Consuming adequate dietary fibre is important to the maintenance of health, well-being and the management of body weight and composition. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) we need 14g of dietary fibre per 1000kcal of food we consume, but the majority of adults do not meet these requirements.
There are two types of dietary fibre: Soluble and insoluble.
- Dissolves in water, forming a gel-like substance during digestion.
- Satiates appetite.
- Helps to lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar levels and prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Foods containing good sources include oats, barley, flaxseed, peas, beans, seeds, citrus fruits, strawberries and apples (particularly the skins of fruits).
- Does not dissolve in water.
- Aids digestive transit and encourages regular bowel movements.
- Helps relieve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS - C or constipation), constipation and can help aid recovery from illness/operations/injury.
- Foods containing good sources include whole wheat pasta, whole grain rice, wheat bran, nuts and vegetables (again, particularly the skins).
Wallstrom P, Sonestedt E, Hlebowicz J, Ericson U, Drake I, Persson M, Gullberg B, Hedblad B, Wirfalt E, Dietary Fibre and Saturated Fat Intake Associations with Cardiovascular Disease: A prospective Study, PLoS ONE, 2012, 7(2): e31637.