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Bulk up to Trim down

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Fibre rich foods are the way forward in keeping you fuller for longer. This means you are less likely to be tempted by poor food choices and the weight will drop off. Rich fibre foods are fruit and vegetables and wholegrains such as berries, leafy greens, beans and grains. Not only do they work at maintaining your health but they contain many other nutritional benefits such as vitamins, minerals and cholesterol reducing properties. In addition, fibre has the potential to reduce health ailments such as high blood sugar or type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

Many studies have shown that people who eat plenty of fibre via fruits and vegetables are less likely to gain weight or be overweight and obese than individuals who do not eat fruit and vegetables. In Australia, most people are under in achieving their daily recommendation of 30g a day. Most consume less than 20g a day.
Why are so many of us coming up so short? The answer, at least in part, is that fibre-rich whole foods are up against their strongest competition-processed foods, which are a poor nutrient choice, and not just for their fibre content. 

If you're not accustomed to eating so many high-fibre foods on a regular basis, ease your way this and focus on making this a long-term lifestyle change, not just a quick fix. Start with one or two of the tips below and gradually add more fibre to your diet as your body adapts.

Select a breakfast cereal that provides 5 or more grams of fibre per serving. Add some fruit, fresh, dreid or canned is all suitable.

Switch to a whole grain bread that contains at least 2 grams of fibre per serving. There are many types of bread that promise an easy-fibre fix but they are not as nutritionally sound as the multi-grain breads. Read labels to make sure you’re getting the real thing. You should see whole wheat, whole wheat flour, or another whole grain in the top spot on the ingredient list. Pasta, rice and cereala all contain finely milled wholegrains full of nutrients.

Eat whole fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. One glass a day is fine but always try and go for the fruit food instead. Remember, the less processed food is, the better it is for you. Fruit juice is very concentrated and contains a lot of sugar. Berries, along with pears, apples, and oranges, are good sources of fibre.
Black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, broad beans, baked beans…the list is endless. These are packed with fibre, low in fat, and packed with lean protein. Toss them in salads, or add them to chilli or soups. In addition, go veggie once or twice a week for increased health benefits. Swap meat for legumes two or three times per week.


Take advantage of ready-to-use vegetables. Mix chopped frozen broccoli into prepared spaghetti sauce or nibble on baby carrots. Fresh or frozen-both are fantastic at adding fibre to your meals. Use them in stir fry’s, soups, casseroles or snacks.

Experiment and enjoy a variety of ways, whether that is snacking on pop-corn or veggies and hummus, or a new Asian dish, adding fibre is not as hard as it may seem.

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