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Fibre or NSP

We have soluble fibre and non-soluble fibre. Soluble fibres such as Oats, pluses, Nuts, Fruit and veggies have a big impact on our digestive system. Fibrous foods require more chewing; this causes us to produce more saliva, which increases the volume of the food bolus as it passes into our stomach. By the time it hits out tummy is has increased in size and makes us feel fuller.

As it passes through the gut the soluble fibre has increased in the viscosity, so it travels slower through the gut, this is great news as it allows for the absorption of nutrients, whilst giving us a full feeling in our tummy for longer as well. The stomach bacteria get excited too, as they like to feed on soluble fibre so they too increase in number. All good stuff.

Insoluble fibre such as cereals and grains do not dissolve in water and has a binding effect on the food in the colon, leading to an increase in the volume in the colon. It will also absorb toxins along the way , so again, eat more fibre it's good for you.

Benefits of eating a high fibre diet:
Healthy digestive system (Stomach flora)
Helps prevent bowel cancer
Reduces the absorption time of carbohydrates leading to a slower release of energy
Keeps you feeling full for longer

How much should we eat?

Between 12 - 24g a day. Not enough can lead to constipation, heart disease, diabetes, Gaul stones and appendicitis

So what kind of Carbohydrates are good form a weight management perspective?

Complex carbs are best if you want to loose weight. See the example:

Type of Carbohydrate Complex Simple
Food Source Baked Potato Chocolate
Calories 150 150
Carbohydrate 35g 22g
Fat Less than 1g 7g
Fibre 2.8g 0
Properties High Fibre, Low Fa High Fat, Low fibre

Sugary foods provide us with 'empty' calories, offering no nutrients. Too much sugary stuff leads to tooth decay and obesity. By adding sugar you end up getting used to it and wanting more and more to satisfy cravings. Cutting back on sugar is the easiest way to reduce calories without loosing nutrients.

Look out for sucrose, maltose, fructose, and dextrose on the backs on packets, all still kinds of sugars and will have exactly the same effect as pain old white sugar, it will make you fat if you have too much!

Cutting down on sugar
Reducing the amount you take in hot drinks
Low calorie soft drinks
If you buy tinned fruit, make sure it is juice rather than syrup
Halve the sugar in recipes
Avoid cereals with added sugar
Have fruit and veggies, roast chickpeas and nuts for snacks
Use self-control for cakes and other favourites