The Best and Worst Fibre for Health

Original Article March 2015 Copyright Jaine Kirtley

Should you eat more fibre? Is all fibre good? What is fibre? 
All of these questions including the definition of fibre in nutrition have been asked and debated by scientists for decades[1].
Despite this debate there are studies showing an increase in fibre improves health.
Fibre is the part of food which adds bulk
Without getting too technical fibre is the part of food which adds bulk to the diet and it not digested or absorbed. You may be forgiven for thinking at this point that there is little point in having any fibre. However another way to think if fibre is that it can help carry helpful nutrients like vitamins and minerals into the body and can help carry waste out of the body.
Fibre rich foods help many health problems
Fibre rich foods have been shown to help many health problem. It is particularly important for the bowel to work well. It helps prevent constipation, bowel cancers [2, 3], type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and immunity[3].
Foods which are both high in Fibre and high in vitamins and minerals
Naturopaths recommend foods which are both high in Fibre and high in vitamins and minerals. The best of these are vegetables virtually all vegetables are terrific sources of vitamins minerals and fibre.
Food labels can be misleading
Do beware high fibre labels on food they can be misleading. This very paper you are reading now (or if reading from online the paper you are making notes on!) is high in fibre however it has no nutrients, do not eat it!
High Fibre and low Fibre Grains
Foods such as grains found in bread, pasta, and rice do contain fibre however the white refined variety will contain far less fibre that the unrefined wholegrain type. The unrefined grains often called brown will also contain more nutrients. However all grains must be soaked overnight or naturally fermented to get the best of the nutrients. 
Bran irritates the bowel 
Bran is high in fibre and is popular for constipation however it is in fact an irritant to the bowel[4] and depletes the body of nutrients. So avoid foods with added bran. The bran left naturally in the wholegrain – not separated out, behaves quite differently and, as long as it has been soaked or slowly fermented is helpful to the body.
The recommended Entire Katoa Food State range are research based dietary supplements with high absorption, low dose and high bio-availability. Available online at 
Ask the Naturopaths at Bay Naturopath for more information and to book your consultation. 

Picture Vegetables and Entire Katoa FS Multivitand Min


1.    Jones JR, Lineback DM, Levine MJ: Dietary reference intakes: implications for fiber labeling and consumption: a summary of the International Life Sciences Institute North America Fiber Workshop, June 1-2, 2004, Washington, DC. Nutr Rev 2006, 64:31-38. 
2.    Murphy N, Norat T, Ferrari P, Jenab M, Bueno-de-Mesquita B, Skeie G, Dahm CC, Overvad K, Olsen A, Tjønneland A: Dietary fibre intake and risks of cancers of the colon and rectum in the European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition (EPIC). PLoS One 2012, 7:e39361. 
3.    Kaczmarczyk MM, Miller MJ, Freund GG: The health benefits of dietary fiber: Beyond the usual suspects of type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. Metabolism - Clinical and Experimental, 61:1058-1066. 
4.    Eswaran S, Muir J, Chey WD: Fiber and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. Am J Gastroenterol 2013, 108:718-727.