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Fibre is a nutrient found naturally in fruit, vegetables, whole grains including some breads, cereals, pastas and legumes (beans, lentils). Fibre is important for health in many ways. Everyone could benefit from eating more fibre.

There are two different types of fibre:

Soluble fibre

A gel like, sticky fibre found in some vegetables and fruit, legumes, psyllium and some grains such as oats and barley.

  • Health impact: Soluble fibre can also help with our hunger levels as well as lower cholesterol and help manage diabetes by keeping blood sugars at a healthier level. It can also prevent or reduce diarrhea.

Insoluble fibre

Also often called “roughage” or “bulky fibre” found in vegetables and skins of fruit, whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa and whole grain products like whole wheat bread.

  • Health Impact: Insoluble fibre can help to make us feel fuller and therefore manage appetite. It can also keep bowels regular and prevent or improve constipation.

When we eat a variety of foods we are likely to include both soluble and insoluble fibre choices.

How much do I need?

Most healthy adults need 25-38g of fibre per day. Children age one and up need almost as much fibre as adults. There is no recommended maximum amount for fibre. Certain health conditions such as diabetes may even benefit from higher amounts of fibre, closer to 50g! It is important to slowly increase fibre to avoid stomach upset. It is also necessary to drink plenty of fluids such as water throughout the day to make sure the fibre is moving well through our bodies.

We can choose higher fibre foods by viewing the Nutrition Facts Labels on food packages. See Health Canada for some tips on reading labels for fibre

Fibre Resources

For more information:

Managing Constipation with a High Fibre Diet

DC Planning Meals: Fibre Facts

Fibre and Diabetes


Dietitian Approved Recipes: from Dietitians of Canada

Pulse Canada Recipes

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