Fibre, what is it?
So what exactly is fibre and why should we be eating it?
It is a plant based carbohydrate which differs from other carbohydrates in that it is not digested in the small intestine.
There are 2 types, insoluble fibre and soluble fibre.
This is the fibre which is not digested by the bowel so keeps things moving along as it passes through. It adds bulk to food we eat and therefore is thought to make you feel full.
This fibre dissolves in the water in the gut and is digested by bacteria in the bowel. It is turned into fats, waste and energy.
Both of these types are best eaten from the origional packaging e.g the origional fruit, vegetable,nut or seed. Added fibre is not thought to be as beneficial so watch out for packets which say 'added fibre'.
Fibre plays an important part in our diets because it seems to reduce the damage done by fructose intake. Whereas fructose encourages the production of fat by the liver, and makes us hungry and suppresses appetite control, fibre is thought to work in reverse. This in turn means we believe that the small amount of fructose in fruit, vegetables, nuts etc seems to be balenced by the fibre which is also in the food.
Of the two fibres, insoluble fibre appears to be the more beneficial.
What food can we find fibre in?
Soluble fibre can be found in;
Oats, barley and rye
Fruit, such as bananas and apples
Root vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes
Insoluble fibre can be found in;
Nuts and seeds (except golden linseeds)
Leafy green vegetables.
A lot of food contains both soluble and insoluble fibre.