Spotlight on… high fibre diets

“Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is found in plant foods. It is an important nutrient with many health benefits. Eating enough fiber is important for helping to prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Research also suggests that consuming fiber-rich foods might boost weight loss by helping you to feel fuller after you eat. But most of us eat only about half as much fiber as we should.”

Spotlight on... high fibre diets

Including enough fibre in our diets is primarily essential for healthy bowel function, but studies have also found that getting your recommended daily allowance (RDA) can reduce the risks of certain health issues such as cancers, coronary heart disease and obesity.

The RDA of fibre is between 18g and 30g a day, depending on your age and gender. Foods that contain 6g fibre or more per 100g are considered to be high fibre foods, while those containing at least 3g of fibre or more per 100g are considered to be a source of fibre.

…The father of the fibre hypothesis: Dr Denis Burkitt

Warm roasted squash and Puy lentil salad Dr Denis Burkitt was the first researcher to connect a high fibre diet with better health. Studying rural communities in Africa, he noticed that eating a traditional diet resulted in healthier stools and bowel movements in contrast to those living in cities and consuming a western diet. Those eating local produce had extremely low incidences of diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diverticular disease, colon cancer or heart disease compared to those consuming a Western diet. After looking at many factors, Dr Burkitt concluded the high amount of fibre in traditional diets was necessary for maintaining good health.

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