Why do dieticians love talking about fibre?

 

Fibre plays an incredibly important part of a healthy balanced diet; it helps to assist with our digestion, helps to lower cholesterol levels, assists in disease risk reduction, lowers blood glucose levels etc. but it is a part of the diet that most people forget about.

So let’s unpack what dietary fibre is and find out easy ways in which we can include this important nutrient into our diet.

  1. What is fibre?

Dietary fibre is a term that is used for plant-based carbohydrates that, unlike other carbohydrates (such as sugars and starch), are not digested in the small intestine and so reaches the large intestine or colon.

Soluble and insoluble fibre

You may have heard of the terms ‘soluble fibre’ or ‘insoluble fibre’– these are words that are sometimes used to describe the types of fibre in our diet. Although scientific organisations argue that these terms are no longer really appropriate, you may see these terms being used, with soluble fibre including pectins and beta glucans (found for example in foods like fruit and oats) and insoluble fibre including cellulose (found for example in wholegrains and nuts). What is important to remember is that fibre-rich foods typically contain both types of fibre.¹

  1. How much fibre should we be eating on a daily basis?

For Adults – most researchers agree that a daily intake of 20 to 35 g or 6 to 11 servings of grain products per day is sufficient. This should be provided from mixed sources, especially including the wholegrain cereals and vegetables. The ideal intake would be five portions of fruit and vegetables (with skins where possible) and at least two portions of high fibre cereal and grain products daily.

For Children – the recommendation for children older than 2 years is to increase fibre intake to an amount equal to or greater than their age plus 5 g per day, in order to achieve intakes of 25 to 35 g per day after the age of 20 years. For example, a child aged 5 years should be taking in at least 10g fibre per day (5 is equal to the age of the child + 5 g per day). Recommendations have also been made that children should increase their fruit and vegetable consumption to 5 or more servings daily.²

  1. Why is it so hard to meet these fibre requirements:

The following table shows the food sources and content (g/portion size) of dietary fibre ²

Food source Portion size Total fibre (g)
Apple – with skin 1 medium 3.0
Banana 1 medium 2.0
Bran flake cereal 188 ml 5.5
Broccoli 125 ml 2.0
Butternut – cooked 125 ml 4.0
Corn 125 ml 1.5
Corn flake cereal 250 ml 1.0
English Muffin 1 2.0
Kidney beans 125 ml 4.5
Nutrific 2 biscuits 4.0
Oats Porridge 125 ml 2.0
Oatmeal – cooked 188 ml 3.0
Orange 1 medium 2.0
Peanut butter – chunky 25 ml 1.5
Pear – with skin 1 medium 4.5
Popcorn 250 ml 1.0
Potato – baked with skin 1 medium 4.0
Samp and beans 125 ml 4.0
Spaghetti – cooked 250 ml 2.0
Spinach 125 ml 2.0
Strawberries 125 ml 1.0
White rice – cooked 125 ml 0.5
Whole-wheat bread 30 g 2.5
GlucaChol-22® 1 serving (13.5g) 6g

Which is a huge contributor and will help you to reach your fibre goal in an easy to use manner.

  1. What are the benefits to meeting your fibre requirements? ³

    • Reduced constipation
    • Improved digestive tract health
    • Lower blood cholesterol levels
    • Reduced glycemic response (how quickly blood sugar level increases)
    • Colonic fermentation
    • Increased immune support
    • Weight management
    • Increased insulin sensitivity
    • Increased satiety (feeling full)

Basically to sum it all up….

GlucaChol-22® is a 100% concentrated oat bran powder made from oats. It is very high in fibre and especially high in oat beta-glucan.

GlucaChol-22® contains high concentrations of valuable oat beta-glucans, soluble dietary fibres, which are the active ingredients in oats that may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by reducing blood cholesterol levels. GlucaChol-22® can be used as a tasty and easy addition to your diet to increase your fibre intake as it contains 6 g of fibre per serving.

It comes in an original flavor as well as chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. They can be made into a shake or added to your daily intake, in the form of smoothies, porridge, puddings, biscuits etc.

Dieticians and fibre

References:

  1. British Nutrition Foundation,  https://www.nutrition.org.uk 
  2. Food Advisory Consumer Service, https://foodfacts.org.za/fibre-in-foods/
  3. Fibrefacts.org https://www.fiberfacts.org/benefits-of-a-high-fiber-diet/