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Fibre & Optimal Sources

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Daniel Howick

Nutritional Therapist | Fitness Coach | Life Coach
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Fibre & Optimal Sources

A natural nutrient type found in plant based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and whole-grains. 

Some foods and even drinks can contain added fibre. Fibre one bars, Fibre waters and Shredded Wheat are all examples of theseFind out why fibre is so important. This article explore everything fibre & optimal sources related.

 

Fibre is very important for gut and colon health. It increases the good bacteria in your gut and colon which increases immunity against diseases. Studies show that a diet high in fibre may be beneficial for weight loss goals also. It’s a non digestible carbohydrate style nutrient, that are characterised by either SOLUBLE & INSOLUBLE fibre. Most of fibre passes through the body without breaking down.

Soluble fibre can be metabolised by the bacteria in your gut. Studies have shown some soluble fibre sources can significantly aid weight loss by inducing satiety effects and increasing TDEE. This means you tend to eat less and burn more energy.  

Insoluble fibre draws water into your faeces, which promotes softer stools and increases more comfortable bowl movements. Both types of fibre may help to reduce type 2 diabetes, inflammatory markers, bowl cancers and cardiovascular disease. 

It’s estimated that up to 90% of the population don’t eat enough fibre. Let’s take a look how you can increase your intake. And find out what the positive and negative side effects of high fibre diet.

 

Fibre has been scientifically proven to support weight loss goals  

How much fibre per day?

The national guidelines for daily fibre consumption in relation to optimal health suggests the following amounts:

Children aged 2 – 4 = 15g per day

Children aged 5 – 11 = 20g per day

Children aged 12 – 17 = 25g per day

Adults aged 18-80+ = 30g per day

It’s important to note however that amounts may be higher or lower for some. We will get into why shortly.

That said, fibre amounts are tolerated by people differently.

People with conditions like Crohn’s disease or IBS, to name but a few may experience bloating and discomfort with a high fibre diet. In this instance a reduced amount may be advisable. 

Whilst guidelines stipulate the advised amount it is entirely safe to eat as much as 70g of fibre per day, providing you can tolerate it. 

Speak with you doctor and / or coach to find what fibre amounts might be right for you. If you already know fibre causes you some difficulties, explore the amount you eat per day. Start with a low amount like 10g and build this up. If you start to experience bloating, cramps or stomach discomfort as you increase fibre intake, its an indication you may need to drop back to a comfortable amount that you cab stay consistent with. One of the most effective ways to do this is by using a food tracking app like my fitness pal.

Other Benefits

Introducing more fibre may improve hypertension, reduce hunger, assist weight loss, reduce cholesterol, promote regular bowl movements, prevent piles, lower the risk of colon & breast cancers.

Foods fibre dense, some of which you can see below, tend to come from nutritional sources like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and pulses. Need inspiration? Checkout this high fibre and protein, soaked oats recipe

“High fibre” foods are characterised by having at least 69g per 100g. And “sources of fibre” foods are characterised by having at least 3g per 100g. 

A study conducted in 2015 by the Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, USA looked at high fibre diets of a population of people in rural South Africa. Where on average they ate 50g of fibre per day. The study found that rates of colon and stomach cancers where dramatically lower compared to populations that eat less than 15g of fibre per day. 

Other sources in addition to the infographic below include: bran flakes (& bran cereals), shredded wheat, wholemeal pastas and breads, figs and boiled peas. 

Primary Fibre Sources

Lentils & Beans

7.5 grams per 100 grams

Lentils & beans are nutrient dense, packed with vitamins and minerals. High in potassium, iron, folate & fibre.  

Brocolli

2.5 grams per 100 grams

High in Vit K, Vt C, Potassium, Folate and manganese. Improves heart, gut and blood health plus more 

Chia Seed

 34.5 grams per 100 grams

Fibre in chia seeds are mainly soluble types. Supporting satiety, reduces cholesterol & maintains blood sugar levels.  

Dried Apricots

 7 grams per 100 grams

Also high in Vit A & Potassium. They help protect against diabetes and heart disease. 

Popcorn

14.5 grams per 100 grams

Rich in polyphenols, & antioxidants also. Well known for it’s satiety affects. Eating popcorn daily may support weight loss goals. 

Apples

2.5 grams per 100 grams

Studies show an apple a day can reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. They also help to maintain blood sugar levels. 

Blue
berries

 4 grams per 100 grams

Fantastic for your skin, bones, blood pressure and mental health. Low in calories which make them a great option for weight management goals.

Whole
Grains

 7 grams per 100 grams

Rich in may its & minerals. And a decent source of protein. They help prevent stoke, heart disease, diabetes and support gut health.

Potatoes

2.5 grams per 100 grams

Among the most satiating foods on the planet. Which is a tick for appetite control and weight loss goals. Spuds benefit your bones, heart, metabolism and more. 

Avocado

7 grams per 100 grams

A great source for good fats and omega 3’s. Good for digestion, kidneys, eyes, liver and teeth. High in potassium also and has the most fibre of any fruit. Yup, its a fruit!

pears

3 grams per 100 grams

A powerhouse of a fruit. Sources of copper, iron, magnesium and zinc. Great for weight loss, heart and gut health. Can help reduce inflammation & cancer risk.

nuts

7 grams per 100 grams

Great for protein and good fats. High in calories so be careful if dieting. Known to reduce diabetes, heart disease and lower cholesterol. 

bananas

2.5 grams per 100 grams

Nutrient dense & fat free. Great for digestive, heart, and blood health. May help support weight loss goals and help you  survive and recover from a tough workout

carrots

3 grams per 100 grams

These blood sugar balance batons are rich in nutrients & great for your heart, skin, eyes, bones & digestive system. Carrot leaves are also edible & nutritious. Fact. 

artichoke

5.5 grams per 100 grams

One of the oldest foods know to humans & one of the best foods for it’s antioxidant properties. They help support optimal health for your brain, heart, bones and liver. 

sprouts

Sprouts Cruciferous Veg

4 grams per 100 grams

High in vits & minerals that help support your heart & bone health, digestive system, bones & reduce the risk of diabetes. Beware, they will likely make you toot too.  

FUN FACT: Pop your apples in the fridge! Apples will ripen about 6 to 10 times faster at room temperature.

The Run Down

Internal Organ Good Health Healthier

Increase Fibre Slowly

If you’re currently eating a low fibre diet increasing your intake slowly, may help reduce any unwanted side effects. Adding around 5g per day over a week, until you reach the recommended amount or the amount in which you can tolerate. A sudden increase in fibre can result in flatulence, stomach discomfort and bloating.

Know Your Fibre Types 

Soluble fibre is more likely to affect your stomach, whilst insoluble fibre may affect your lower abdomen and colon areas. Potent puffs from your toot hole may be a sign you’re adjusting to a higher fibre intake or perhaps you’re at a personal tolerance level. Bloating may also be experienced. In both cases side affects usually subside as your body starts to adjust to new intake levels. If they persist try lowering the amount of fibre you eat and seek medical support if symptoms persist. 

Water And Fibre Intake  

Try to consume fibre at every meal and most snacks where possible, this will help increase satiety levels and prevent overeating later in the day / evening. Increase your water intake when upping fibre. This will maximise the properties of the nutrient, but will also keep you hydrated. Not drinking enough may increase the chances you become constipated. Click this link to access our article on: The importance of water.

An increase fibre to help aid better health, increase satiation and reduce diseases. Reducing your appetite can prevent overeating, which in turn may assist your weight management goals. High fibre diets have been shown to support weight loss goals and help sustain these results. 

Fibres Affect On Your Body

Fibre has a high TEF (Thermic Effect of Food). This means eating it increases core temperature which requires energy to do. In fact of the 4 calories per gram of fibre you eat. Only around 2 calories will actually be absorbed by your body. 

In short a higher fibre diet can help keep you lean, healthy and happy. There are potential drawbacks to a high fibre diet and may not be suitable for everyone.

Fibre Health Benefits

We’ve covered many of the health benefits a high fibre diet may yield, but here is a more complete list of the positive impacts of a diet higher in fibre:

  • Weight management
  • Improve satiation (feeling full / satisfied)
  • Essential for good gut health.
  • Regulate blood sugars
  • Prevent constipation
  • Prevent or manage hypertension 
  • Lower the risk of many cancers, including breast, colon and stomach 
  • Lowers cholesterol 
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes 

Drawbacks 

Too much fibre or increasing fibre too quickly can have adverse side affects as I’ve already mentioned. These may include:

  • Bloating
  • Stomach discomfort / abdominal pains
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Constipation
  • Short term weight gain
  • Excess gas (flatulence).

In sever ad less common circumstances people can encounter more serious problems. If you experience nausea, high temperature, sickness, chronic constipation or the inability to pass gas contact your GP or seek medical support immediately. 

Reduce Negative Side Affects 

  • Make sure you drink plenty of water.
  • Reduce intake 
  • Check supplements you may be taking these may have added fibre
  • Simplify your diet. Eat easily digestible foods such as white toast, white rice, ripe bananas, eggs, salmon. 
  • Avoid inulin and chicory root extracts foods and supplements. 

Most should overcome symptoms within 48 hours. Once recovered reintroduce fibre and build up levels to a sustainable and comfortable level. To encourage a better tolerance, aim to spread fibre intake thoughout the day.  

For advice, support or guidance on your nutrition and fitness. Or to improve your physical and mental health and wellbeing please get in touch. We help many clients achieve personal health goals through coaching and individualised programming which can all be delivered online. We pride ourselves on suppling a unique and easily accessible coaching experience. One that uses our own softwares and systems to track your performance and feedback on how you can increase an optimised approach. 

We are results driven and client lead. Join our list of achievers by becoming a HWK and signing up to one of our personal programmes. All of which include fitness, nutritional and mindset guidance. 

Thank you for reading, have a great day. 

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