Question to the expert all about dietary fiber


When our diet lacks dietary fiber but is high in sugar and trans fats, the number of harmful bacteria in the gut increases and the number of beneficial bacteria decreases. Healthy eating expert Marlene Nordlander explains how this affects digestion and overall health. 

What is dietary fiber?

Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is not broken down by digestive enzymes in the small intestine (like sugar and starch) and reaches the colon, where it is fermented by bacteria. They are especially rich in fruit skins, seed and seed cake. 


Why are they important for health?

Dietary fiber serves two main functions. First, they form stool, stimulate intestinal peristalsis and regular detoxification of the body. Second, they feed the beneficial microorganisms of the stomach's microflora, ensuring active digestion.


Why do microbes live in the intestine?

The human gut is home to trillions of bacteria, harmful and beneficial. Hundreds of studies confirm how many aspects of our health are related to proper gut function and microbiome health. More than 70% of the immune system is located on the surface of the gut, and the gut is where the immune system begins. It is important to take care of the beneficial bacteria and "feed" them with enough prebiotic dietary fiber.

How much dietary fiber should be consumed each day?

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends 30 grams a day, but the average person gets no more than 23 grams a day - and in many countries the figure is even lower. The reason is that processed foods contain too little dietary fiber and nutrients. 


How can I make sure I'm getting enough dietary fiber?

Here are a few simple tips to help replenish your daily allowance of dietary fiber: 


- Instead of sugary breakfast cereals, opt for whole-grain cereals, or better yet, classic cereals that require boiling. Want something sweeter? Add fresh fruit.

- Replace white bread and pasta with whole grains.

- Don't remove the skin from potatoes.

- Replace snacks with cookies and candy with fruits, vegetables and nuts.

- Always keep frozen fruits or vegetables on hand.

- Take special supplements - such as a prebiotic drink with dietary fiber from Wellness. 

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