Why Focus on Fibre?
Getting enough fibre daily can have a big impact on your health. A diet high in fibre helps promote regularity, lower cholesterol levels and improve blood sugar control. Fibre is also beneficial for gut health providing a fuel source to good bacteria. It’s estimated that with the Western diet, Canadians are consuming half the recommended amount of fibre. The recommended intake for fibre for women is 25 grams per day and for men is 38 grams per day.
Types of Fibre:
Soluble fibre absorbs water creating a gel like substance which binds to cholesterol in the gut preventing its absorption. Soluble fibre also helps slow the rise of blood sugars, slowing the insulin response. Source of soluble fibre include oats, barley, legumes, psyllium, citrus, okra, eggplant, apples and bananas.
Insoluble fibre from foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, fruit and nuts provide roughage and help prevent constipation.
In the colon, fibre is fermented by bacteria into short chain fatty acids providing a fuel for colonic cells and acting as a prebiotic for the gut microflora. Research in this area is emerging in relation to improved immune function, reduced inflammation and protection against obesity.
Ways to Boost Fibre:
- Vegetables and Fruit: Eat a fruit or vegetables with every meal and snack. Choose high fibre fruit such as pears and raspberries, eat the peels on carrots and potatoes and eat the whole fruit or vegetable instead of juice.
- Bran Cereals: Eat a bowl of the tasty new cereal All-Bran Multi-Grain Crunch with 6g fibre per cup. Add bran cereal to your regular cereal, use bran cereal in recipes for muffins, add All-Bran to smoothies, sprinkle All-Bran Buds onto yogurt and add it to trail mix. 1/3 cup All-Bran Buds contains 11g fibre.
- Whole grains: Select more whole grains over refined grains. You get 2-4 more grams of fibre per slice of bread when choosing whole grain. Choose quinoa, brown rice, oats and barley more often.
- Nuts and Seeds: Add a sprinkle of nuts or seeds to your cereal, muffin mix, salad or sandwich filling to boost fibre and nutrients. Ground Flax, hemp hearts, oat bran and psyllium husks are great additions to pancake mixes, muffins and smoothies.
- Pulses: Add lentils, split peas, beans and chickpeas to soups, stews, salads and wraps. Use bean dips for veggies as a snack.
- Read your food label. Compare cereals and choose the one higher in fibre. Read the ingredient list and look for whole grain wheat, oats, barley, rye. Limit wheat flour (white flour), white rice, tapioca starch and potato flour. My rule of thumb for choosing a great cereal is the 2-8-2 Rule. It should have less than 2 g of fat, less than 8 grams of sugar and more than 2 grams of fibre per 30g serving. All-Bran Multi-Grain crunch fits the bill!
Go to www.allbran.ca for delicious recipes using All-Bran in weekday dinners, snacks and more.