Learning objectives• To understand the functions and sources of dietaryfibre.• To know the benefits of dietary fibre.• To understand the functions and sources of water.• To understand the principles of water balance.
Dietary fibreDietary fibre is a type ofcarbohydrate found exclusively inplants.Unlike other types ofcarbohydrate, it is not absorbed inthe small intestine to provideenergy. However, it is fermentedby the bacteria in the colon (largeintestine) and provides a smallamount of energy.
Sources of dietary fibreDietary fibre is found in plant foods,such as:• wholegrain cereals and cerealproducts;• oats;• beans;• lentils;• fruit and vegetables;• nuts and seeds.
Fibre in the dietDietary fibre helps to:• prevent constipation;• increase the feeling of fullnessand control energy intake;• reduce blood cholesterollevels.
How much fibre do we need?Most people do not eat enoughdietary fibre.The recommended average intakefor dietary fibre is 18g per day foradults. Children needproportionately less.Did you know?A diet rich in dietary fibre is usuallylower in fat and contains morestarchy foods, fruit andvegetables.
Can you think of ways to increase fibre in yourdiet?Here are some ideas.Eat a bowl of wholegrain cereal in the morningwith a handful of dried fruit.Switch from white to wholemeal or granarybread.Add oats to fruit crumble toppings.Serve a side salad with a sandwich or pasta dish.Add beans and pulses to casseroles and soups.
WaterOur body is nearly two-thirds water,so drinking enough fluid to stayhydrated is very important.Water is essential for life and it isvery important to get the rightamount of fluid to be healthy.Did you know?Humans can survive for a few weekswithout food, but they cannot gowithout fluids for more than two tothree days.
Water in the dietWater is the major component of bodyfluid and has many functions in thebody:• it acts as a lubricant for joints andeyes;• it is the main component of saliva;• it helps get rid of waste;• it helps regulate body temperature.The body loses water all the time, whenwe go to the toilet, from sweat and alsoevaporation from skin. If we do notconsume enough water, we becomedehydrated.
Sources of waterWater is provided by food anddrinks.It has been estimated that roughly20% of water consumed is fromfood (e.g. soups, yogurt, fruit andvegetables), while 80% is from drinks(water, milk and fruit juice).
How much water do we need?The amount of water and other fluidsthat we need to drink each day variesfrom person to person.On average, we are recommended todrink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day toprevent dehydration, more when theweather is hot or when we are active.
QuestionTrue or false?Dietary fibre is not digested inthe small intestine. True False
True. Dietary fibre is notdigested in the small intestinebut may be fermented in thecolon. Next question
QuestionTrue or false?Dietary fibre is found in plantfoods only. True False
True. Dietary fibre is a type ofcarbohydrate foundexclusively in plants. Next question
QuestionTrue or false?Water is provided by drinksonly. True False
False. Water is provided byboth food and drinks. Next question
QuestionOn average, how much watershould we drink each day? 2-4 glasses/ day 4-6 glasses/ day 6-8 glasses/ day 8-10 glasses/ day