Fibre is the stuff of health, like it or not

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 August, 2011, 12:00am


Phoebe asks: I know that fibre is an essential part of our diet, but I really hate cereal. What else can I eat to get enough fibre?

Wynnie says: Fibre is a complex carbohydrate. There are two kinds: soluble and insoluble.

Insoluble fibre can't be digested by the body. It passes through the gut and, as it does so, it helps to sweep out toxins. It comes mainly from wholegrain cereals, wholewheat products, the skin of potatoes, fruits, root vegetables, green beans and leafy vegetables.

Soluble fibre prevents stomach acids from entering the bloodstream and helps lower cholesterol. It comes from fruits such as oranges and apples, vegetables like carrots, legumes and pulses, and oats, barley and brown rice.

High-fibre foods fill you up for longer, so you're less likely to snack on fatty and sugary foods between meals. They may decrease the risk of colon cancer and heart disease. Check out the meal suggestions below. If you don't like shop-bought cereals, make your own granola.

Breakfast: A bowl of oatmeal with chopped fruit; wholegrain, rye or pumpernickel bread with a glass of fruit or vegetable juice.

Lunch: A wholegrain bread sandwich with salad leaves and veggies. If you want rice, choose mixed grain/red/brown rice and add vegetables.

Dinner: Choose wholewheat pasta, buckwheat noodles, brown rice or couscous for starchy carbohydrates. Snacks: Chomp on veggies or fruit, and drink plenty of water.

Homemade granola (serves 4-6)

3 cups whole rolled oats

1/4 cup macadamia nuts

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/8 cup dessicated coconut

1/2 cup grapeseed oil

1/4 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup dried mixed fruit

1 Place the oats, nuts, seeds in a frying pan and stir fry for about 7-8 mins or until toasted.

2 Add the oil and honey, and mix.

3 Cook over a low heat, stirring, for 8-10 mins.

4 Take the pan off the heat and stir in the dried fruit, vanilla and cinnamon. Cool, then store in an airtight container for up to a week.

5 Serve with fresh fruit and yoghurt.

Phoebe's diary

Breakfast: Steamed shao mai or a piece of whole-grain toast; water

Lunch: Rice or noodles with meat and vegetable dishes; soybean milk

Snack: Slice of cake

Dinner: Soup, rice or noodles with meat, fish and vegetable dishes