Is there a good fibre connection in your area?


FIBRE

Is there a good fibre connection in your (intestinal) area? Just as your computer doesn’t function half as well without fibre, well neither do you. In fact your “down-load” speeds (how often you poop –see what I did there?) are a key indicator for health. The more often and easier you poop, chances are, the healthier you are.

In my last tweak I spoke about our unnecessary and perhaps unhealthy obsession with protein.

Look, when it comes to making recommendations to people around what foods to consume, I think it’s part of my responsibility as a qualified Nutritional Therapist to steer people towards what they’re not getting enough of and away from what they might be getting too much of. Hence, I find it odd that so many ‘qualified’ people still obsess around protein and yet don’t emphasize the one hugely important nutrient group that we aren’t eating enough of.

FIBRE (food, not optic cables)

Fibre for a healthy diet

While we may be eating 2-3 times more protein than we need, according to the North / South Ireland Food Consumption Survey 2001, 75% of Irish people do not make the minimum daily requirement for fibre. And, in truth, the bar for fibre intake is set pretty low. Current recommendations are for between 20-30g fibre per day for the average adult. However, scientists studying the fecal samples of our Paleolithic ancestors estimate that back then, we were consuming around 100g fibre per day – from whole foods sources such as roots, leaves, fruits and nuts.

What could eating 100g fibre daily do for us? Well, for starters one study showed a 33% drop in bad cholesterol in just 2 weeks. Fibre is also crucial for prevention of constipation, diverticulitis and colon cancer. Dietary fibre feeds our good gut bacteria, helps us to crowd out the bad guys, improves our immune system, detoxifies the colon and improves blood sugar balance – particularly important for diabetics. Fibre also helps us feel full. It provides bulk that activates stretch-receptors in our stomachs, telling us when we’re full and to stop eating. Fibre also provides a “second meal” effect when it reaches our colon and all the good bacteria there start to break it down and create more nutrients that we subsequently absorb. In this way fibre consumption is crucial to anyone with long-term weight loss goals.

Are you eating enough fibre? Check the table below that I posted last week to demonstrate that even a vegan diet provides adequate protein consumption. Look at the fibre column and you’ll see that whole plant foods are an abundant and best source of fibre.

This weeks’ tweak then is to ask yourself this; Am I meeting my daily fibre requirements?

P.S. Please don’t eat any cables

FOOD

Weight in grams

Protein in grams

Calories

Fibre in grams

Bowl porridge

150

2.1

75

16

Teaspoon flaxseeds

5-6

1

27

1.3

Half tin chickpeas

120

11

153

10

1 sweet potato

300

5

258

9

Handful almonds

30

12.6

173

3.6

Brown rice

100

2.6

111

1.8

1 banana

100

1.1

89

2.6

Half an avocado

110

2

160

8

Peas

100

1

81

5

Mushrooms

200

7.2

44

2

Sweet corn

200

6.6

172

5.2

Cooked spinach

180

5.3

40

4.3

Broccoli

150

4.2

51

3.9

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

1746g

61.7

1434

57.45


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