The Benefits of a High Fibre Diet

In a recent article in the Globe and Mail, Leslie Beck, Nutrition Specialist, asked the following questions: “What if you discovered that eating a high-fibre diet could significantly lower your risk of a disease that, if not diagnosed and managed, has serious long-term health consequences? What if it were as simple as eating oatmeal, chia seeds and raspberries for breakfast, a spinach salad for lunch and some chickpeas and an apple tossed in for good measure?  Would you do it?”

She goes on to describe a recently published study (the largest ever investigation into new-onset Type 2 diabetes) on the effects of fibre intake.  The study found that risk of Type 2 diabetes fell by 25% for every 10 grams or more per day of cereal fibre.  Leslie provided the following examples of food combinations that make up 10 grams of fibre:

  • Two slices of 100-per-cent whole grain toast (4 g) + half of an avocado (6.5 g)
  • One cup of oatmeal (4 g) + ½ cup of blackberries (4 g) +
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax (2 g)
  • One-half cup of 100-per-cent bran cereal (12 g) + ½ cup of blueberries (1.5 g)
  • One cup of cooked quinoa (5 g) + ½ cup of broccoli (2.5 g) + ½ cup of snow peas (2 g) + ½ cup of red pepper (1.6 g)
  • Three-quarters of a cup of cooked freekeh, an ancient grain (8 g) + 1 cup of cooked kale (2.6 g)
  • One cup of cooked brown rice (3.5 g) + ½ cup of lentils (7.8 g)
  • Two seven-inch whole wheat tortillas (4 g) + ½ cup of black beans (7.5 g)
  • 1 cup of whole wheat pasta (6.3 g) + ½ cup of green peas (4.4 g)
  • One medium pear (5.5 g) + ¼ cup of almonds (4.5 g)
  • Four dried dates (6.5 g) + 1/3 cup pistachios (4.2 g)