The Secrets the Experts Wish you Knew About: Fibre makes you feel fuller for longer are you eating enough?

By Student Dietitian Stephanie Lindleblad

Trying to eat healthily but always getting food cravings? Nutritionist Stephanie Lindeblad talks about how these foods may be the answer to making you feel fuller for longer and having long lasting energy

Research from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows a diet rich in good quality carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables, high fibre wholegrain breads and cereals and low fat milk spread out evenly throughout the day is the secret to losing weight long term.

There are concerns that high-carbohydrate diets may increase fasting serum triglyceride values, although high-carbohydrate, high-fibre diets actually decrease fasting serum triglycerides values slightly. These diets full of potassium, magnesium and other minerals should also decrease blood pressure levels significantly. Therefore high-carbohydrate, high-fibre, low-fat diets rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains spread out evenly over the day are recommended and would improve a number of risk factors for heart disease. These low-fat diets also are effective for long-term maintenance of weight loss.

In Australia people are consuming on average of 20g of fibre per day (ABS) (far below the recommendation of 35g/day), although, Rowan Stewart (APD) practising in Brisbane said that “many of the people she sees in her clinic for the first time are consuming less than 15 grams of fibre a day which is well below the recommended intake of fibre”. She notes that “many Australians experience constipation which is easily preventable with a fibre-rich diet. Breakfast is an important opportunity to consume a good portion of daily fibre requirements and bran cerelas contain approximately 9g of fibre per serve.

Fibre has numerous other benefits including:

1. Makes you feel fuller for longer and provides longer lasting energy

These foods are Low GI and high in fibre  making you feel fuller for longer by slowing digestion movements and sustaining blood sugar levels, providing long lasting energy throughout the day. Whereas high GI foods such as cakes, sugary cereals leave you feeling sluggish with low energy, craving another high energy snack.

Additionally eating refined carbs at lunch can lead to you craving a high energy snack or takeaways straight after work.

When you are feeling like you need more energy or facing a long or important day at work it is important to give your body the right fuel. Instead of reaching for the large coffee, which will only increase the nerves, try to incorporate some energy providing foods. For breakfast you could have low fat muesli with yoghurt and fresh fruit, such as strawberries. For lunch a sandwich with lots of leafy greens and low-fat protein. It is important to eat regularly throughout the day and consume lots water. Coffee and cola can dehydrate further, so choose options like lavender and mint tea.

In order to get enough nutrients its important to snack, take some nuts, seeds, dried or even fresh fruit out with you. These foods contain protein as well as a small amount of good quality carbohydrates, fibre and maintain blood sugar levels providing long lasting energy throughout the day. Foods high in sugar give a fast hit of energy although they lead to poor concentration and hunger cravings, indicating low blood sugar.

2. Eating Fruit, Vegetables and Fibre Will Reduce Your Cholesterol Naturally

Research shows fibre increases bile production, bile is made from cholesterol, therefore cholesterol levels are reduced.

Dietitian, Ellen Turvey (APD) from the Sunshine Coast and Bribie Island private practice ‘Solutions with Food’ said that “The benefits of a regular intake of fruit and vegetables are countless. Aside from containing many of the important vitamins and minerals our body needs to function a regular intake of both fruit and vegetables can help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases including heart disease and high blood pressure. Regularly consuming fruit and vegetables can also aid in weight control as they are low in kilojoules and high in fibre, helping to keep you feeling fuller for longer”.

3. Fruit and vegetables have a low energy density (and will make you lose weight fast!)

One piece of cadbury milk chocolate has the same kJ as 2 servings of homemade vegetable soup! and has far less nutrients.

Fruit and vegetables have a low energy density and they leave you feeling fuller for far longer and provide longer lasting energy. Also people will generally eat the same volume of food every day, regardless of the energy content of the food. Thus, eating vegetables and fruits can make it far easier to reduce the number of kJ in your diet without feeling hungry.Additionally these foods are rich in important protective vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants which are essential in the diet.

Fibre is in foods such as all bran, beans, apple skin, nearly all fruits and vegetables and is very rich in all bran and porridge. It is very negligible in foods like fruit loops and coco pops. Fibre supplements are also very useful and some have no taste and can be incorporated into recipes such as banana muffins to grab on the go.

High Fibre Meal Ideas

Porridge with dried cranberries

Natural yoghurt with canned or fresh fruit, fresh mint and honey

Vegetable and chilli soup or ratatouille or a BBQ vegetable stack

Sweet potato and legume pie

Apple crumble or banana muffins with added fibre supplement (Benefibre), to grab on the go!

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