It is common to hear about people obsessing over their protein intake, but should your obsession at least be partially switched to fibre intake?
The Protein Hype
Protein has become a very popular nutrient since the mid 1990’s, especially after it was associated with weight loss in the media. Ad campaigns such as Atkins, Paleo and Zone caused the nutrient to rise to fame pretty quickly. More recently, athletic performance was also associated with protein intake through the media, rendering protein products to be worth $7 billion in the entire $9 billion “sports nutrition” industry.
It’s important to ensure what your media feeds you is entirely scientifically accurate, though. One thing that might make you think is the statement by NPS, a marketing research company, saying: “More than three quarters of primary grocery shoppers say protein contributes to a healthy diet, but almost as many say they are unsure of the recommended daily amount.”
Make no mistake, protein is definitely important for your health, and ensuring you get your daily intake will be good for your muscle development, energy levels, and your overall health. However, you must not let that stray you away from other essential nutrients, such as fibre.
Your Fibre Intake
One of the nutrients that takes the backseat when compared to proteins is dibre. Fibre is a very important nutrient in facilitating longterm health. It also has an impressively long list of health benefits, such as cardiovascular health improvement, digestive ease, diverse gut microflora, appetite control and body weight management. It has also been associated with decreased breast cancer risk and type 2 diabetes development risk.
Not just that, it is also a nutrient that is commonly neglected in both the UK and the US.
Frankie Phillips, a nutritionist and “British Dietetic Association” (BDA) spokesperson, spoke about the importance of a fibre rich diet, saying: “Adding more fibre is particularly important as last year’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey showed that, as a nation, we are eating half as much fibre as we should be.”
“Fibre is essential for healthy digestion. Increase fibre slowly with a spoonful of beans or an extra portion of vegetables each week,” she said. “If your diet is fibre-poor and you increase your intake too quickly, you may experience discomfort in your gut.”