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Are You Eating Enough Fibre?

 
  Source: By Ms Christine Ong, Senior Principal Dietitian, Nutrition and Dietetics Department, KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH), a member of the SingHealth group.  
     
 

Women need about 20g of fibre a day; men need 26g. 

Many people think they get enough fibre in their diet just because they eat the recommended two servings each of fruits and vegetables each day. The Singapore Health Promotion Board recommends a dietary fibre intake of 10g per 1000 kcal; this works out to about 20g a day for women and 26g a day for men.

A high fibre diet is beneficial for health.

Fibre is the indigestible part of plant foods that passes into the intestines where it absorbs water and becomes bulky. This softens the stool and helps to move it quickly and easily out of your body. A high fibre diet not only helps your bowels function properly, it is also beneficial for weight loss, reducing risk of heart diseases and keeping blood sugar stable in diabetics.

The easiest way to add fibre to your diet is to eat more plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts. Fruit should be eaten with its skin, instead of peeled or juiced. Eating more whole grains such as bran will also ensure you get high amounts of fibre.

To find out if you are eating enough fibre, take a look at the fibre content of these common foods:

 Cereals                                                   Serving                                       Fibre in grams                      
 White rice  1 bowl, cooked  1.0
 Brown rice  1 bowl, cooked  3.0
 White bread  2 slices  1.5
 Wholemeal bread  2 slices  5.0
 Barley, boiled  2 teaspoons  1.0
 Oats, raw  2 teaspoons  3.5
 Chappati  1 small  2.0
 Cornflakes  1 cup small  3.0
 All Bran  1 cup small  8.0
 Pulses  Serving  Fibre in grams
 Baked beans  2 teaspoons  4.0
 Mung beans, cooked  2 teaspoons  3.0
 Red kidney beans  1 teaspoons  7.5
 Peas, frozen  2 teaspoons  4.0
 Lentils, boiled  2 teaspoons  2.0
 Chickpeas, cooked  2 teaspoons  3.0
 Fruits  Serving  Fibre in grams
 Apple  1 small  2.0
 Orange  1 small  3.0
 Pear  1 small  2.0
 Papaya  1 medium slice  2.0
 Pineapple  1 medium slice  1.5
 Guava  1 medium  4.0
 Grapes  10-12 small  1.0
 Vegetables  Serving   Fibre in grams
 French beans  1 cup small  3.0
 Broccoli  1 cup small  3.0
 Cabbage  1 cup small  2.0
 Carrots  1 cup small  3.0
 Potato  1 small  1.0
 Spinach  1 cup small  6.0
 Tomato  1 small  1.0
 Chye sim, kailan  1 cup small  3.0
 Brinjal  1 cup small  2.5

Article contributed by the Nutrition and Dietetics Dept at:

KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH)

Ref. V10

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