Food

High fibre foods to include in your healthy living and weight loss plan

Expert tips and a handy chart to boot!
According to a study published in January 2019, we should be eating at least 25-29g of fibre every day – and further health benefits could be reaped by consuming over 30g.
 
With the raft of benefits a fibre-rich diet can bring, Professor John Cummings, an author of the study, said: “We need to get this written in stone and part of people’s lives.”
 
However, he also noted that increasing dietary fibre may be a "big change" for some people and pose "quite a challenge".
 

 

20 high fibre foods

 

Fibre can be found in fruit and vegetables, some breakfast cereals, breads and pasta that use wholegrains, pulses such as beans, lentils and chickpeas, as well as nuts and seeds.

Check out the simple chart below to find out which foods are rich in fibre, then scroll down for quick and easy tips to add more fibre into your diet.

 

How to add more fibre to your diet

 

  • Choose a high-fibre breakfast like Weetabix, porridge oats or wholegrain toast
  • Swap white bread for wholemeal or granary breads
  • Eat more wholegrains, like whole wheat pasta and brown rice
  • Cook potatoes with their skins on, such as boiled new potatoes or baked potatoes
  • Add pulses like beans, chickpeas and lentils to curries and salads
  • Include plenty of vegetables in your diet
  • Enjoy unsalted nuts, vegetable sticks, oatcakes and fresh fruit for snacks or dessert

Robbie Clark, an accredited practising dietitian and co-founder of The Health Clinic, also advises sprinkling ground nuts and seeds onto meals and snacks, from soups and casseroles to your mid-morning yogurt.

RELATED: Your guide to nuts and seeds

Dr Helena Popovic recommends increasing water intake when adding more fibre to your diet. “Both soluble and insoluble fibre need water to help flush them through your system,” she says.

Try spreading your water intake across the day, rather than saving it all for mealtimes, as it can take more than 24 hours for fibre to make its way through your gut.

 

Getting your fibre fix: what NOT to do

 

Don’t eat too much highly processed food

“Highly processed foods will be depleted in fibre content,” Clark says.

Don’t juice your fruit and veg

“Juicing inhibits the amount of fibre you’re consuming because you’re not getting the pectin, the fibre of the skin on vegetables and fruit,” Clark says. “Eat whole fruit and vegetables instead.”

RELATED: Why do I have to count the SmartPoints in fruit juices and smoothies?

Don’t overload your body with fibre in one hit

“If you’re incorporating more fibre into your diet it’s important to do it gradually. A lot of people go from one extreme to another and that can cause gastrointestinal upset, a lot of gas and feelings of discomfort,” Clark warns.

Dr Popovic advises: “Do it slowly by just changing your breakfast for a couple of weeks at first. Then, after a few weeks, start to add more leafy green vegetables into your diet. They’re easy to add because they don’t bulk up your food too much, meaning you’re less likely to feel bloated.”