By Donna Aston
I realise I may sound like your mother right now … and I promise I’m not going to start discussing bowel movements … but after reading this blog you may find that, like many, you’re not getting enough fibre in your diet. While this may sound a little ho-hum, I find most people’s ears prick up when I mention the fact that increasing your fibre intake can help you to shed body fat!
While we all know about having fibre to ‘keep you regular’, many don’t realise the important role it plays in fat loss, satiety, heart health, reducing your risk of certain cancers, your immune system, IBS, inflammation, blood sugar regulation and production of healthy gut flora.
New research shows dietary fibre can cause a shift in the gut towards more beneficial bacteria which may have the potential to assist in weight loss, while also reducing the risk of colon cancer, type 2 diabetes and other diseases.
In a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was noted that those individuals who had more bacteroidetes (good gut bacteria) tended to be leaner.
Obesity is an ever growing epidemic in the developed world and constant research is emerging looking at a diverse range of actions that may assist in a greater understanding of this problem. It should also be noted that sugars and refined carbohydrates are a major culprit in upsetting the balance of gut flora.
Women require a minimum of 25 grams of fibre per day, whilst men require more than 30 grams.
This means that in a diet consisting of three meals a day would need approximately 8-10 grams in each meal. When you see the chart below, you will appreciate how much plant food you need to consume to come anywhere near this quota. Some foods you may think are good sources are often not the best. As you’ll see below, plenty of colourful, fresh plant foods are some of the best choices available. Try challenging yourself by keeping a food diary over the next seven days to see how you rate your own fibre intake. Increasing to 8-10 grams per meal will not only benefit your overall health…it may help you to shift a few pesky kilos of body fat!
|Rolled Oats, 50g||4|
|The Muesli, 50g||4.7|
|Sanitarium Corn Flakes, 30g||1|
|Kellog's Special K, 30g||1|
|White, 1 slice, 25g||0.6|
|Wholemeal, 1 slice, 30g||1.8|
|Multi-grain, 1 slice, 30g||1.4|
|Nuts and Seeds|
|Almonds, raw, 30g||4.3|
|Cashews, raw, 30g||2.5|
|Sunflower seeds, 30g||3.3|
|Psyllium husks, 1 tbsp||4|
|Apple, large, with skin||6|
|Avocado, 1/2 medium||2|
|Kiwi Fruit, medium||3.5|
|Blackberries, raspberries, 100g||7.5|
|Asparagus, 5 spears||1.5|
|Broccoli, 1 cup||8|
|Beans, green, 1 cup||3.6|
|Carrot, 1 medium||4.2|
|Cauliflower, 1 cup||4|
|Spinach, 1 cup||3.4|
|Mixed vegetables (frozen), 1 cup||6|
About Donna Aston
Donna is a health and fitness expert with numerous qualifications to her name. She is a nutritionist, certified fitness trainer and author of six best-selling books. Donna has emerged as one of our countries most sought after health and fitness experts, with guest appearances on numerous Australian lifestyle television shows, as well as being the fitness expert and contributor for Prevention Magazine Australia and SEN breakfast radio in Melbourne.