How much fibre do I need?….How do I get enough fibre? These are two common questions than many Dietitians hear on a regular basis. Fibre is important to our health; it can help maintain a healthy bodyweight, control blood sugars, lower the risk of heart disease and certain cancers and helps to regulate our digestive functions.
How much fibre do you need? Below are general guidelines for the amount of fibre that is recommended daily-please keep in mind that all amounts listed are not specific for age:
Children 1 – 3 years: 19 grams
Children 4 – 8 years: 25 grams
Girls 9 – 18 years: 26 grams
Boys 9 – 18 years: 31 to 38 grams
Women: 21 to 25 grams
Men: 30 to 38 grams
How do you get enough fibre? When searching for foods that will provide you with a “good source” of fibre you should look at the nutrition facts table. If the % daily value is 15% or more than that food choice is high in fibre. If it is less than 5% then its low in fibre:
– Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day.
– Be sure to include foods such as beans, lentils, nuts and seeds in your diet on a regular basis.
A high fibre lunch could look like this:
Tune Sandwich on whole wheat bread (6.2 grams) with light mayonnaise, 1 med lettuce leaf (0.1 grams) and 1/2 tomato sliced (0.9 grams) and for dessert a 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt with a 1/2 cup of raspberries (2.0 grams). Total fibre = 9.1 grams.
*Please remember that when increasing your fibre intake it’s important that you do it gradually and to drink lots of water.
Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador