AHS:eat fibre-rich foods to lower risk of health issues
Fibre is an important part of the diet in preventing disease and maintaining good health.
You could say it’s the best bang for your buck when considering all the benefits it has for your body. Sadly, most Canadians don’t even come close to eating the recommended amount each day. An average adults requires anywhere from 25-38 grams of fibre each day.
Eating fibre-rich foods has been linked to lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer. When consumed with enough fluids it also can help with constipation and keep you regular.
Fibre can help to lower cholesterol, high blood pressure and control blood sugar levels. Lastly, consuming fibre-rich foods can make you feel full for longer which is helpful in managing weight and appetite.
In order to eat enough fibre a person should eat a variety of foods from Canada’s Food Guide. This includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. When adding fibre into the diet it is important to add it slowly and drink lots of fluids. The fluids will help the fibre to work better and prevent those feelings of gas and bloating.
Adding more fibre into your diet can be easy. Foods which are high in fibre are ones that contain four grams or more per serving. Read the nutrition labels on the back of food packages. Make small changes to what you are already eating during the day to increase your fibre. For example:
Eat a cereal with a higher fibre amount per serving
Have a vegetable or fruit with every meal and snack
Add bran or ground flax seed to your yogurt
Leave the peelings on your fruits and vegetables when you eat and cook them. (The peeling is where a lot of the fibre is.)
Add bran buds to your soups and sauces. It dissolves so you won’t even know it’s there!
Replace at least half of the white flour with whole wheat flour in your recipes.
Switch out the white bread for a whole grain bread
Add beans, lentil and/or legumes to soups, sauces and casserole dishes.
Melissa Chisholm is a Public Health Dietitian at the Brooks Community Health Centre. She can be reached by e-