HARD (INSOLUBLE FIBRE)
Found in grains and vegetables. e.g., wheat bran, cellulose in wheat, lignin in fibrous vegetables and vegetable skins, barley, nuts and seeds
Not broken down by digestive enzymes (amylase)
Insoluble fibres attract water; they speed up passage of food through intestine, helping to prevent constipation.
Sits in stomach & delays emptying —> satiety
Sits in small intestine & slows absorption of glucose
- provides physical barrier
- passes into colon where bacteria help to ferment/break-down releasing gas and fatty acids
Most fibre remains undigested and is eliminated (faeces).
Assists in prevention of Bowel Cancer
SOFT (SOLUBLE FIBRE)
Found in fruits and vegetables e.g. fruit pectin, oat bran, juice with pulp legumes.
Viscous and can be digested by intestinal bacteria; this process is also known as ‘fermentability’.
Soluble fibres absorb water and form gels; soften stool & delay absorption of glucose and slow down passage of food through intestine. Also good for heart health (reduce LDL).
How much fibre do we need?
Researchers at the University of Otago, in New Zealand, and the University of Dundee say people should be eating a minimum of 25g of fibre per day, but recommend more than 30grams
How much fibre does each food item provide?
A banana weighing around 120g provides approximately 3 grams of fibre, after excluding all the other constituents – waters, sugars, starches etc It’s important to read nutritional labels and determine how much fibre is in each food and each serving.
Where to find Fibre
- Potatoes with the skin on,
- Wholemeal Bread, Wholemeal Pasta, and Brown or Basmati rice.
- High-fibre breakfast cereals such as Porridge Oats
- Beans or Lentils in a curry or over a salad
- Nuts or fresh fruit (with skin on for as many fruits as possible) for snacks or dessert
- Consuming at least five portions of fruit or minimally cooked vegetables each day