High fibre eating

Appetite for Life

High fibre eating

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What is fibre and why is it important?

  • Fibre is found in plants. We eat fibre whenever we eat fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains.
  • Fibre helps keep your bowels regular.
  • Eating more fibre is healthy for almost everyone. It can help with managing diabetes, heart disease and constipation.
  • If you are trying to eat more high fibre foods, add it to your diet slowly to allow your gut time to adjust.

Which foods should I choose?

Food group

Foods to choose

Grain (cereal) foods

  • Wholemeal, grain, rye or fruit breads.
  • High fibre white bread.
  • Baked items (such as scones, cakes and biscuits) made with wholemeal flour, dried fruit or bran.
  • Breakfast cereals – choose any of the below options
    • wholegrain, bran or wheat-based cereals
    • with added fruit, nuts and coconut
    • oats or oat bran
    • cereals with at least 4g of dietary fibre per 100 grams are a good source of fibre
    • cereals with at least 7g of dietary fibre per 100 grams are an excellent source of fibre.

Vegetables

  • Wash vegetables instead of peeling them where possible.
    • vegetable skins have lots of fibre
    • some vegetables cook well with their skins on, such as potatoes and carrots.

Fruit

  • All fresh or tinned fruit.
  • Dried fruit.
  • Eat fruit instead of drinking juice (juice has very little fibre).
  • Wash fruit and leave the skins on where possible (for example, apples and pears).

Milk, yoghurt, cheese

  • Choose yoghurt that has added fruit, nuts or coconut (or add your own).
  • Have a fruit smoothie by blending yoghurt, milk and fruit together.

Lean meat and meat alternatives

  • Peanut butter.
  • Nuts or seeds.
  • Legumes and Lentils
    • when baking casseroles or stews, replace some of the meat with legumes (for example kidney beans or chickpeas).

Drink plenty of fluid each day

  • Water will make your bowel motions softer. Increasing fibre without increasing water can make constipation worse.
  • Aim for at least eight glasses of fluid each day.
  • Drink often, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Water is best but other fluids include milk, tea, coffee, soup and juice.

This general advice was accurate at the time of publication (June 2020). For more information about nutrition and your individual needs, see your GP or an Accredited Practising Dietitian.