What is fibre?


The official definition of dietary fibre is published in the Food Information to Consumers Regulation (FIC). For the purposes of this “fibre” includes all carbohydrate components occurring in foods that are not digestible in the small intestine.

Fibre is not a nutrient; it is not digested. It is often referred to as bulk or roughage. It is essential because it helps in the efficient transit of material along the gut.

Wheat bran is a rich source of dietary fibre and typically contains 45% dietary fibre.

Why do we need it?

Fibre is essential for a healthy digestive system. Medical reports and nutrition experts stress the importance of fibre in the diet, particularly cereal fibre. Ensuring we get enough fibre helps to maintain digestive health and can prevent conditions such as constipation and other bowel disorders. Foods rich in fibre and wholegrain may provide other health benefits – such as helping to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Fibre in Bread

Bread is an important source of fibre in the diet and provides a fifth of our daily intake.

A medium slice of brown bread contains around 1.2 grams of fibre. White bread contains 0.7g and wholemeal bread 1.8g per slice.

How much Fibre do we need?

Medical experts recommend that an average adult should be consuming at least 24g of dietary fibre per day as part of a healthy and balanced diet in support of good digestive health.

For more information please download our Factsheet No.12 – Fibre