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Nutritional information – Fibre – Why is it important and where do I get it from

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Fibre is an important part of carbohydrate containing foods that has 2 major functions in the body.  Firstly, soluble fibre, contained in fruits such as apples, kiwi fruits and grains such as oats, has a massive role in reducing your body’s cholesterol, especially the “bad” LDL cholesterol.   The way it works is that when “bile” is released into the gut to break down fats during eating, the cholesterol contained within the bile is absorbed by the soluble fibre, stopping it from being absorbed back into the body.  The body is then forced to grab cholesterol from storage places in the body, which increases the number of good “HDL” cholesterols (which take cholesterol away from stores) and reduces the number of LDL cholesterols (which take cholesterol to the stores).

 

The second major function of insoluble fibre is to protect the large intestine and prevent bowel cancer.  It increases the speed of passage through the bowel.  The longer food remains in the bowel, the more it produces acid as it breaks down, which damages the cells of the bowel, which may eventually become cancerous.  Insoluble fibre reduces the risk of this happening.

 

For optimal health, men should eat 30g of fibre a day and women 25g a day, which means

 

Breakfast Males Females
4 Weet-bix – 6.42g 3 Weet-bix – 4.82
Raspberries 100g – 5.4g Raspberries 100g – 5.4g
Oat Bran 20g – 3.18 Oat Bran 20g – 3.18
Snack 2 Apples – 5.6g Apple – 2.8g
Lunch 2 slices of wholemeal bread – 4.7g 2 slices of wholemeal bread – 4.7g
Snack 4 apricots – 4.7g 4 apricots – 4.7g
Total Fibre 29.3g 24.9g

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