
2. Choose brown carbs. Try brown pasta and brown rice for a change.
3. Go grainy. Experiment with more unusual grains like bulgur wheat, quinoa, buckwheat, and millet grains, or stick with the old favourites like oats and barley.
4. Check labels and compare brands. Whether it’s a breakfast cereal or a biscuit, choose those with more fibre per serving (keep an eye on the sugar too).
5. Move towards a plant-based diet. By simply eating more nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables and whole grains, you’ll automatically be eating more fibre.
Written by Azmina Govindji, Consultant Nutritionist & Registered Dietitian