Media representatives and nutritionists attended the launch of “Focus on Fibre” at The Pavilion restaurant in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens on March 4.
The “Focus on Fibre” report, developed by dietitian Shane Landon on behalf of Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing, reveals that high-fibre diets can improve immunity, fight inflammation, boost digestive health and guard against colorectal cancer. New research has also linked dietary fibre to protecting against asthma.
“Obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke and cancer account for almost two-thirds of $A100 billion expended each year on health,” Mr Landon said. “Where conditions are preventable, we clearly each need to take responsibility for our health to reduce this cost burden and we need to start by looking at nutrition.”
Other keynote speakers included nutritionist and chef Zoe Bingley-Pullin and Michelle Broom from the Grain and Legumes Nutrition Council.
Ms Bingley-Pullin recommended Australian men and women aim to consume at least 30 and 25 grams of fibre per day respectively. She noted that improving fibre intake could be simply a matter of making small changes such as choosing wholemeal bread or eating more legumes in meals.
A recent Newspoll survey commissioned by Sanitarium shows one-fifth of the Australian population doesn’t think they are getting enough fibre. Ninety-six per cent associated fibre with keeping the digestive system healthy. However only half knew that fibre also helps prevent cancer and diabetes, and around one-third were unaware of its connection to preventing cardiovascular disease.