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As we already know, fibre is an essential and vital part of a healthy diet. Why is it then, that most of us are only still getting less than half of the recommended daily amount?

A healthy adult needs 21-38 grams of fibre daily, yet a recent study shows that the average daily Canadian intake is 14 grams.

Fibre is a carbohydrate found in plants and passes through the body undigested. This means it adds zero calories – a welcome bonus especially for those trying to manage or lose weight, as well as in preventing future weight gain and obesity.

Fibre can be soluble or insoluble. Soluble fibre is a softer fibre that helps control blood sugar and lower cholesterol. Insoluble fibre is also called “roughage” and is bulky – this is the type of fibre that helps with bowel problems and is linked with lowering cancer risk. It is important to drink plenty of fluids when consuming high-fibre foods in order to avoid bloating and to help the digestive system work better.

Fibre tips:

•   Start your day with a fibre-rich cereal such as oat-bran, bran flakes or oatmeal. Top up your cereal with a scoop of raisins, a sliced banana or some orange sections.

•   Choose whole-grain breads as often as possible.

•   Boost your salads with high fibre such as carrots, apples, broccoli, chick peas, garbanzo beans and kidney beans.

•   Add green peas to stir-fry meals, casseroles, soups, rice or noodles – they are stacked with fibre.

•   Include more beans and legumes in your diet. Try lentil soups or curry, or lima beans for supper.

•   For a sweet tooth indulge in lower fat oatmeal cookies, or raisin cookies or fig bars which contain very little fat.

Members, How do you make sure you eat enough fibre?

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