Fibre requirements and meal plan to meet needs to prevent disease
What is Fibre?
Dietary fibre is a carbohydrate that comes from plants which is resistant to digestion in the small intestine however broken down by bacteria in the large intestine. Fibre is essential for the gut to function normally. Fibre has shown to reduce the risk of certain disease such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and bowel cancer.
What sources of fibre should I consume to help reduce risk of disease and symptoms?
To lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes and colorectal cancer you should eat all foods high in fibre, in particular cereals and whole grains.
To treat or prevent constipation, make stools softer and easier to pass, consume all foods high in fibre, in particular wheat and other cereals.
To help lower a high blood cholesterol level or high blood pressure, consume Oat Bran.
What other foods have fibre in them?
Food label advice
Within the ingredients section look for fibre per 100g
High fibre foods will contain 6g of fibre per 100g
Source of fibre foods contain at least 3g per 100g
How much should we consume?
How do I put this advice into practice?
Here is an example generic meal plan for adolescents and adults.
If you have any allergies or intolerances contact a dietitian
Some practical tips on how to increase your fibre intake
1. Choose a high fibre cereal and combine with fruit at breakfast time (if having oats you can add linseeds to this).
2. Add seeds to yogurt.
3. Have a wholemeal sandwich at lunch with carrot sticks and hummus.
4. If having soup at lunch time choose a vegetable soup and combine with wholemeal brown bread.
5. Ensure you get vegetables in with your meals, for dinner you could have wholemeal pasta with vegetables. You could also have low sugar baked beans with a baked potato.
6. Add extra vegetables to sauces , for example a homemade curry sauce or bolognaise sauce.
7. Frozen vegetables is extremely handy and easy to add to meal.
8. When increasing fibre intake this must be done gradually to avoid any gut problems
9. Drink plenty of fluid goes hand in hand with fibre, they work together to help your gut health. Aim for 8 to 10 cups of water intake a day.