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What is Fibre?

Fibre comes from plant foods: vegetables, legumes, fruit, cereal (bread, rice and pasta), nuts and seeds and is made up of the indigestible parts or compounds of the plant that pass relatively unchanged through the intestines.

Dietary Fibre is mainly needed to keep the digestive system healthy, it also contributes to other processes, such as stabilising glucose and cholesterol levels. In countries with traditionally high Fibre diets conditions such as bowel cancer, diabetes, coronary heart disease, diverticular disease and constipation are much less common than in the countries with low Fibre diets.

Eating at least 3 serves of vegetables, 2 serves of fruit and some cereal every day should provide adequate Fibre in the diet.

For some people with a prediposition to blockage of the bowel by conditions such as adhesions, severe diverticulosis or inflammatory bowel disease a low Fibre diet may be necessary to minimise episodes of obstruction. More information on low Fibre diet is available in the following downloads:

A high Fibre diet can be useful in preventing or curing constipation but only works if you drink enough fluid. A rough guide to this is if your urine is clear in the evening before going to bed. Some people require extra Fibre to prevent constipation in the form of products such as Metamucil, Normacol or Isogel. More information on high Fibre diet is available in the following downloads:


Related Resource Information

pdf Information on high fibre diet

pdf Eating well with a low fibre diet

pdf Low Residue Diet

pdf Low fibre diet for bowel obstruction

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