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Dietary Fibre - The key player for optimal health

Did you know there are different types of dietary fibre?

Each specific type has it's own special set of characteristics and functions.

The three type of fibre are:

  1. Soluble fibre

  2. Insoluble fibre

  3. Resistant starch

Consuming a combination of all three will ensure the healthy functioning of your digestive system. If you consume a diet that is largely made up of unprocessed whole foods, including wholegrain, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds you will naturally obtain a combination of each.


Soluble fibre:

Soluble fibre forms a thick gel as it passes through the stomach and small intestine, this slows digestion and results in lower blood glucose levels after eating.

Soluble fibre also binds bile salts which helps to lower cholesterol levels.

Food sources:

  • Oats

  • Barley and foods made with these ingredients such as breakfast cereals, breads and crispbreads, legumes (dried or canned), seed husks, some fruits and vegetables.


Insoluble fibre:

Insoluble fibre remains intact as it passes through the digestive system. Insoluble fibre promotes bowel function and digestive wellbeing by shortening the transit time, producing larger and softer stools and increasing defecation frequency.

Food sources:

  • Most whole grains – whole wheat, brown rice, rye, barley, Wheat bran

  • Rice bran

  • Bran based breakfast cereals

  • Whole grain and wholemeal breads, pastas, noodles, couscous

  • Nuts, seeds and the skin of fruit and vegetables.


Resistant starch:

Starches that resist small intestinal breakdown are fermented by bacteria in the large bowel, producing short chain fatty acids (SCFA). Short chain fatty acids help boost the growth of ‘good bacteria’ promoting colonic health.

Food sources:

  • Whole grains

  • Whole grain breads, pasta, noodles, rice, breakfast cereals

  • Legumes

  • Cooked and cooled potatoes

  • Firm or overripe bananas


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