It’s fibre’s turn!

By Judy Buttriss

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

Judy Buttriss, director general, British Nutrition Foundation
Judy Buttriss, director general, British Nutrition Foundation
With the prospect of fibre recommendations rising to 30g a day for adults from 24g a day, how can diets be adjusted to bring average intakes up from the current 18g a day?

Despite the evidence to underpin the importance to health of dietary fibre strengthening considerably and broadened beyond bowel health to include heart health and diabetes, fibre has a long way to go to challenge the profile established for sugars.

Yet achieving 30g a day will be just as challenging as reducing free sugars intakes by two or three times.

Alien dietary pattern

The modelling we have done at the British Nutrition Foundation shows it is possible to achieve both goals simultaneously.

But the dietary pattern may be alien to many, with lots of fruits and vegetables, more wholegrains, nuts and seeds, and high fibre carbs such as wholemeal bread, breakfast cereals and pasta or jacket potato at most meals.

Protein

Virtually all fibre-containing foods sit within the starchy foods and fruit/veg sections of the government's Eatwell plate. But there are also a couple of options in the protein section, such as pulses (beans and lentils) and the meat alternative mycoprotein, which provides 8.3g per 100g, making it a rich source of fibre.

Improving the choice of tasty high-fibre foods must be an area ripe for innovation.

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