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M&S Health & Nutrition



What is Fibre?

Fibre is only found in plant foods.  There are 2 types of fibre, soluble (fully digested) and insoluble (mostly indigestible).

Good Sources of Fibre

Good sources of insoluble fibre are wholegrain foods such wholemeal bread, brown rice, wholemeal breakfast cereals as well as fruits and vegetables.

Good sources of soluble fibre include oats and pulses (beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas.

Health Benefits

Insoluble fibre helps to keep your bowels healthy by absorbing water and making waste bulky. This helps food waste to pass through the gut easily and can help to prevent constipation and other gut related diseases such as bowel cancer and diverticular disease.

Because insoluble fibre absorbs water and becomes bulky, it can reduce hunger by making you feel fuller for longer which may assist weight loss.

Soluble fibre eaten in large amounts can help reduce LDL ('bad') cholesterol levels and so may help to prevent coronary heart disease.

The absorption of carbohydrates are slowed when there is plenty of fibre in the diet which means glucose is released into the blood gradually, as a result may also help people with diabetes to control blood glucose levels.

Recommended Intake

The recommended daily intake for adults is 18g per day However most people in the UK do not eat enough (current intakes are only about 12g per day)

Eat More Fibre

  • Choose more wholegrain foods such as wholemeal bread, pasta and rice
  • Start the day with a  high fibre cereal such as bran flakes or porridge
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables- especially if they are unpeeled- try snacking on vegetable batons or adding dried fruit to breakfast cereal
  • Add lentils, pulses and beans into stews casseroles and curries

For more information visit
The British Nutrition Foundation