WHAT IS FIBRE?
Dietary fibre, also known as roughage, is found only in the cell walls of plants. Fibre is not broken down (digested) by the body, and passes through the body virtually intact. Because of this, fibre keeps the body healthy on the inside.
It is a type of carbohydrate which comes from plant foods only, such as fruit, vegetables, oatmeal, oat bran, wheat-bran, wholegrain cereals, wholewheat pasta, baked potatoes, wholemeal bread, peas, beans, lentils and brown rice. Fibre is NOT found in animal products.
WHY ARE HIGH FIBRE FOODS IMPORTANT?
A lot of scientific evidence clearly indicates that many diseases of the digestive tract (constipation, haemorrhoids) as well as problems such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers are associated with low fibre intakes.
SO WHAT ARE THE OVERALL BENEFITS OF EATING A HIGH FIBRE EATING PLAN?
A high fibre eating plan that contains a variety of unprocessed grain and cereal products (complex carbohydrates), fruit, vegetables and legumes (dry beans, split peas, lentils, soya) will help to:
- normalise bowel function and prevent constipation
- reduce blood cholesterol levels
- prevent diseases of the colon
- promote feelings of fullness and prevent overeating
- stabilise blood glucose levels and prevent cravings
SO HOW DO I FIT FIBRE INTO MY EATING PLAN?
Eating your full Weigh-Less formula makes it easy for you to consume enough fibre daily, in the form of fruit, salads, vegetables, wholewheat cereals and grains, and low-fat vegetable proteins (such as dry beans and lentils). Just look for the fibre symbol when planning your daily meals, and choose these foods.
If you have been eating a low fibre diet, it is advisable that you increase your fibre intake slowly and gradually and that you drink at least 8 glasses of water daily and other fluids daily. This will help you minimise any bloating, gas or cramping as your body adjusts to an increased fibre intake.
There are two types of fibre: water insoluble and water solubre. Each has different health benefits so both are needed in the diet. Most fibre rich food contain both types, but some food are better sources of one or the other.
Water-insoluble fibre is found in wheat bran, whole-wheat breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables eaten with the skin and brown rice.
Water-soluble fibre is found in legumes, oats, barley and rye. Fruits and vegetables also supply small amounts.
Soluble fibre slows the movement of food through the digestive tract, thereby slowing digestion. The end result is a slower absorbtion of food and a more even blood sugar response. Food with more soluble fibre have a satiety smart symbol because of this effect.
A high fibre diet helps food to move through the digestive tract and helps the body form a bulkier, soft stool. The movement of the stool through the intestive aids the contraction of intestine muscles, preventing constipation. It also decreases contact time of the colon wall and faecal matter; thereby protecting against colon cancer.
The Health Benefits of Fibre
Fibre protects us from life-threatening diseases
Fibre (roughage) basically soaks up all the toxins and poisons that lurk in your system and gets rid of them. It is the build-up of these waste matters that are dangerous to your system and can eventually cause aggravating problems such as constipation, piles, irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones and varicose veins. More serious conditions include heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer, bowel cancer and diabetes.
Fibre guarantees weight loss
Fibre is basically a carbohydrate, and as with all carbohydrates, they fill you up – without fattening you up. High-fibre foods such as a wholemeal bread and pasta, brown rice, fruit and vegetables, bran or wheat cereals are all low in fat and sugar.
Fibre controls your food cravings
A high-fibre diet releases a slower stream of glucose into your bloodstream – which means fewer hunger pangs and food cravings and a more constant energy level.
Fibre increases your energy levels
The build up of toxins can result in the system becoming sluggish, making you feel exhausted and drained. Fibre cleanses out these toxins from your body, leaving your system completely revitalized. Fibre also contains Vitamin B which is wonderful for boosting energy, and combatting depression and fatigue.
We don’t appreciate what fibre can do for us – until we realize what damage these toxins can do TO us!!!