A look at the nation's fibre crisis

Posted: 28th Mar 2019

A nationwide study has revealed that UK is facing a fibre crisis

Fibre helps support a healthy gut and lowers the risk of a variety of nasty conditions, including bowel cancer, strokes, heart disease and type 2 diabetes - it's pretty essential, we can all agree.

Yet while 62 per cent of Brits think they are 'healthy', the study, carried out by Ryvita, found one in 10 could not name a single high fibre food. On top of this, 65 per cent didn't know what the recommended daily fibre target is, yet despite this, a confident four in 10 still thought they were getting enough.

Crazy as it sounds, 42 per cent of Brits said they fail to eat a single piece of fruit or veg each day, even though they're good sources of fibre, and despite the well publicised need to meet your 'five-a-day'.

It seems the current popularity of protein could be a source of confusion, as people suggested foods like chicken (17 per cent) and eggs (16 per cent) were both fibre rich, even though neither are. Another five per cent even thought ice cream was a reliable source, yet with 100g typically containing only 0.7g, it's definitely not the case.

66 per cent were aware that the plant-based carbohydrate will 'help you poo' but only 12 per cent knew it could help to prevent bowel cancer. To put that into stark reality, CRUK has reported that 28 per cent of bowel cancer cases in the UK come from a diet with too little fibre.

This is even more concerning when it comes out that 25 per cent of people are not even aware as to why they need to eat fibre.

Nutritionist Lily Soutter comments: "With so few people understanding why we need more fibre in their diet, it’s no surprise that one in 10 can’t name even a single high fibre food. Whilst awareness is growing, this research shows that there’s clearly huge confusion around why we actually need fibre and what foods we can get it from."

"Fibre is an essential part of a healthy diet that 90% of us need to be eating more of. A high fibre diet may lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and colorectal cancer. Fibre also helps to maintain a healthy gut whilst preventing constipation. What’s more as part of a balanced diet, fibre may help to lower high blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure. If that’s not enough motivation to include more fibre into the diet, it’s also worth noting that it can aid with satiety."