Fi­bre: A Hid­den Gem

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Viewpoints -

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.

For a more de­tailed list­ing on foods con­tain­ing fi­bre please visit Di­eti­tians of Canada- Food Sources of Fi­bre

For more ideas on how to in­crease fi­bre in your diet check out healthyeat­ingstartshere.ca for fi­bre facts.

Melissa Chisholm is a Pub­lic Health Di­eti­tian at the Brooks Com­mu­nity Health Cen­tre. She can be reached by email at [email protected]

MELISSA CHISHOLM

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