We are rarely short of a diet headline – gut health. Low carb. Keto. Fasting, yet the funny thing is that despite our ongoing interest in the latest in the world of diets and nutrition, it is often the basics that get forgotten, including ticking the box on a key nutrient crucial for digestive health and appetite control – dietary fibre. In fact, fewer than 1/3 of us get the amount of dietary fibre we need for optimal health on a daily basis which means it is an area of our diets that could do with a lot more attention.
Why is fibre important?
Dietary fibre has a number of important roles in the body. Apart from keeping the gut healthy by facilitating the removal of waste through the digestive tract, dietary fibre also plays a role in helping to develop healthy bacteria in the gut; regulating cholesterol absorption and in keeping us full after eating. It is recommended that Aussie adults get at least 30g of fibre in their diets every day for optimal health and disease prevention.
Our daily intake of dietary fibre tends to be low as much of the food we buy away from home, at cafes at restaurants uses more processed grains and cereals – white bread and wraps, white rice and white flour in biscuits, cakes and muffins. Then without the 2 pieces of fruit and 5 serves of veges each day, the average person gets far less fibre than they need.
Easy ways to increase your fibre intake
The good news is that it is relatively easy to give your fibre intake a boost – it is simply about smart swaps and choosing foods on the run like the Lean Cuisine Veg’d up range that contains more than 7g of dietary fibre per serve.
1) Swap any white bread, wraps or crackers to whole meal or wholegrain varieties will instantly double your daily fibre intake.
2) Tick the box on your daily fruit and vegetable intake by including 2 pieces of fruit as well as at least a cup or two of vegetables or salad at each meal to get at least half of your daily recommended fibre intake.
3) When reaching for quick and easy meals on the go, look for vegetable rich options such as the Lean Cuisine Veg’d Up range which contain at least 2 ½ serves of vegetables per serve and a massive 7g of dietary fibre.
4) When reaching for snacks, include wholefoods such as fresh fruit, chopped vegetables, nuts and seeds to get at least 2-3g of dietary fibre per snack.
5) Keep a supply of nutrient rich, ready to go meals in your freezer like the Lean Cuisine, calorie-controlled range which offer 1-2 vegetable serves to ensure that your nutrition is kept on track even when you are busy.