According to national statistics our daily fibre intake is startlingly low, with most of us eating 18g under the recommended 30g a day. To help us try and keep our fibre consumption up, we've got some ideas from the experts on how best to work it into our diets.
- Make sure you drink enough fluid (8 cups per day) such as water, unsweetened tea, coffee, fruit teas to help fibre function efficiently in your body.
- Change to wholemeal flour or a higher fibre flour like Buckwheat in cooking or use half and half with white flour. Add oats, dried fruit and nuts to crumble topping.
- Choose foods that are naturally high in fibre, e.g. fruit (fresh, canned in juice, frozen, dried), vegetables (fresh, canned in water, frozen, dried), wholegrain cereals and include them at all meal times and as snacks.
- Choose wholemeal, wholegrain or granary bread rather than white. If you have given it a fair try but cannot change, compromise by using 50/50 or high fibre white bread which has added fibre and vitamins.
- Choose wholegrain/brown varieties of rice and pasta and cook and eat potatoes with their skins on.
- Add beans and pulses like lentils to soups, stews, curries, shepherd’s pie and casseroles. It will mean you need to use less meat. (Always follow the correct cooking instructions for dried beans, which must be cooked before adding to the dish.)
- Start the day with breakfast. Choose a wholegrain breakfast cereal such as Weetabix, which has 3.8 g fibre in every serving, or Alpen cereal.
- For a cooked breakfast choose baked beans on wholegrain toast, mushrooms, tomatoes.
- Add fruit, nuts and seeds to wholegrain breakfast cereal, porridge, lower fat, unsweetened yoghurts.
- Choose fruit, vegetables like carrot/celery/pepper/cucumber sticks, wholegrain crackers or oatcakes, plain popcorn or a handful of unsalted nuts or seeds for snacks.
- Add vegetables to pasta sauces, rice dishes and pizzas.
For a monthly meal plan that gives you more ideas on how to include more fibre in your meals, head to the Weetabix site.
If you would like some more top tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle, then pick up this weeks Yours issue, which includes advice and news on simlar health issues.