In my last couple of articles I have discussed the different types of fibre and the associated benefits. The British Nutrition Foundation recommend that we get around 18g of fibre per day. Personally, I do not think that this amount of fibre consumption is difficult to achieve BUT I understand that some people may struggle. That is why today I have decided to write about how I manage to consume enough fibre each day. In this article I will be discussing (with examples) the foods I eat to get my daily fibre requirements and the times that I eat them.
1) BREAKFAST (6AM-7AM):- On weekdays I generally have my breakfast between 6am and 7am so that I can fit it in before I head off to work. Breakfast generally consists of one of the following choices:
– A bowl of cereal such as Fruit and Fibre = approximately 7g of fibre per serving.
– A large banana = approximately 4g of fibre per serving.
– A protein shake with a large banana = approximately 4g of fibre per serving.
– A protein shake with whole grain toast = approximately 2g of fibre per serving.
– A slice of whole grain toast with a generous layer of crunchy peanut butter = approximately 5g of fibre per serving (2g in a slice of whole grain bread and 3g in two tablespoons of peanut butter).
I don’t usually stick with one choice for breakfast. It’s usually a combination of how much time I have that morning and what I feel like eating. However, doing a basic average of the above options my fibre intake for breakfast works out at: 4.4g of fibre per breakfast meal.
2) MID-MORNING SNACK (10AM-11PM):- As I discussed in my article on eating multiple meals to boost your metabolism I try to eat about 6 meals each day to keep my metabolism ticking over. To achieve this I make use of snacks and sandwiches which are easy to prepare and eat on the go. My first snack is usually a selection of fruit that I eat between 10am and 11pm (depending upon what’s happening at work). The components of this snack are outlined below:
– A medium sized apple = approximately 2g of fibre per serving.
– 2 satsumas = approximately 1.6g of fibre per serving (0.8g of fibre per satsuma).
This equates to a total of: 3.6g of fibre per mid-morning snack.
3) LUNCH (1PM-2PM):- I usually eat my lunch between 1am and 2pm on weekdays. The actual food I eat is sandwiches. I make 6 sandwiches and then split them into three mini meals the first of which is my lunch. The various sandwiches I make include:
– 2 slices of whole grain bread spread with low fat cream cheese and 2 slices of beef = approximately 4g of fibre per serving (2g in each slice of whole grain bread).
– 2 slices of whole grain bread spread with low fat cream cheese and 2 slices of chicken = approximately 4g of fibre per serving (2g in each slice of whole grain bread).
– 2 slices of whole grain bread spread with generous layer of crunchy peanut butter = approximately 7g of fibre per serving (2g in each slice of whole grain bread and 3g in two tablespoons of peanut butter).
– 2 slices of whole grain bread spread with low fat cream cheese and 2 slices of turkey = approximately 4g of fibre per serving (2g in each slice of whole grain bread).
Peanut butter is usually the less common of my sandwich choices so let’s say that my average lunch time fibre is: 4g of fibre per lunchtime meal.
4) AFTERNOON SNACK (3.30PM-4.30PM):- I normally eat my afternoon snack between 3.30pm and 4.30pm and it consists of 2 more sandwiches (see the above lunch list for the exact fibre breakdowns). Therefore, my total fibre intake for my afternoon snack is: 4g of fibre per afternoon snack.
5) PRE-GYM SNACK (6PM-7PM):- I eat this snack just before I get to the gym which is usually between 6pm and 7pm. Again it is nice and simple consisting of 2 sandwiches (see the above lunch list for the exact fibre breakdowns). So once again my total fibre intake for this pre-gym snack is: 4g of fibre per pre-gym snack.
6) DINNER/TEA (8.30PM-9.30PM):- I eat my evening meal once I get home for the gym. It’s a little more difficult to state the exact amount of fibre in my evening meals because they change on a nightly basis. However, the majority of my evening meals contain three to four of the following:
– Brown Rice = approximately 1.1g of fibre per serving.
– 2 Cans of Chopped, Tinned Tomatoes = approximately 1g of fibre per serving.
– Mushrooms = approximately 1.5g of fibre per serving.
– Onions = approximately 1.4g of fibre per serving.
– Peppers = approximately 1.3g of fibre per serving.
– Potatoes with skin = approximately 1g of fibre per serving.
– whole grain Pasta = approximately 5g of fibre per serving.
– 2 whole grain Tortillas = approximately 4.8g per serving (2.4g of fibre per tortilla).
So whilst it is not the most accurate measure, on average each of the above foods contains 2g of fibre per serving and if I am having three or four of the foods with each meal that works out as: 7g of fibre per meal.
7) OTHER SNACKS:- Apart from the meals listed above which I generally plan to eat on a daily basis I also enjoy the odd wholewheat cracker with cheese. I don’t have these every day, just when I need to eat a little something extra. However, I thought I would include them because they still give me a little extra fibre on the days that I have them:
– 2 Hovis Krackawheat Crackers with slices of cheddar cheese = Approximately 0.8g of fibre per serving (0.4g of fibre per cracker).
– 2 Hovis Wheatgerm Crackers with slices of cheddar cheese = Approximately 0.6g of fibre per serving (0.3g of fibre per cracker).
So although I don’t have them every day when I do have them they give me: 0.7G of fibre per snack.
Based on my rough calculations my total daily fibre intake is:
“27G OF FIBRE PER DAY”
This is well above the recommended 18g of fibre per day and contains a good mix of soluble and insoluble fibre. Whilst I try to get some fibre with each meal I do not go out of my way to get fibre or target myself to eat a certain amount of fibre each day. I just make a few simple choices such as snacking on fruit, substituting white bread for brown bread, substituting white pasta for whole grain pasta and adding extra vegetables to my evening meals.
I started out by making small changes. First, I just ate an extra piece of fruit each day. Then I started adding extra mushrooms, onions and peppers to the majority of my evening meals (which really wasn’t that much of a sacrifice since I think they all add their own unique taste and texture to meals). The hardest change for me was probably making the switch from white to brown bread. I had it set in my head that brown bread was not as nice as white bread and so put it off for ages. However, when I actually made the change I quickly grew to love the taste and texture of brown bread.
I hope you can see from this article that getting a little extra fibre with each meal quickly adds up. Consuming 18g per day may seem like a difficult obstacle but breaking it down in this way shows how easy it can be to smash the 18g target.
Now I’d like to hear from you. Are you getting enough fibre each day? Has this article made increasing your fibre intake any easier? Do you have any further suggestions for people who want to get more fibre in their diet?