High Fibre Food
By Dietitian Juliette Kellow BSc RD
Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and pulses are all good sources of fibre.
But with cereal-based foods such as breakfast cereals, pasta, rice and bread, the amount of fibre depends on how much of the outer layer of the grain has been stripped away in the milling and refining process.
The more processing a cereal has been through, the lower its fibre content will be.
Meanwhile, it’s not just fibre that’s lost during processing.
Many vitamins and minerals are also found in the outer layers of the grain, so when these are removed, these vitamins and minerals are also lost.
As a golden rule, always choose brown over white.
When it comes to shopping, this means bagels, croissants, cornflakes and white rice should stay on the shelf, while wholegrain bread, wholewheat pasta, branflakes and brown rice should go into the trolley.
What Foods are High Fibre?
The following foods are all good sources of dietary fibre…
- Wholemeal, granary and softgrain varieties of bread
- Jacket potatoes, new potatoes in their skins and baked potato skins
- Wholegrain breakfast cereals, eg. Weetabix, branflakes, unsweetened muesli, Shreddies and porridge oats
- Wholemeal pasta and brown rice
- Beans, lentils and peas
- Fresh and dried fruits – particularly if the skins are eaten
- Vegetables – particularly if the skins are eaten
- Nuts and seeds
- Wholemeal flour
How about adding bran to my breakfast cereal?
Bran is a rich source of fibre, but there are far more pleasurable and healthy ways to boost fibre intakes!
Not only is raw bran quite unpalatable but it doesn’t provide the other nutrients found in fibre-rich foods such as wholemeal bread and wholegrain cereals.
Plus it can reduce the absorption of certain nutrients such as iron, calcium and zinc. For this reason, it’s no longer recommended that you sprinkle raw bran onto breakfast cereal.
Is there a simple way to tell if a food is a good source of fibre?
Looking at food labels is one of the easiest ways to identify whether or not a food contains a little or a lot of fibre.
The Food Standards Agency recommends that any product claiming to be a ‘source’ of fibre should contain 3g fibre per 100g or at least 3g of fibre in the amount that could reasonably be expected to be eaten in one day.
To claim that a food is 'high' in fibre, the product must contain at least 6g per 100g or at least 6g in the amount that could be expected to be eaten each day.
Is High Fibre Food Good for Weight Loss?
Going high fibre is an excellent way to lose weight. Most fibre rich foods are fairly low in calories, except for nuts.
High fibre food also fills you up, making it easier to be satisfied on fewer calories. My High Fibre Diets Review will help you decide if this way of eating could help you lose weight.
Also important to consider is the health benefits of eating high fibre. It's almost impossible to eat a load of sugary, or processed food when you're chasing a high fibre target!
If you fancy giving high fibre a go, our 7 day high fibre diet plan is a good starting point.
A high fibre diet can help you keep hunger at bay whilst you're watching the calories. Using the food diary and databases in WLR will help you stay within the number of calories you need to lose weight at the rate you choose. You can try them free for 24 hours.