Integrating fibre into your diet

      Integrating fibre into your diet

      01 Feb 2020

      Integrating Fibre into Your Diet

      Most adults in the UK don’t eat enough fibre, with the majority eating just two-thirds of the recommended daily amount (30g/day). This article offers tips to increase your fibre intake and highlights possible side effects when eating more fibre.​

      Tips to Boost your Fibre Intake

      • Choose wholegrain foods (such as quinoa, wholegrain bread, cereals such as oats and wholewheat pasta) rather than white or refined versions.
      • Add pulses, beans, legumes or extra vegetables to cooked dishes such as stews, soups and pasta dishes.​
      • Eat whole fruits and vegetables instead of fruit juices.​
      • Eat the skin of fruits, vegetables and potatoes.​
      • Include onion and garlic when cooking, as these are good sources of prebiotic fibre.​
      • Snack smartly; choose oat-based cereal bars or energy balls, a handful of nuts, piece of fruit, popcorn or a slice of wholegrain toast.​
      • Add a variety of whole nuts, seeds and nut butters to cereal, yoghurt and salad.

      Other Considerations

      Unless advised by a healthcare professional, avoid restrictive diets such as gluten-free, wheat-free or grain-free diets. Unnecessary dietary restrictions can significantly reduce the amount of fibre and wholegrains in your diet as many cereals and grains are good sources of fibre. ​

      Try to get your 5-a-day for fruits and vegetables; a portion is 80g for adults (approximately a small handful). Try to include a variety of different colours and types of fruit and vegetables, and where possible, eat the skin for extra fibre. Fresh, frozen, dried, tinned and juiced forms (up to 150mls per day) all count towards your 5-a-day.​

      Possible Side Effects

      If you don’t currently consume a high-fibre diet, build up your fibre intake gradually over a few days or weeks. Increasing your fibre intake too quickly may cause gut symptoms such as wind or bloating. ​

      Gradual increases in dietary fibre allow time for the gut to adjust. To minimise side effects, increase your fibre intake over a few weeks. Increase your fibre intake slowly alongside drinking lots of water [1.5-2 litres (six to eight cups)] and regular exercise to avoid constipation. ​

      Example High-Fibre Meal Plan

      Below is an example of how to achieve at least 30g of fibre in your diet throughout the day.


      . Meal Portion size (g) Amount of Fibre Per Portion (g) .
        Breakfast:

      Porridge
      Medium banana
      50g
      100g
      5g
      2g
       
        Mid-morning snack :

      Small handful of hazelnuts (10 nuts)
      15g 2g  
        Lunch :

      Wholemeal bread x 2
      Handful salad (avocado, cucumber, lettuce)
      Protein filling i.e., chicken/egg
      Apple
      56g
      80g
      N/A
      80g
      4g
      3g
      N/A
      4g
       
        Evening meal :

      Wholewheat spaghetti
      Tomato-based pasta sauce
      Raspberries
      150g
      175g
      80g
      5g
      1.5g
      6g