What is fibre?

We all know that we should be eating more fibre. But what is fibre, exactly? Let’s find out!

Foods are made up of three macronutrients: fat, protein and carbohydrates. Each macronutrient can be further divided into types: for example, fat can be trans fat, saturated fat and unsaturated fat.

Fibre is a type of carbohydrate.

Most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar (glucose) and used as energy by our body. However, fibre is a form of carbohydrate that the body is unable to break down and digest. It’s mostly made of cellulose from plants.

Because it can’t be broken down, fibre isn’t a source of energy for your body. What it does do, however, is help everything else move through your digestive tract and keep your gut healthy.

Fibre can also slow down the break down of other carbohydrates. For example, if you eat a simple sugary syrup without anything else, your body can break this down into glucose extremely quickly, causing a ‘sugar spike’. However, if you drizzle that sugary syrup on something with a lot of fibre, for example porridge oats, it increases the amount of time it takes to break down the syrup and creates a slower release of energy.

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