Posted on April 23 2022
When we follow a diet, we primarily look into the nutritional value of protein and vitamins but often ignore the importance of dietary fibre.
But what is dietary fibre?
Dietary fibre is the extracts or edible part of plants that is resistant to digestion and absorption. It is however, completely or partial fermentation in the large intestine.
A lot of people don’t know this, but fibre does not get converted to body fat, unlike fats, non- fibrous carbs and even proteins. Fibre also accounts for 1/2 the calories as proteins. Instead, it fills you up, triggering the satiety (I feel full) hormone and ensures you eat less.
Studies have linked a high fibre diet to lower waist circumference, reduced risk of heart diseases and even better gut health. Fibrous diet also helps with diabetes management. Watch this:
Fibres classify into two types: Soluble and Insoluble fibre.
Soluble fibre disintegrates in water and forms a gel-like material. This kind of fibre lowers blood cholesterol and glucose levels. It exists in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.
On the other hand, insoluble fibre promotes better bowel movement. This fibre is beneficial to individuals suffering from constipation and irregular bowel. Such fibres exist in whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans, and vegetables like cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes.
The quantity of soluble and insoluble fibre varies in different plant-based foods. Most foods are a combination of soluble and insoluble fibre.
Are you getting enough fibre?
It is a fact that only one out of 20 people gets enough fibre. So statistically, 95% of the population is not getting adequate fibre.
The recommended daily intake of fibre set is a bare minimum required for optimal function. The recommended amount is 14 grams of fibre per 1000 kilocalories per day.
As per Harvard University research study, on average American adults eat 10 to 15 grams of total fibre per day. However, that’s not the case as individuals are substantially consuming more than a thousand kilocalories per day.
Therefore, the USDA recommends the daily amount for adults up to age 50 be 25 grams quantity for women and 38 grams quantity for men. And women and men older than 50 should have 21 and 30 grams daily, respectively. Once again, the recommended intake is still the minimum for maintaining health. Ideally, you want to aim to get anywhere upwards of 50 grams per day. Here is an helpful list:
How is fibre linked to gut health?
All humans have a gut microbiomes, which play a critical role in digestion in the immune system, metabolism and hormones, mood, brain health, and how humans express the genetic code. So if your gut health is good, your physical and mental health improves.
Dr Will Bulsiewicz, the author of the best-selling book “Fiber fuel”, explained that microbes are essential to human health, and these microbes feed on fibre to function.
In acknowledging what kind of food should be consumed to have abundant fibre in our body, Dr Will Bulsiewicz stated that vegetables and fruits are excellent sources of fibre. And it is best to stop counting grams of fibre but start counting plants.
If you start emphasising on including more plants into your meals, you will eventually consume more fibres. Dr. Bulsiewicz suggests you eat a minimum of 50 different types of plants per week.
Foods made from refined flour significantly is low in fibre and may not be beneficial to your health. So, when you evaluate the ingredient list, make sure “Whole” is the first ingredient.
Also, it is best to take vegetables, fruit, beans, and different types of nuts and seeds to gain optimal gram of fibres for a healthier gut.
Trust this helps,