Saturday, 28 January 2012

Dietary Fibre

Recently I wrote a blog discussing carbohydrates, and this post will address dietary fibre. Fibre has a major role with the body but often people lack knowledge of what it actually does.

The main function of fibre is to keep the digestive system healthy. Essentially, fibre speeds up the excretion of waste product and toxins from our body in order to prevent diseases building up. If there is not enough fibre present in our diet can cause irregularities in the bowel as well as discomforts with the stomach. Around 18g of fibre is an acceptable amount each day, however up to 35g is recommended. We must ensure that higher levels of fibre consumed is matched with higher consumption of water, as fibre absorbs water from our body.

Dietary Fibre and Weight Loss

There are a number of benefits to eating fibre when look at weight control. Firstly, foods that are high in fibre are generally low in fat and calories, and therefore we are less likely to put on weight. However, there are two key points that make eating fibre essential for weight control. Fibre slows down digestion, which leaves us feeling full for longer, so we remain satisfied for longer after a meal meaning we are less likely to eat extra calories that we do not need. Fibre also helps us to fill up quicker, so we are less likely to over eat and gain weight and fat.

Not All Good

Of course, while too little fibre is bad for us, too much fibre can be just as bad. Too much fibre can lead to problems such as dehydration or internal discomfort. A major potential problem of consuming too much fibre is that it can lead to the body not absorbing fewer minerals, especially zinc, iron, magnesium and calcium.

So, it is important that we get enough fibre in our bodies everyday but we do need to be aware of how much and ensure we do not go too far. There are many foods that we probably should be eating anyway that will help us meet our fibre requirements, things such as vegetables, wholemeal foods and whole grains.


  1. I have some oats and a protein fiber shake every day, gets me sorted!

  2. Good advice. Fibre is important in a healthy diet, and as you say, in its proper quantity as all in this life.