Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that is found in plant foods. It is an important nutrient with many health benefits. Eating a healthy diet with fibre helps to:
If you think adding fibre to your diet means gnawing on cardboard, think again! We've put together 10 easy ways to help you increase your fibre intake while adding flavour and variety to your diet.
Plant foods provide two types of fibre: soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Some soluble fibres can help lower cholesterol. Insoluble fibres can help promote regularity. Both types can increase the feeling of fullness. Psyllium, oats, barley, apples and pears are sources of soluble fibre. Wheat bran, whole grains, vegetables and fruit provide insoluble fibre. Some foods provide both types of fibre.
Many whole grain foods are a source of dietary fibre. Unlike refined carbohydrates (think white bread), whole grains retain the kernel's fibre-rich outer shell, known as bran. To identify whole grains, look for these ingredients on labels: whole wheat, hard red winter wheat, barley, triticale, oats, rye, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, and bulgur. When looking for fibre-rich whole grains, not all whole grains are made the same. Read the Nutrition Facts table to identify the fibre content for whole grains. Find 5 Easy Ways to Eat More Whole Grains.
Breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day and it's a great opportunity get some fibre. Choose breakfast cereals with at least 4 grams of fibre per serving, opt for whole wheat toast and include a handful of fibre-rich berries. Get Breakfast Ideas to Jump Start Your Day.
Pack fibre-rich snacks. Some great options include whole grain crackers, granola bars, homemade trail mix (like this Super Trail Mix Recipe, mixed nuts, and dried figs or apricots. Popcorn—a whole grain—is another high-fibre snack. Learn more about Snacking Smart On the Run.
Whether added to cereal, eaten as a snack, or enjoyed as a simple dessert, fresh fruit is a sweet way to add fibre to your diet. Include a variety of fruits like apples, berries, prunes, pears and oranges.
Legumes like beans, peas, and lentils — are high sources of fibre. Add one serving to your day by incorporating legumes into salads, soups, and casseroles, or puree them to make a delicious dip.
Take your taste buds on an adventure and add fibre to your diet by dining on Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean fare. Tasty options include black bean burritos, hummus, tabbouleh, bean salads, and whole wheat couscous.
Pump up the fibre content of your own baked goods by using whole wheat flour in place of all purpose white flour in recipes, adding oatmeal to cookies, or loading homemade muffins with raisins, berries, or bananas. Try Kashi* Zucchini Nutmeg Muffins, Kashi* High Fibre Muffins Recipe, or Kashi* Blackberry Bars to get started.
Most Canadians eat less than the recommended 25 to 38 grams of fibre per day. Yet making rapid changes to your diet is not advised. Increase fibre gradually to allow your gastrointestinal tract time to adjust.
Drink plenty of fluids, including water, each day. With a little creativity, some pre-planning, and a few new additions to your grocery list, you'll be well on your way to meeting your daily fibre requirements with wholesome, delicious foods. Just be sure not to overwhelm yourself with too many changes at once. Pick one or two ideas to try each week and stick with those that work best for you and your family.