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Fibre without the carbs

By Matt O'Neill, MSc(Nut&Diet), APD

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How to eat enough fibre without overloading on carbs?



Fibre helps you stay in shape in two main ways:

1. Fibre in food helps you feel full & eat less.

2. Fibre in food helps keep your gut bacteria healthy, which in turn helps reduce inflammation & calorie absorption.

Men should aim to eat 30g of dietary fibre a day & woman should eat 25g of fibre a day.

But how can you hit this target without blowing out on too many grains, pasta, potatoes, corn, fruit or other carbohydrates?


Choose high-fibre Starches

Make sure that you eat serves of complex carbohydrate (starches) wisely by maximsing the fibre content.

There's no room for highly processed, fibre-poor starches in your nutrient-rich diet.

Each of the following higher-fibre starches = 400kJ/95Cal and contains around 15g total carbohydrate:

1/2 Cup All-Bran = 13g fibre

1/2 Cup beans/lentils = 6g

1/2 Cup chickpeas = 5g

1/3 Cup Quinoa = 4g

1 Slice rye bread = 3.5g fibre

1/4 Cup oat bran = 3g

1 Slice wholemeal bread = 3g

1/4 Cup muesli = 3g



Choose high-fibre fruit

Choose specific fruit for a higher fibre content & fewer calories from carbohydrate.

Each of the following equals 1 serve of fruit:

150g Punnet raspberries = 9g fibre

150g Loganberries = 7g

250g Strawberries = 6g

150g Pear = 6g

2 Large figs = 5.5g

150g Apple = 3.5g

150g Punnet blueberries = 3g



Load up on non-starchy vegetables

Potatoes and corn are starchy vegetables. Beans and lentils also contain carbohydrate.

But there are so many non-starchy vegetables to fill up on to give your fibre intake a boost.

Each of the following equals 1 serve of non-starchy vegetables:

1/2 Cup English spinach = 4.5g fibre

1/2 Cup green peas = 4.5g*

1/2 Cup Brussels sprouts = 3.5g

1/2 Cup broccoli = 3g

1/2 Cup silverbeat = 2.5g

1/2 Collard / mustard greens = 1.5g

*Semi-Starchy Veg



Eat nuts for your healthy oils

A 30g of handful of nuts contains very little carbohydrate but is rich in dietary fibre.

Each 30g serve of the nuts below =

Hazelnuts = 3g fibre

Pistachios = 2.7g

Almonds = 2.5g

Brazil nuts = 2.5g

Pecans = 2.5g

Walnuts = 2.2

And 'av an avocado...

1/2 avocado = 4g fibre



Top up with seeds

Like nuts, seeds contain healthy oils and are low in carbohydrate and high in fibre.

Each 30g seeds (3 Tbs) =

Flaxseeds = 8.2g fibre

Sesame seeds = 4.2g

Sunflower seeds = 3.2g

Pumpkin seeds = 1.8g



Consider a fibre supplement

If you genuinely can't reach your fibre target from whole foods a fibre supplement may help you reach your fibre target.

Look for minimally processed psyllium or bran supplements in the supplement section of the supermarket.

A product like Metamucil may be the next choice. Each teaspoon contains around 2 grams of soluble fibre from psyllium husk. Metamucil also contain the artificial sweetener 'phenylalanine' which is also in Coke Zero and Pepsi Max.

Of course, it would be better if it didn't have it, but if you are constipated that may be your higher priority.

Make sure you drink lots of water when taking a fibre supplement & always check with your doctor first before taking any supplements.



The fibre benefit




Boosting your fibre intake could be just the thing to help you make a real breakthough in more ways than one!

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