Gut Bacteria & Your Health

Updated: May 11


We are eating so much processed low fibre foods which effects our health and is linked to chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, depression...and the list goes on.


What is the process? Our gut bacteria changes according to what we eat. If you eat processed foods that are high in fat, salt and low in fibre then you support “the wrong types of bacteria”. All together , our low fibre diet, antibiotics and our Western way have left us with very low diversity in our gut bacteria and the wrong type of bacteria disturbing the immune system leaving our bodies in a perpetual state of inflammation. Inflammation is one of the body’s defence mechanisms and it involves immune cells being released but these defences can do harm if they are not being properly controlled.


There is now extensive research being performed in this area, and the program Catalyst on the ABC – “What you eat could be making you ill” provided insights to this research.


So, How Much Dietary Fibre Do You Need?

The recommended daily intake of fibre is a minimum of 25g for women and 30g for men.

As you can see below it is not difficult to achieve these amounts of fibre in your diet....


Breakfast:

  • ½ cup untoasted muesli = 4.5 grams of fibre

  • 1 slice wholemeal, grain bread = 2.5 grams of fibre

  • 1 orange = 4.0 grams of fibre

Snack:

  • 4 Vita-weat biscuits = 2.8 grams of fibre

Lunch:

  • 2 slices wholemeal, grain bread = 5.0 grams of fibre

  • 1 slice of ham with lettuce, tomato, beetroot and cucumber = 4.0 grams of fibre

Snack:

  • 1 banana = 3.0 grams of fibre

Dinner:

  • 1 fillet steak = 0.0 grams of fibre

  • 1 medium potato with skin on = 2.0 grams of fibre

  • 1 small carrot with skin on = 3.0 grams of fibre

  • ½ cup of brocolli = 3.0 grams of fibre

  • ½ cup cauliflower = 1.5 grams of fibre

Supper:

  • ¼ cup of nuts = 3.1 grams of fibre

Total Fibre = 38.4 grams of fibre


Tips to Increase Your Dietary Fibre Intake:

  • Include 2 pieces of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables daily including the skins where appropriate.

  • Eat whole fruits or vegetables rather than drinking juices.

  • Add legumes and lentils or barley to soups, casseroles and pasta sauces.

  • Select wholegrain or wholemeal breads and cereals, wholemeal grain breads, breakfast cereals and crispbreads, and wholemeal pasta and pita bread.

  • High fibre white bread is an alternative for people who have difficulties chewing grains.

  • Add extra bran or psyllium husks to breakfast cereal.

  • Include a small handful of nuts or seeds as a snack.

  • Increase your fibre intake gradually to reduce potential side effects such as bloating, flatulence, constipation or increased frequency of bowel movements.

  • Include a minimum of 6-8 glasses of fluid daily with water being the preferred choice.


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