- Whole grains contribute carbohydrate, dietary fibre, healthy fat, B vitamins, and minerals to our diet.
- Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide recommends that you make at least half of your grain choices whole grain every day.
- Whole grains provide an important source of fibre to the diet. Fibre is found in plant foods — grain products, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds.
- Remember to increase your intake of fibre gradually and to drink plenty of water.
There are two kinds of fibre:
Include a variety of fibre-containing foods in your diet every day to get the benefits of both types of fibre.
Fibre may help to:
- Lower bad cholesterol.
- Manage blood glucose (blood sugar).
- Manage body weight.
- Keep bowels moving regularly.
- Lower the risk of some types of cancer.
Fibre content of some common foods:
|1 medium pear||5.0g|
|1 medium apple||2.6g|
|1 medium banana||2.1g|
|Broccoli, 1/2 cup cooked||2.3g|
|Peas, 1/2 cup frozen cooked||3.7g|
|Baby carrots, 8 raw||2.3g|
|Kidney beans, 1/2 cup boiled||6.2g|
|Pearl barley, 1/2 cup cooked||2.0g|
|All Bran cereal, 1/2 cup||11.8g|
|Bran Flakes – type cereal, 1 cup||10.0g|
|Oats, 3/4 cup cooked large flake rolled oats||3.8g|
|Whole grain bread, 1 slice||2.6g|
|Whole wheat bread, 1 slice||2.4g|
|White bread, 1 slice||0.8g|
|Whole wheat spaghetti, 1 cup cooked||4.8g|
|White spaghetti, 1 cup cooked||2.7g|
Strategies to get more fibre in your diet:
- Start your day with a high fibre cereal or a bowl of oatmeal.
- Choose whole grain bread instead of white bread.
- Enjoy whole grain or whole wheat English muffins, wraps, or buns for a sandwich at lunch.
- Choose whole grain or whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta.
- Add barley to soups and stews.
- Choose to eat the whole fruit rather than drinking juice.
- Enjoy a variety of your favourite raw vegetables at lunchtime.
Recommended amount of fibre per day
|¬†Children 1-3 years||19 grams|
|¬†Children 4-8 years||25 grams|
|¬†Boys 9-13 years||31 grams|
|¬†Boys 14-18 years||38 grams|
|¬†Girls 9-13 years||26 grams|
|¬†Girls 14-18 years||26 grams|
|¬†Men 19-50 years||38 grams|
|¬†Men 51 and over||30 grams|
|¬†Women 19-50 years||25 grams|
|¬†Women 51 and over||21 grams|
|¬†Pregnant women||28 grams|
|Breastfeeding women||29 grams|
Sources: Canadian Nutrient File, 2010; Dietary reference intakes: Reference Values for Macronutrients, Health Canada 2006; Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide.