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Easy Ways to Boost Your Daily Fibre Intake

You have probably heard that daily fibre intake is an important part of a healthy diet.  What’s more foods high in fiber are not hard to find, in fact many can be found in the foods you are probably already familiar with!  But despite this fact many of us still do not get enough fibre in our diet.  In fact, most consume less than 50% of the recommended dietary fibre in-take needed for good health!  So, what exactly are the health benefits of fibre? Keep reading to find out everything you have ever needed to know about your daily fibre intake,  how much you need and how to get more of it!

What is Fibre?

Fibre is the part of food from plants that remains indigestible. It can be considered part of the carbohydrates when it comes to your macronutrients, and can be found in a lot of the healthy foods you are already eating as part of a weight loss or muscle building diet plan.

Soluble and Insoluble Fibre

There are two types – soluble and insoluble.  Soluble is called soluble because it partially dissolves in water.  It gets fermented in the colon into gases and active byproducts that can act like prebiotics, stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Foods high in soluble fibre are digested slowly by the body, and can thus help regulate blood sugar levels and appetite.  Soluble fibre can be found in beans, lentils, apples, oatmeal and bran to name a few.

Insoluble fibre is resistant to digestion and therefore does not dissolve in water, but some can absorb water as they move through the intestinal tract.  Some insoluble fibres ferment in the intestines, while others simple act as a bulking agent.  Insoluble fiber can be found in whole grains, seeds, nuts, and dark leafy vegetables.  Insoluble fibre can help keep you regular and prevent constipation by accelerating the movement of food through the digestive system.

What Are the Benefits of Daily Fibre Intake?

It has been shown that fibre intake can reduce blood sugar absorption, reduce blood sugar response after eating and help stabilize energy levels.  Some forms of insoluble resistant starch fibre can help increase insulin sensitivity.  Its slows digestion rate and can also reduce appetite and hunger between meals, making you feel full for longer.  It can increase healthy gut bacteria during the fermentation process of both soluble and insoluble fibres.  Fibre has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol levels (LDL).  It has also been shown to help lower risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and obesity, as well as lower the risk of colorectal and gastrointestinal cancers.

How Does Fibre Help With Dieting? 

Eating fibre can be a huge asset in your dieting arsenal; although fibre alone won’t shed off the fat it will help you stay in-control of your diet.  First off, it has been shown that people who ate 35 to 45 g of fibre per day are less hungry when trying to lose weight and lose more weight than people who eat less fibre.

In one study, the satiety level of people consuming apples, applesauce and apple juice with added fibre before eating lunch was compared.  Those who ate the apple ate 15% fewer calories than those who ate the applesauce or drank the juice.  The fibre from the whole food was found to be more filling and satisfying.  Adding fiber to your diet will help reduce hunger, keep appetite and cravings in-check and may even help you eat less!

How Much Daily Fibre Do You Need?

Women need about 20 to 35 g per day, but on average, most North Americans consume less than 50% of the daily recommended intake.  Getting fibre in your diet doesn’t have to be difficult.  Most fibrous foods are usually already part of a diet plan that   Start by adding foods that are high in fibre to your diet!  See below for a list of foods that offer up an abundance of fibre.

Sources Fibre per ½ cup serving
Broccoli 1.1 g
Kale 1.2 g
Sweet Potato 4.1 g
Oatmeal 2.0 g
Brown Rice 1.75 g
Quinoa 2.6 g
Bran 2.85 g
Kidney Beans 6.8 g
Chickpeas 6.25 g
Strawberries 1.5 g
Blackberries 3.8 g
Almonds 9 g

Fibre Supplements

Greens Powder 

These supplements pack a ton of fibre into one serving by providing phytonutrient rich super foods such as leafy greens, broccoli, wheat grass, barley grass, and much more.  Some greens supplements provide up to 2 g per serving!

Psyllium Husk

Psyllium is derived from the seed of the pantago ovato plant.  Probably the most common fibre supplement on the market today is used primarily to promote regularity.  Each teaspoon serving delivers approximately 3 g per serving.  Psyllium Husk has a laxative type of effect.  Typically Psyllium is taken orally by mixing with about 8 oz of water.

Konjac Root

Konjac root is an Asian indigenous plant, and can be used to make shirataki noodles, but it can be also found in many appetite suppressing weight loss supplements or sold on its own.  Konjac has almost zero calories, and is an extremely soluble fiber.  Konjac swells in the gut, decreasing appetite and food in-take!

Inulin

Inulin is derived from mostly chicory although it can also be found in wheat, onions, bananas and artichokes. Inulin is an insoluble fiber that is not digested or absorbed. Inulin has been found to increase nutrient absorption of certain vitamins and minerals, while also increasing good gut bacteria.  It can also decrease the body’s ability to make cholesterol and triglycerides.  Inulin is often added to other supplements such as nutrition bars and food products to help boost fibre content.

Until Next Time,

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

Lauren Jacobsen

 

References:

Anderson JW, Baird P, Davis RH et al. Health benefits of dietary fiber. 2009. Nutr Rev 67 (4): 188–205

Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients) (2005), Chapter 7: Dietary, Functional and Total fiber. US Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library and National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board.

Flood-Obbagy JE, Rolls BJ.  The effect of fruit in different forms on energy intake and satiety at a meal.

Howarth NC, Saltzman E, Roberts SB.  Dietary Fiber and Weight Regulation. 2001. Nutr Rev 59 (5): 129-39

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (fiber data for foods) http://ndb.nal.usda.gov

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