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Habit Challenge #6: Fibre

Choose Fibre-Rich Foods

by Catherine King MSc. CSCS

Fibre isn’t a particularly sexy topic, and when it comes to health habits you probably have not given much thought to habits related to fibre consumption. Unless, of course, you have been feeling a little backed up, but, besides constipation, there are a lot of other reasons to focus on fibre. 

An adequate fibre intake is associated with lower: 

And lower risk of developing or dying from:

There are two types of dietary fibre; soluble and insoluble. 

Soluble fibre is thick and gel-like as it moves through the intestines, slowing digestion and trapping fats. The slower digestion helps control blood glucose, while the trapping and removal of fats lower cholesterol levels.

Sources of soluble fibre:

Insoluble fibre softens stools, keeping the system moving. 

Sources of insoluble fibre:

To ensure the health benefits of both fibre types, eat a variety of fibre-rich foods. As an added bonus, you will eat less since fibre is filling. 

The recommended amount of fibre required each day will depend on your gender and age. Here are the recommendations for adult men and women:

Consuming adequate amounts of fibre every day has obvious health benefits, but how do we align our everyday behaviours with this goal? 

Here are some options to add more fibre to your diet:

Focusing on the process and system rather than the end result allows us to continuously refine. Rather than thinking you need to completely change how you eat and trying to make an unrealistic huge change, aim for slightly better and not perfection. When making a food choice look for an option that is a little bit better. Compare the food labels; which product is a better source of fibre and has less sugar? Think of ways to improve the fibre content and nutrient values of the foods you already eat and enjoy. 

You may have heard the story of Brailsford’s marginal gains and the success of the British Cycling team when they sought to improve almost everything by 1%. For the cycling team, marginal gains lead to Olympic Gold. For you, marginal gains will move you closer to being the person you want to be. Remember good enough can be great. 

If you have any questions regarding nutrition coaching and behaviour change, contact Catherine at catherine@westcoastconditioning.ca 

Resources:

Clear, J. (2018). Atomic Habits: An easy & proven way to build good habits & break bad ones. New York, New York: Penguin Random House.

Focus on fibre. (2018, October 31). Retrieved February 11, 2021, from https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Fibre/Focus-on-Fibre.aspx

Getting more fibre. (2019, February 15). Retrieved February 11, 2021, from https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Fibre/Getting-More-Fibre.aspx

Tello, M. (2019, June 04). Fiber-full eating for better health and lower cholesterol. Retrieved February 09, 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/fiber-full-eating-for-better-health-and-lower-cholesterol-2019062416819

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