Estimated reading time: 6mins
How much fibre do we need to eat per day for optimal health?
Firstly, fibre comes in two varieties: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fibre is not absorbed in our digestive tracts, but its role is vital in ensuring bowel movements to avoid constipation. Soluble fibre is metabolised by bacteria that sits in the large intestine. In short, it's healthy and good for us!
Further to this, evidence suggests that by getting enough dietary fibre we're protecting our colons, breasts and ovaries too!
Fibre is found in foods like cereals, nuts, fruits and vegetables.
Previous fibre recommendations have been to consume 14 grams of fibre per 1000 calories eaten. So if you're eating 2000 calories per day you'd consume 28 grams of fibre per day.
But recent reviews state that the ideal fibre intake should be more like 50 g/d to maximise health.
So now we know we need to eat 50 grams of fibre a day, but where do we get it from?
Healthy meal plans: What foods are the highest in dietary fibre?
Fibre is found in foods like cereals, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Take a look at the table below adapted from this study and this research to see how your favourite foods stack up:
|Dietary fibre (g/100 g edible portion)|
|Legumes & pulsesView|
|Nuts and seedsView|
Further to this table; one of the best sources of fibre you can get is in Chia seeds, which boast a tremendous 30-34 grams of fibre per 100 grams!
Chia seeds might be the best source of fibre there is.
By going off the information above, you can reach your 50 grams a day variety hypothetically with the below example:
Breakfast: 1 cup of spinach = 4 grams of fibre, 6 egg whites, a tablespoon of olive oil.
Lunch: Chicken salad (200 grams of Garden salad) = 3.6 grams of fibre.
3pm snack: 1 unpeeled apple = 2 grams of fibre. Also, 100 grams of chia seeds = 30 grams of fibre.
Dinner: 200 grams of fish (salmon, barramundi, whatever you prefer). Add 100 grams of broccoli = 3 grams of fibre.
Before bed: Bulk Nutrients Tri Fibre supplement = 5.8 grams
Total = 48.4 grams of fibre.
You can see that comes very close to 50 grams of dietary fibre a day! And you can consume your 50 grams of dietary fibre a day however you want; having an extra half scoop of your Bulk Nutrients fibre supplement, or by simply eating another 60 grams of broccoli or another apple. The freedom is yours.
Fibre also helps us lose weight and help us keep it off.
Fibre for fat loss
The other benefit of fibre is how it assists in weight loss, specifically:
It increases chewing time and delays the time it takes for food to pass through your stomach. This means you're fuller for longer and are less likely to overeat.
Fibre encourages the growth of a more favourable gut microbiome, associated with lower long-term weight gain.
These factors have led researchers to conclude that fibre allows for an "increased ease of weight loss".
Fibre won't only help us maintain a healthy waistline but also improve our general health and well-being. Having a solid dietary strategy for 50 grams of dietary fibre daily, with or without a fibre supplement for ease of adherence, is critical for all of us for our health and fitness goals!
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