Fibre facts

By admin
18 January 2015

If you pay attention to having a healthy diet, you'll know fibre is essential. It's known to help prevent heart disease, diabetes and weight gain, plus it is an easy way to aid digestion.

Foods which are stuffed with fibre are often more satisfying because they help you feel full for longer too.

As if that's not enough, a new study of almost one million people has shown those with fibre-rich diets are less likely to die of any cause. That means if you increase your intake, it may lower your risk of passing away prematurely.

Researchers at the Shanghai Cancer Institute in China looked at data from 17 different studies, which all together involved almost one million people. The findings were published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, with the people separated into five groups depending on their diet.

It was discovered that those who ate the most each day were 16 per cent less likely to die than those in the group who ate the least. On top of this, eating ten grams more fibre a day saw a ten per cent drop in the risk of death from any cause.

At the moment people in the UK are advised to have at least 18g of fibre a day, with the NHS website warning most don't hit the mark. The results mean you should likely be trying to get even more than this, especially as raising your intake by ten grams can have such a drastic impact on your health. Ten grams of fibre isn't even that much in real terms - we're talking about a couple of servings of fruit or vegetables and some bran flakes.

Fibre is found in many different foods, and there are two types. Soluble fibre is thought to help with cholesterol and constipation and is found in things like fruit, root vegetables, oats, linseeds, barley and rye.

Insoluble fibre isn't digested, as the name suggests. It benefits the body as it works its way through the gut without being broken down, meaning it encourages other food to move too. It's this type which is good for the bowels and digestion and is found in wholemeal bread, nuts, seeds and bran.

To give you an idea of how to boost your fibre intake, half a tin of baked beans contains seven grams, a small skin-on jacket potato has three grams and a bowl of bran flakes four grams. Corn on the cob is also a great source, with 6.3g in one cob.

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