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The Essential Nutrient Australians Aren’t Eating Enough Of

You may be posting it on Instagram, but you’re probably not putting enough of it in your mouth.

Despite the 432,298 hashtags devoted to it on Instagram, fibre is a nutrient oft relegated to the back of the cupboard, thought about as often as those mouldy oats you really need to throw away. But the truth is, according to the Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel, “Most Australians do not consume enough fibre.”

This is particularly worrying because, “In countries with traditionally high-fibre diets, diseases such as bowel cancer, diabetes and coronary heart disease are much less common than in Western countries,” (Better Health Channel).

“On average, most Australians consume 20–25 g of fibre daily. The Heart Foundation recommends that adults should aim to consume approximately 25–30 g daily,” the Better Health Channel’s latest guidelines read.

If this national average sounds like you, it might be an idea to up your intake to avoid the various disorders that can come with a low fibre diet, which include constipation, IBS, diverticulitis, heart disease and (in some cases) cancer.

This issue was recently brought to prominence by an article in Elle Magazine, in which Hollywood’s favourite health experts Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle (who are loved by celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and Lily Aldridge) warned that our neighbours across the pond are just as bad as us when it comes to consuming roughage.

“Only two percent of Americans get the recommended daily amount of fiber,” (Elle Magazine).

In addition to the adverse effects previously mentioned, Danielle and Whitney added that your fibre intake can impact everything from your sleep to your sex drive. So—as it takes a rare individual not to care about either of those—a browse of the following high-fibre might be in order…

  • Cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens (e.g. broccoli)
  • Legumes (e.g. lentils)
  • Sprouted nuts (e.g. raw almonds and walnuts

In terms of snacking throughout the day, The Fitness Chef has a handy little graphic, seen below, which will help you stay informed.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇬🇧Graeme Tomlinson (@thefitnesschef_) on

With the rise of low-carb diets, which if implemented the lazy way (which is sadly the case much of the time), generally steer people away from high-fibre meals like porridge and towards high protein meals like bacon and eggs, we could well see this phenomenon increase.

So if you are a big Keto or Atkins diet fan—make sure you don’t skimp on the fibre-containing aspects of your diet. Or, in other words, respect what you’ve been told since time immemorial—eat your fruit and veggies.

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