Not all fibre is created equally: each kind ‘performs’ a different function.

November 27, 2013 by  
Filed under Nutrition Tips

Did you know there are actually two kinds of fibre?

Well, there is; soluble and insoluble (sometimes referred to as ‘viscous’ or ‘non-viscous’).

Soluble fibre is the kind of fibre that absorbs water and swells forming a gel.  This gel like substance slows down the rate at which foods empty out of your stomach into your small intestine, slowing down the rate of digestion and absorption.  This means you’re going to feel fuller longer, your food is going to last longer and you’re not going to experience such extreme ups and downs in your energy levels (you know the one…the 3pm ‘crash’). It also helps eliminate excess dietary cholesterol which is good news to those of you who have high cholesterol levels.

Soluble fibre is predominately found in oats, oat bran and barely. Other sources of soluble fibre include psyllium, inulin (chicory root) and chia seed (see our chia puddin recipe in the recipes section). So how do you increase your soluble fibre intake? Try these soluble fibre adding tips:

1.       Have oat bran for breakfast (try Rogers oat bran – it’s packs only 100 calories per serving and 6g of fibre) or replace ½ the flour in your muffin or loaf recipe with oat bran

2.       Try All Bran Buds with psyllium mixed with yogurt for a snack

3.       Try making chia pudding for an after dinner snack

4.       Use cooked barley instead of rice with stir-fry’s or curries

The other type of fibre is insoluble fibre.  This is typically what we think of as the ‘roughage’.  Insoluble fibre helps keep us regular and keeps our bowels in good health.  Insoluble fibre is predominately found in products made with wheat and wheat bran. Try these tips for increasing your insoluble fibre:

1.       Aim for at least 4g fibre in 1 slice of bread – we personally recommend Silver Hills ‘Squirrely’ bread or try Healthy Way bread in the red bag

2.       Use whole wheat pasta

3.       Try All Bran breakfast cereals (we like Honey Nut All Bran and Strawberry Medley All Bran)

Fruits and vegetables as well as beans and lentils also contain fibre.  The fibre in these foods tends to be a mixture of both soluble and insoluble fibres so eating lots of fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils is a great way to keep you regular and full of energy!