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Get answers to your nutrition & healthy eating questions.
Call us toll-free† at 1-877-510-510-2 to speak directly with a Registered Dietitian.
What do chickpeas, apples and almonds have in common? They all contain fibre. Fibre is a carbohydrate that passes through the digestive system without being digested.
Research shows that fibre may also help you maintain a healthy body weight and lower your risk of heart disease and some cancers like colon cancer.
Fibre is found in vegetables and fruit, whole grains, legumes like beans, peas and lentils and nuts and seeds.
There are two main types of fibre:
Insoluble fibre helps to keep you regular. Insoluble fibre is found in some vegetables and fruit, whole grains and wheat bran.
Soluble fibre helps to lower cholesterol and control blood glucose. Soluble fibre is found in some fruits like apples and oranges, vegetables like carrots, okra and eggplant, oats, barley, psyllium, and legumes like beans and lentils.
It is important to eat a variety of fibre-rich foods to get the health benefits of both types of fibre.
Many people only get half the amount of fibre they need. The amount you need depends on how old you are and whether you are male or female. The chart below shows the recommended amount of fibre for children and adults.
Recommended amount per day
Children 1-3 years old
Children 4-8 years old
Boys 9-13 years old
Boys 14-18 years old
Girls 9-13 years old
Girls 14-18 years old
Men 19-50 years old
Men 51 and over
Women 19-50 years old
Women 51 and over
To get the health benefits of fibre, slowly increase the amount you eat. Remember to be physically active and drink plenty of fluids. This will help you avoid gas and bloating as you increase the fibre in your diet. Read Facts on Fluids – How to Stay Hydrated to find out how much fluid you need.
Below are tips to help you get more fibre in your diet every day.
Getting more fibre can be easy by making small changes that will add up throughout the day. Foods like vegetables and fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds have the fibre you need. When grocery shopping, compare food labels and choose foods with 2 to 4 grams of fibre per serving.
If you have more questions about how much fibre you need or would like a handout on fibre-rich food choices, call an EatRight Ontario Registered Dietitian at 1-877-510-510-2 or send an email.
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Dietitians of Canada acknowledges the financial support of EatRight Ontario by the Ontario government. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.