Lisa Dunbar's Health Hacks: Keep your fibre intake in check

Lisa Dunbar


Lisa Dunbar


Lisa Dunbar Fibre

Lisa Dunbar's tips on how to get your five a day

When I mention fibre in my classes, it usually draws a few chuckles as people tell me what they know about it – “it keeps ya regular!”. Yes, indeed, fibre plays a hugely important role in a properly functioning digestive system because it basically keeps everything moving the way it should!

As well as that, fibre feeds the good bacteria that live in our gut and play a really important role in our overall health, both physical and mental. Evidence shows that eating enough fibre is associated with a lower risk of things like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and bowel cancer, but we are actually really bad at it!

Fibre is only found in plant foods - vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, wholegrains , beans and lentils. Adults need roughly 30g of fibre a day, but we only manage on average about half that amount.

Don’t get bogged down in the numbers though, just follow these few simple tips to easily up your fibre intake:

Get your 5 a day
Take a look at what you currently eat at each meal and see where you could add some extra fruit and vegetables in, because each portion of fruit and veg has around 2-3g fibre .

Maybe put some fruit on your porridge or cereal at breakfast, add more salad ingredients to your sandwich at lunch and add an extra few portions of veg to your usual dinners.

Swap your whites for wholegrains
I’m talking about your bread, pasta, rice, cereals, etc. There is about 1g of fibre in a slice of white bread, whereas some wholemeal breads have up to 3g of fibre per slice – big difference!

A similar difference can be seen in white pasta/rice versus wholegrain pasta/rice.

Get snack savvy
Most of the snacks we tend to eat (biscuits, chocolate, crisps, etc) are extremely low in fibre ! So try to get some full-of-fibre snacks into your day by snacking on fruit, vegetable sticks, nuts, seeds and wholegrain crackers.

Eat some beans
When people say to me “healthy eating is really expensive”, I like to introduce them to beans (not just the “baked” ones!) and lentils – some of the cheapest, yet most nutritious foods you can find, that also happen to be full of fibre .

Half a tin of beans has up to 10g fibre ! Add beans, such as kidney beans and chickpeas, and lentils to your soups, stews, curries and salads.

Lisa Dunbar is a Nutrition and Health Coach based in Dundalk. Having used diet and lifestyle changes to help recover from physical and mental health challenges, Lisa is now on a mission to motivate others to live a healthier life. 

Instagram @lisadunbarhealth