Mike’s Mid Week Blog- A Few Minutes Of Fibre

Calories, protein, sugar, salt, gluten, hydration, and fats. These are buzz words that I have found are usually involved in a conversation relating to health and food whether it be in or out of the gym environment. One word often overlooked is Fibre (as spelt in the UK). In today’s short blog I will be briefly discussing dietary fibre, listing its sources, benefits as well as recommend intakes.
Referring back to good old Wikipedia, it defines fibre as follows.

“Dietary fiber or roughage is the indigestible portion of food derived from plants. It has two main components:
Soluble fiber, which dissolves in water, is readily fermented in the colon into gases and physiologically active by products, and can be prebiotic and viscous. It delays gastric emptying which in turn can cause an extended feeling of fullness.

Insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve in water, is metabolically inert and provides bulking, or it can be prebiotic and metabolically ferment in the large intestine. Bulking fibers absorb water as they move through the digestive system, easing defecation.”

With the above descriptions examples of food with soluble fibre are:

Oats, Fruits, Beans, carrots and potatoes

Examples of foods containing insoluble fibres are:

Cereals, Wholemeal products (brown rice, wholemeal bread), vegetables, avocados and nuts.
Benefits of Fibre

Soluble fiber provides benefits such as preventing our blood sugar levels from elevating too fast, which is important for fat loss, diabetes prevention and weight management. Also research has shown it can assist with lowering risk of heart disease and cholesterol relating illnesses.

Insoluble fiber aids with our digestion and therefore lowering chances of constipation.

How much should I have?
In 2015 the government gave new guidelines please see below tables.
Age 2-5: 15g per day

Age 5-11: 20g per day

Age 11-16: 25g per day

Age 17 and over: 30g per day

As with any guideline they are not specific to an individuals lifestyle, however I have found that my adult clients have responded well when achieving a 25 grams of fibre per day target. A great tool to easily measure and track your fibre intake is smartphone app myfitness pal. This will also give you the calorie and macronutrient breakdown of most foods so that you’re able to see which fibre based foods will suit your lifestyle goals. The app is free to download and you can scan/search for foods that you commonly have in your daily diet. 

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