Dietary fibre and water Foundation
Learning objectives • To understand the functions and sources of dietary fibre. • To know the benefits of dietary fibre. • To understand the functions and sources of water. • To understand the principles of water balance.
Dietary fibre Dietary fibre is not a nutrient, but it is important for health. Dietary fibre is made up of a number of complex carbohydrates.
Benefits of dietary fibre Dietary fibre helps: ● prevent constipation; ● keep the gut healthy; ● lower blood cholesterol levels. Some health professionals suggest the risks of bowel and colorectal cancer are reduced by a diet high in fibre.
Sources of dietary fibre Dietary fibre is a complex carbohydrate found in the cell walls of plants. Good sources of dietary fibre include: ● cereal and cereal products; ● fruits; ● vegetables (including pulses and beans). Food such a meat, fish and dairy products do not contain fibre.
Tips for increasing dietary fibre • Eat a wholegrain cereal in the morning. • Switch from white to wholemeal or granary bread. • Use cereal in fruit crumble toppings. • Serve a side salad with a sandwich or pasta dish. • Eat porridge with a handful of dried fruit. • Add beans and pulses to casseroles and soups.
Recommendations for dietary fibre Adults should aim to eat 18 grams of dietary fibre a day. The current average intake for adults is 12 grams per day.
Functions of water The human body is over 75% water. Water is vital for good health. Water has many functions in the body: ● production of body fluids (saliva); ● absorption of water soluble nutrients; ● removal of waste products (urine); ● regulation of body temperature (sweat).
Sources of water Water can be drunk on its own, and is found in milk, juice, all drinks, soups, fruit and vegetables. It is important to provide the body with plenty of fluids to ensure the water that the body uses is replaced.
Water balance Weather or temperature Water in: Water out: ● Drink ● Sweating ● Food ● Breathing ● Going to the toilet ● Physical activity
Too little water? There are two main results when the body does not get enough water. 1) Dehydration - where people can experience headaches, feel faint and become dizzy. It can result in delirium or unconsciousness. 2) Constipation - where stools are hard and difficult to pass when people go to the toilet.
Guidelines for water intake The body needs about 2 litres of fluid each day to help it to function properly. This is the same as roughly 6-8 glasses of water. More water is needed during hot weather and when exercising. All drinks count towards water intake including tea, coffee and carbonated drinks. People should remember to choose drinks that are better for health.
Learning objectives review • To understand the sources and functions of dietary fibre. • To know the benefits of dietary fibre. • To understand the sources and functions of water. • To understand the principles of water balance.