“Eating more fibre.” A good intention. Especially since research by the Maag Lever Bowel Foundation shows that more than 75% of people do not achieve the recommended amount of fibre per day. When entering into a fibre-rich diet, however, there are sometimes some challenges – you can safely call them ‘pitfalls’ – lurking. Together with the dietitians from I’m a Foodie, we have therefore collected these five handy tips on healthy fibre rich foods that will help you on your way!
Tip 1: ignore ‘processed’ products and choose whole-grain!
Do you know where fibres are exactly? Vegetables, fruit, potatoes, nuts and legumes contain a lot of dietary fibre per serving. Legumes include kidney beans, kidney beans, capuchins, chickpeas and lentils. The more you eat (daily) of these products, the greater the chance that you will get enough fibre.
Eating fruit, instead of making it into a smoothie or fruit juice. But although fruit is a good source of fibre, fruit juice or smoothies are much less. For example, an orange contains almost 3 grams of fibre, while a glass of fresh orange juice contains fibre. So make sure you eat as many unprocessed or minimally processed products as possible.
Whole grain bread is also an excellent source of fibre. One slice provides a thick 2 grams of dietary fibre. Rye bread, muesli and oatmeal are also excellent fibre sources. All “white” products such as white bread, regular pasta, wraps and white rice and couscous contain hardly any fibre. So always choose the whole-grain version.
Tip 2: don’t be fooled by the packaging
Some products appear to be high in fibre and a healthy choice while they are not. Multigrain products are a good example of this. The label “multigrain” may appear on the labels, provided that there are several types of grain in the product. So these do not have to be whole grains. So carefully check the ingredient list on the label. Are mainly whole grains processed in the multigrain product? Then it is a fibre-rich choice!
Tip 3: eat enough carbohydrate-rich products
You hear from many people that they eat low carbohydrate. Yet most (unprocessed) carbohydrate-rich products are a healthy choice and contain a lot of fibre. Think of vegetables, fruit, potatoes, legumes and whole-grain bread. For example, if you do not eat bread, potatoes, pasta, or rice, important sources of fibre are lost from your diet. You do not only solve this by eating more vegetables. Not all fibres are the same; they each have their own effects on your digestion. Some fibres ensure that the stools remain flexible; and others that the stools go through the intestines faster, which means less blockage occurs. The more variation in all fibre-rich products, the better the intestine can function. Eating fewer carbohydrates is also a good idea when it comes to products such as sweets, chips, snacks, ice cream and soft drinks. But for your health, it is not necessary to remove carbohydrate-rich products such as potatoes, bread and legumes. In fact; these products are important sources of fibre!
Tip 4: do you want to lose weight? Then continue to eat fibre-rich!
If you eat less to lose weight, the chances are that you will also get less fibre. Make sure that you do not leave fibre-rich products, but scrape the low-fibre products such as snacks, sweets and soft drinks. Fibre-rich products saturate well. So, for example, do not replace a whole-grain sandwich with a rice cake. Although there are fewer calories in a rice cake than in a whole-grain sandwich, you will find that you quickly feel hungry after eating that rice cake. And if you doubt whether you will get enough fibre, you can always add extra vegetables to your meals. Vegetables contain hardly any calories and do contain a lot of fiber! Take a tomato for lunch and some radishes or carrots as a snack.
Tip 5: do it step by step; gradually increase your fibre intake
A change in your eating habits can lead to stomach or bowel complaints. Certainly, if you are not used to eating fibre-rich products and suddenly put mainly fibre-rich products on the menu. Your intestines can start to rumble, and your stool pattern will also change. Gradually increase your fibre intake. Tips for this can be found in the article “Step by step, eating more fibre”. And very important: drink more! Preferably water, of course. Fibre needs moisture to function properly and to prevent intestinal complaints.