Many people say “carbohydrates are evil”, but that’s not entirely true. It depends on what kind of carbohydrates you’re referring to. Apart from the infamous refined sugar, did you know that fibre is categorised under carbohydrates too? Fibre has been shown to have beneficial effects to many aspects of human health.
A recent article by the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that fibre is associated with lower weight, and reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancers. Mechanisms by which it does so include improving insulin sensitivity, cholesterol levels, blood vessel health, and gut microbiota health. Perhaps the miraculous dietary component for longevity everyone is seeking is this humble fibrous substance. We just have to make sure we get enough fibre in our meals!
According to the Health Promotion Board, women need 20 grams of fibre a day while men require 26 grams a day. Fibre pills and synthetic (or isolated) fibre added into food products during manufacturing may have some similar effects as its natural counterparts in food. However, their long-term benefits are not yet known. Therefore, as much as possible, it should be obtained naturally from whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, and legumes. How do we make sure we get enough fibre every day?
Sure, you can make the switch from white rice to brown rice, which instantly increases your fibre intake from 0.6 to 3.5 grams per cup of cooked rice.
But you definitely need to do more than just that if you want to hit your fibre recommendations. I understand that life can get busy and it is tiresome to calculate the type and amount of food you need every day. So, I will do it for you. Just add these foods into your diet every day and you’ll get enough fibre for health.