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Why fibre is important in your diet

Fibre is something that is vital in your diet.  While most nutrients are absorbed into your body, fibre is a complex carbohydrate that is passed through your system without being digested by your body’s enzymes.  It can be put into two categories: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fibre meaning it “dissolves in water “and turns into a gel-like substance when you ingest it.  It also helps your body lower LDL cholesterol (also known as “bad” cholesterol) in your body, which is good for the health of your heart.  This type of fibre can be found in oats, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit, beans and flaxseeds.

Insoluble fibre moves throughout your body entirely undigested in order to help your gastrointestinal system move more regularly.  This type of fibre also ensures that you feel fuller for longer, which can reduce the excess calories that you consume throughout the day.  Insoluble fibre can be found in vegetable, wheat bran and whole grains. Insoluble fibre also increases insulin sensitivity which improves blood glucose control and helps to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes.

Both soluble and insoluble fibres help to maintain a healthy cholesterol ratio , control blood glucose and encourage optimal blood pressure levels.

It is important to consume a lot of water with your fibre intake, as not doing this will cause your body to feel cramped and to become constipated.  Plenty of fruits and vegetables are also encouraged to guarantee that your daily fluid needs are met.

What is enough fibre to eat, and what is too much?  It is easy to think that eating a lot of fibre will result in weight-loss, however, this isn’t true.  It is recommended that a person consumes 30g of fibre a day in The U.k and between 15-25g of fibre for children depending on age.  For the average person, who consumes about 2000 calories a day, 30g fibre each day is recommended.  When adding more fibre to your diet, it is important to do so gradually, as adding too much too quickly can cause gas, indigestion and bloating.

In the case of fibre consumption, you can have too much of a good thing.  Eating more than 50g of fibre can result in cramping, diarrhea, bloating and gas.  In addition to this, the nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, might not have enough time to be absorbed into your body and it will move through your body too fast. However, in some parts of the world in excess of 40g of fibre are consumed regularly by populations as a whole and good health and nutrient profiles are maintained which leaves the “how much fibre we should consume” debate, controversial.

Talk to us at Michelle Mina Nutrition for a healthy diet, with enough fibre that your body can handle.


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