19 Jun4 Reasons you should include Fibre in your diet
June is bowel cancer awareness month! Which makes it a fabulous time to touch on fibre and the many ways this incredible nutrient is so important to your health.
There are 3 different types of fibre to include in your diet (soluble, insoluble and resistant). Below is a run-down on how they can help your health.
1. Fibre can help lower cholesterol and control your blood sugars
Soluble fibre dissolves in water to form a thick gel in your intestines, slowing down digestion. Foods containing this type of fibre can help stabilise blood glucose levels in people with diabetes and may help to lower LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol levels by collecting fatty deposits as it moves through the intestine.
By slowing down digestion, foods that are high in soluble fibre can help people feel fuller for longer after eating. Foods higher in soluble fibre include fruits and vegetables, dried beans, lentils and oats
2. Fibre can help reduce your risk of bowel cancer, constipation, diverticular disease, haemorrhoids
Insoluble fibre adds bulk, and helps to keep our bowels regular. A healthy, active bowel is important in reducing risk of bowel disease. Insoluble fibre is found in the hard, scratchy outer skins and surfaces of roots, grains and seeds which are not as easily digested. This type of fibre works like a ‘broom’ through the bowel. Foods higher in insoluble fibre include:
Whole grain breads and cereals
The outer skins of fruit and vegetables
Nuts and seeds
Raw lentils, kidney beans and chickpeas.
3. Fibre can help you lose weight
Did you know having a high fibre intake can help you manage or lose weight?
Fibre is a very filling nutrient, which provides lots of bulk to your meals and can help you reduce the energy content of your food without feeling hungry or deprived. High fibre foods digest more slowly, which can also help keep you feeling fuller for longer. Focus on basing your meals on vegetables (at least 1.5 cups per meal!) and including fruits, whole grains and vegetables wherever you can.
4. Fibre is essential for your gut health
Do you have issues with irritable bowel or food intolerance’s?
Your gut health is a delicate balance of bacteria and you can help to create a healthy environment for the favourable bacteria by consuming resistant starch.
While most starch is digested in the upper part of the gut, resistant starch resists digestion in the small intestine and so goes all the way to the large intestine. Once in the large intestine, it is fermented by friendly bacteria. This process produces substances (gases) that help to keep the lining of the bowel healthy and produce ‘food’ for your good bacteria. Resistant starch can be found in slightly under cooked pasta (‘al-dente’), under ripe bananas, and cooked and cooled potato
Bowel cancer is the second most common type of newly diagnosed cancer in Australia affecting both men and women almost equally and is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer after lung cancer. Early detection is key, as bowel cancer is one of the most curable types of cancer if found early. For more information on Bowel Cancer Awareness month visit https://www.letsbeatbowelcancer.com.au/events/bowel-cancer-awareness-month/
Louise Cato – Accredited Practising Dietitian