Dietary fibre is often on the overlooked part of our diets. Most of us don’t know how much is in our daily food so it might surprise you to know that on average, an adult has just 18g of fibre per day. I must confess that I have not thought it about it a lot. My only attempt at adding fibre to my diet is to have porridge for breakfast every day. I now know how to add more fibre by just making some simple food substitutes, see below.
The government guidelines recommend about 30g of fibre a day. vitamin pills and omega 3 capsules. Besides having that extra bowl of bran flakes, we don’t really think that much about adding fibre.
Why do you need to have more dietary fibre and why is it essential for a healthy diet?
Dietary Fibre (or roughage as it used to be called) is a plant derived carbohydrate that is not digestible by the small intestine and passes into the big intestine and colon. There are different types of fibre:
Soluble Fibre helps slow down the digestion process and the absorption of carbohydrates and makes you feel fuller and lowers the blood glucose levels in your blood. It is found in oats, barley, fruit, nuts, vegetable and pulses (beans, lentils, chickpeas).
Insoluble fibre absorbs water as it goes through the system and helps keep you regular. It is found in skin of fruit and vegetables, whole grain breads and cereal, nuts, seeds and wholewheat foods.
Resistant Starch is not digested in the small intestine but is digested in the large intestine to produce good bacteria and improves gut health. It can decrease appetite and help with weight loss. Found in potatoes, rice, grains pulses, seeds and uncooked bananas.
Fibre is important for our health, increases digestion, reduces constipation and can lower the risk of heart disease, reduces blood glucose, type 2 diabetes and stroke.
Besides making you full faster, it helps lower your blood sugar level, lowers your cholesterol, prevents constipation and improves your gut health.
Foods that contain dietary fibre
There are easy ways to get add fibre to your diet. You just need to make some substitutes with the low fibre food that you currently eat. Not all food with high fibre is dry and chewy (like bran products) which is what I had in mind.
Fibre is found in a lot of plant foods like fruits (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, figs, pears and oranges), vegetables (peas, green beans, broccoli, artichokes, onions, garlic), nuts, whole grains (bran and oats) and legumes.
These are some recommended high fibre food swaps.
- Eat brown rice and bread instead of white
- Eat bran flakes instead of porridge
- Eat prunes instead of figs
- Eat potatoes with the skins on
- Make pesto with sesame seeds instead of pine nuts
- Eat cashews instead of almonds
- Swap your regular yoghurt for Arla Fibre
- Add pulses like lentils, chickpeas and beans to curries and stews
If yoghurt is on your regular shopping list, you should think of swapping it with the new Arla Fibre. It has about 4.7g of fibre per pot. The fibre they use is from Chicory Inulin which is a very commonly used soluble fibre. This is manufactured by a specialist company and is in powder form. You won’t taste or notice the fibre in the yoghurt and it tastes exactly the same as normal yoghurt.
This new fibre enriched yoghurt comes in four flavours, blueberry and strawberry. My favourite is a pineapple and passion fruit flavour is available in the smaller pots.
To get more ideas of how to have a high fibre diet without changing your eating habits, this menu will give you some meal ideas.
For starters, we had Risotto with chorizo crumb, coffee, parmesan and baby basil.
For main course, Roast lamb cutlet and croquette of lamb with salsa verde and potato gratin. Fibre is added in the crumbs used for the croquette. Potatos have a lot of fibre too but unfortunately meat does not have any dietary fibre at all.
Dessert is a place where you can really add fibre. Using wholemeal flour, high fibre fruits you can easily boost your fibre intake. In this dessert, the French Fruit Tart uses figs, raspberries, strawberries and Arla Fibre.
This meal had a total of about half of our daily requirment of 30g of fibre. You can learn more about other high fibre foods and why dietary fibre is good for your health at their website.
EatCookExplore was a guest of Arla at this event and was paid for my time. all opinions my own.