Dietary fibre is only found in foods of plant origin, such as fruit, vegetables, cereals and pulses. It has no calories and it passes through the gut largely undigested. There are two main types of fibre, soluble and insoluble. It's important to include a mixture of both types, as they help to protect the body in different ways.

Why should we eat it?

Strong evidence shows that increasing total fibre intake, particularly cereal grains and wholegrains, can help protect against heart disease and certain cancers. It can also improve digestive health and help with weight loss, as it slows down the rate at which the stomach is emptying (helping to keep you fuller for longer). The proven benefits of fibre have led to the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition revising its recommendations and advising people to increase their daily intake of fibre.

The new fibre recommendations are:

How can we reach our 30g of fibre per day?

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey in 2011 found that the most commonly consumed food type was bread. This may explain why the average fibre intake is only 18g per day. If we are to meet the new recommendations above, we need to change our eating habits. Here are some simple food swaps to boost your fibre intake:


Corn flakes v muesli

Oats and fruit boost the intake of soluble fibre, to help slow down the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream.

30 g corn flakes

30g muesli

Rice v pearl barley

Soluble fibre forms a gel-like substance in the stomach, keeping us feeling full for longer.

95g basmati rice

80g pearl barley

Crisps v nuts

Soluble fibre in nuts can help lower cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

20 g crisps

20g hazelnuts


White Bread v Granary Bread

Granary increases the intake of insoluble fibre, which speeds up the time it takes for food to pass through your gut, so aids a healthy, regular digestive system.

medium slice white bread

medium slice granary bread

Top tips to increase your fibre intake


1. Choose a higher fibre


2. Add a tablespoon of chia

3. Go for wholemeal granary