What is Dietary Fiber?
Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods that our bodies need for optimal digestion.
- Soluble – Commonly found in fruit, oats, barley and legumes.
- Insoluble – Commonly found in wheat bran, corn bran, wholegrain breads and cereals as well as vegetables.
- Contributes to feelings of fullness, decreases appetite and reduces cravings
- Slows the absorption of carbohydrates, which can reduce your blood sugar level
- Helps to lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides
- Facilitates the movement of food through the digestive tract, thus detoxifying the body
A recent article titled “The Fiber Gap and the Disappearing Gut Microbiome: Implications for Human Nutrition” (Deehan, E. C., & Walter, J., 2016) has reported the alarming impact of the modern diet, specifically the low fiber aspect, on gut microbes.
- Immune-mediated pathologies related to”chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, allergies, other atopic diseases (including asthma), autism, and autoimmune diseases have all been linked to disrupted gut micro flora in animal studies.
- Disruptions to the establishment of the gut microbiota early in life (such as caesarean sections, antibiotics, formula feeding), and pathologies are often associated with an abnormal micro flora.
- Low fiber intake is a key driver in depleting gut microbe populations, as these indigestible dietary carbohydrates
- A low-fiber diet provides insufficient nutrients for the gut microbes, leading to the reduction in particular and a reduction in the production of fermentation end products that have
- Moving African Americans to a traditional South African diet with a daily dose of 55 g of dietary fiber was efficient to improve markers of colon cancer within 2 weeks.
- Despite virtually all nutritional organizations encouraging consumption of dietary fiber the average fiber intake remains low
So how much do I need ?
Research has revealed that a daily intake of 30g of fibre is the minimum that we should be consuming, to feed our healthy gut bacteria, and prevent as many long term diseases as possible.
What does 30g of fibre look like?
Take the last day or so, and calculate how much fibre you had
How close did you get?
How can you improve that amount for today and tomorrow?
Deehan, E. C., & Walter, J. (2016). The Fiber Gap and the Disappearing Gut Microbiome: Implications for Human Nutrition. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, 27(5), 239–242. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.tem.2016.03.001