Health & Wellness

You’re Probably Not Getting Enough Fibre

A low-fibre diet isn’t good for you, but it’s not hard to boost your intake—and we’ve got just the recipe to help.

By Katrina Caruso

 

Most people find it hard to get the recommended amount of fibre into their diets, which can lead to problems such as constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticular disease. Experts say that men should consume between 30 and 38 grams of fibre each day and women need about 25 grams—21 if they’re 55 or older. Most people get about 15 grams.

Eating more fibre every day can also keep your LDL “bad” cholesterol down and help with weight loss and stave off weight gain. In 2015, a study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that showed that increasing fibre intake was as effective for weight loss as a special diet limiting calories, sugar, sodium, and fat. After six months of consuming at least 30 grams of fibre a day, particpants had lost five pounds.

What are good sources of fibre?

– Beans and legumes (such as lentils)

– Whole grains

– Nuts (especially almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, and pecans) and seeds (chia, sunflower, hemp, sesame, pumpkin, and ground flax)

– Veggies (especially leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and squash)

– Fruits (berries, pears, apples, oranges, bananas)

Eggplants are an extremely good source of fibre (as well as of folate and potassium). Here’s a recipe to help boost your fibre intake.

Eggplant Parmesan
Serves: 10 portions
8.8 g fibre per serving

Grocery List
3 medium to large eggplants
4 cups (1 L) breadcrumbs (seasoned or plain; optional)
2 eggs (optional, needed only if you use breadcrumbs)
6 cups (1.5 L) strained tomatoes
2–3 garlic cloves
½ medium white or yellow onion
2–3 tbsp (25–50 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 cups (500 mL) grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup (125 mL) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
½ tsp (2 mL) fresh basil

 

  1. Wash and slice eggplants in rounds about 1 cm (½-inch) thick. Place them on a plate or in a bowl, sprinkling salt over the slices and then layering them. Set aside (for at least 10 minutes, but one hour is even better).
  2. Prepare tomato sauce. Dice garlic and onion finely. In a large pot, cook onions and garlic with olive oil on low to medium heat until brown. Add strained tomatoes. Add additional olive oil as needed. Let simmer for 30–45 minutes, adding salt to taste. Add other spices (oregano, basil, chili flakes), as desired.
  3. Beat eggs and grate cheeses.
  4. Rinse eggplant slices thoroughly.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  6. Optional: Dip eggplant in egg and then in breadcrumbs. Arrange slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes on each side (you could also fry the eggplant for this step, if you prefer).
  7. Coat the bottom of a baking dish with tomato sauce. Place a layer of eggplant. Sprinkle cheeses. Repeat, ending with a top layer of cheese. Sprinkle basil on top, to taste. Cover with aluminum foil.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Photo: iStock/AlexPro9500.