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Fibre is Your Friend

Australians are being bombarded with false information to quit sugar, avoid grains, legumes and follow diets that avoid entire food groups. In reality, a healthy diet should contain foods from all food groups. Subsequently, by eating from all food groups, you provide your body with access to all the pieces of the puzzle that equate to meeting your dietary requirements. Being misled by information that is driven by fad diets and pseudo-science is doing us harm.

Busting the myth

Avoiding whole grains, legumes and fruit can drastically reduce your carbohydrate load but it will also drastically reduce your fibre intake. In a nation with a rising incidence of metabolic disease, fibre is definitely your friend. To help ward off the onset of non-communicable diseases that can be prevented through lifestyle modification, fibre is an important component of a healthy diet.

Fibre from whole grains has strong evidence linking it to the reduced incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Findings from a large sample study within the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study have identified benefits to high fibre intake. These include reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, smaller waist circumference and a lower fasting blood glucose.  Add these together and it equals a reduced risk of non-communicable disease.

Additional extrapolation of these findings shows that there is also valuable fibre in fruit.  The fibre that’s found in fruits and vegetables such as legumes is soluble fibre. This fibre is very viscous and acts to slow gastric emptying. The slowing of gastric emptying will therefore slow down the absorption of macronutrients. The fermentation of soluble fibre in the bowel causes the formation of short chain fatty acids. These short chain fatty acids act to create satiety and improve insulin sensitivity (Diabetes is largely an insensitivity to insulin).

Furthermore, individuals with higher soluble fibre intake are shown to have lower inflammatory markers, which may prevent or delay the onset of metabolic syndrome.

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