Tim Spector's simple food swap that can boost fibre intake and improve gut health

When you're trying to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle, it's crucial that you're packing enough nutrients into your diet - and fibre is a very important example.

This type of carbohydrate plays a hugely important role when it comes to our health. According to BBC Good Food, it can help to lower the risk of heart attacks, strokes and diabetes, as well as supporting digestive efficiency and strengthening immune systems.

Many of us may be lacking fibre in our diet, but according to health guru Tim Spector, one simple diet swap can help to up our fibre levels and reap the benefits for doing so.

Tim, who is one of the brains behind the ZOE Health App, is a master of gut health and often takes to Instagram to share helpful tips for people to get a better handle on their health.

He recently made a short video detailing how swapping out a few household 'staples' for slightly healthier versions could do wonders for your fibre intake - which is a great way to give gut health a boost.

White rice and pasta are ingredients that many of us will use on a weekly basis at home. But by exchanging these for brown, wholegrain or grain-based carbs, your fibre intake will end up being a lot higher.

Tim said: "If like me, you have poor blood sugar control, the fibre content of pasta and grains can vary hugely so it’s well worth checking the label to look for how many grams of fibre there are / 100g.

"Choosing a standard white pasta will provide around 3.5g of fibre, swapping to wholegrain wheat pasta increases this to over 5g and choosing pasta made from chickpeas increases this to 9g with 22g of protein per 100g.

"Similarly, while white rice has <1g of fibre per 100g, brown rice has 1.5g of fibre per 100g, quinoa and bulgur wheat have around 2.3g, pearl barley has 5.4g."

Tim also noted that a staggering 90 percent of us don't get enough fibre in our diet on a day to day basis, and this could be causing our gut microbiomes - and our health - to suffer. He also described how alternative pastas produced much less of a sugar spike, and urged people to opt for mixed grains wherever possible instead of rice.

He added: "I hope this swap is helpful for a simple way to add more fibre into your diet. Of course, adding some extra vegetables, protein or healthy fats will also help your blood sugar response to white pasta and rice."

In the video's comments, people thanked Tim for sharing his tips and suggested their own unique ways of adding more fibre into their diets. One person said: "I've done exactly the same and it's a real game-changer."

Another said: "Thanks for the tips @tim.spector I use the Zoe App and the suggested alternatives in there have been a game changer for me. The best thing about the App."

And a third commented: "I actually prefer brown pasta now! Find it has more flavour (Apart from gnocchi which is something I’m not willing to swap)."

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