How To Increase Fibre In Your Day
With all the health benefits of getting an adequate fibre intake, we all aim to make sure that we get an adequate intake.
Through making these dietary changes with meals and snacks, you’ll be well on your way to meeting your daily requirements:
- INCLUDE VEGETABLES IN EACH MEAL AND ENOUGH OF IT: Our vegetable intake for each meal should be at least half the plate or as much as you can hold with two open hands. Vegetables are rich in fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and low in energy. This means that they help us to feel fuller for longer without really affecting our energy intake (making it essential for weight-loss!).
- OPT FOR HIGHER FIBRE STARCHES: Choosing high fibre whole-wheat or whole-grain alternatives with bread, breakfast cereals, pasta, crackers etc. is a fantastic way to quickly increase fibre intake. If reading food labels, make sure that the product has more than at least 6g of fibre per 100g serving.
- START INCLUDING PLANT PROTEINS: Using legumes to make up some (or all) of the meal’s protein. Legumes (like beans, chickpeas, lentils or split peas) are high in protein, fibre, anti-oxidants and low in fat. While some animal proteins are definitely a lot lower in fat, none have a fibre content that can rival plant protein. It is the fibre content that can help to alleviate inflammation and promote optimal gut health, thereby playing a massive role in one’s weight loss journey.
- MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE EATING ENOUGH FRUIT: Fruit are naturally high in fibre and contain natural sugars which can help to satisfy those slight sweet cravings. Make sure to eat at least one portion of fruit per day (consult your dietician about fruit intake – because they do contain sugar, one must just be careful regarding portion sizes).
- AND FOR ONE LAST ‘GRATE’ IDEA: Veggies like courgettes, carrots, patty pans and even cauliflower have a very mild taste and can be grated into mince or meat dishes without really being tasted, so even if you do not really like eating these on their own, you can still easily include them in your diet.
These are just some general guidelines on increasing fibre. If you need more information or are not certain as to how to implement these, please do not hesitate to make an appointment with your local dietician.
Cecile Niebuhr, RD(SA)