Fibre February seeks to bridge the gap between fibre awareness and consumption for people across the UK, as current statistics show adults are eating less than 20g of the recommended 30g fibre daily.
UK industry body UK Flour Millers is launching this year’s Fibre February campaign to bridge this gap and help people to live healthier lives.
It is supporting Fibre February by increasing social media activity to highlight facts about fibre, health benefits associated with fibre and flour’s contribution to fibre. They are partnering with organisations such as the British Nutrition Foundation, Food a Fact of Life, Food & Drink Federation (FDF), and Federation of Bakers to reach as wide a UK audience as possible, since the lack of enough daily fibre affects everyone.
“Fibre helps to keep our gut healthy and can help reduce constipation. A high fibre diet may help to reduce our risk of heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer,” said Dr Stacey Lockyer, BSc(hons) MSc PhD RNutr, Senior Nutrition Scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation. “However, on average, intakes of fibre in the UK are well below recommendations in all age groups. To get enough fibre in our diets it is important to include a variety of fibre-providing foods regularly, such as wholemeal bread, wholegrain breakfast cereals, brown pasta or rice, fruit, vegetables, pulses, nuts, seeds, and potatoes with skins.”
No age group is getting its recommended fibre intake. In addition to UK Flour Millers’ efforts, the Flour Advisory Bureau (‘FAB’ Flour), the consumer-facing programme of UK Flour Millers, will share information and flour- and fibre-filled recipes on their website and social media channels.
“Fibre February is a fantastic campaign that not only promotes healthy lifestyles for people across the UK, but is also important to the flour milling industry. Many high-fibre products that we enjoy eating contain flour, so the hard work and dedication of flour millers truly nourishes the nation,” explained Alistair Gale, Chief Executive of UK Flour Millers.
According to data from the FDF, only one in three people know that the recommended amount of fibre adults should consume is 30g. Beyond that, approximately 70% of people are unaware if they meet that recommended amount, when FAB Flour states 75% of women and 50% of men need to increase their fibre consumption.
“High dietary fibre intake is associated with increased gut microbiota diversity,” added Paula Papa, Technical and Regulatory Affairs Officer at UK Flour Millers, who has a MSc in food science. “Fibre can increase good bacteria and have anti-inflammatory effects. Our industry is appropriately placed to bridge the gap in fibre intake because although wholemeal wheat flour has the most fibre, all wheat flours contain fibre.”
The importance of flour, and therefore flour milling, and its connection to fibre in the UK cannot be overstated, since FDF data also highlights the fact that cereals and cereal products make up the largest contribution of foods to fibre intake. Flour is one of the most common food ingredients in the UK, present in about a third of all supermarket food products. UK Flour Millers is striving to increase awareness and consumption of fibre and flour during Fibre February.
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