Fibre. How much and why?
Pop quiz: do you know how much fibre you should be getting every day? And do you know just how important a role the stuff plays in your health and wellbeing?
Well done if you do! Although you may well be in the minority according to a study conducted by Atomik Research in May this year. From a significant sample size of 2,000 adults they found that 54% of Brits are lacking fibre in their diet and 92% of those we surveyed didn’t know that the recommended daily consumption of fibre, as outlined in Government guidelines, is 30g.
Why so serious?
Well, fibre’s a crucial element of any diet. Not only does fibre aid digestion – it helps prevent
constipation, control blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol and even lower the risk of heart disease and bowel cancer. Yup, fibre’s a pretty hard grafter when you get enough of it. Our research also found that 35% of Brits struggle to meet the daily recommended intake and 34% don’t ever consider their fibre intake at all. Not only that but 18% wrongly believe that highly processed foods (white pasta and bread, we’re looking at you) are a good source of fibre.
Difficult to digest
Given the apparent lack of awareness on the benefits (and risks) associated with fibre intake it’s no surprise that almost half (49%) of us suffer from digestive discomfort on a daily or weekly basis. Leading nutritionist Cassandra Barns comments, “Fibre in our diet has several important roles. First of all, it’s vital for a healthy gut, including keeping your friendly gut bacteria happy, encouraging a healthy gut lining and helping with regular bowel movements. It can help with weight management too, as it slows the release of energy into the bloodstream and keeps us feeling fuller for longer. Everyday whole foods like oats, baked beans and brown rice are high in fibre, as are fruit and vegetables.”
“When grains are overly milled, such as in flour, bread and pasta, they can be absorbed and release their energy quite quickly- even if you choose ‘wholemeal’ versions. But wholegrain oats break down and release their energy more slowly as they haven’t been ground down into flour.”
What’s stopping us?
Lack of awareness and busy schedules seem to be the main culprits, in terms of what’s keeping us from reaping all the lovely benefits fibre has to offer us. Eating out or getting takeaway food is another reason we’re often missing out – even cooking for ourselves can be problematic, especially for those of us who have a tendency to go for white pasta or white bread, as mentioned above. Did you know that by simply swapping one slice of white bread for two Nairn’s Organic Oatcakes can instantly double your fibre intake! Oatcakes are a fantastic source of soluble fibre – the stuff that keeps our digestion on track, healthy and regular.
So now you know all about the wonders of making sure you’re getting enough fibre – but we’re always keen to hear any new tips or tricks you’ve got for getting your daily 30g. Why not share them with us on our social channels? We’d love to hear them. Or for more info on how to maintain a healthy gut, we’ve been spreading the Good Gut Feelings with a bit of help from the experts, check it out!