Fibre-rich foods are more filling. Because the body doesn't absorb fibre, they're often also fairly low in calories. Coupled with the fact that fibre helps to control blood glucose and cholesterol levels, it makes sense to increase your intake. Here’s how:
1. Don’t skimp on breakfast
A product with 6 g of fibre per serving is a good choice, though remember to check the fat and sugar content too.
Muesli and porridge are good choices, as they contain lots of soluble fibre. Eat whole-grain bread instead of white bread and add chopped raw fruit to your cereal.
2. Eat the skins
Scrub and eat the edible skins on fruits and vegetables rather than removing the peel.
You lose about one-third of the fibre when you remove the skin from a potato. The seeds in berries, kiwifruit and figs also supply valuable fibre.
3. Try more beans and lentils
Beans and lentils are a great source of fibre. Add beans to a salad, or fill a soft tortilla wrap with heated beans.
Canned baked beans contain sugar, but are a good source of soluble fibre, so there’s no need to opt for sugar-free varieties unless necessary.
4. Add vegetables
Vegetables such as carrots and celery are good sources of fibre.
Add them to casseroles, soups, salads, sandwiches and pasta dishes. Fresh, frozen, or even canned—all are good.
5. Choose high-fibre snacks
Boost your daily fibre intake by choosing fruit instead of juice, popcorn instead of chips or crisps, fruit loaf instead of sponge cake.
Nibble on dried fruit, nuts and seeds, or even some raw vegetable sticks. It all adds towards your 30 grams-a-day target.
6. Switch from white to grainy bread
Buy wholegrain rather than wholemeal (whole-wheat) or white when choosing bread.
Always check the labels because some so-called brown breads are actually not much higher in fibre than white bread. They get their brown look from colouring or molasses.
7. Increase your fluid intake
When you eat more fibre, you need to make sure you are drinking sufficient amounts of fluid. Much of the benefit of fibre comes only when it absorbs plenty of water much like a sponge does.
Without enough fluid, a high fibre intake can cause constipation.