Fibre February – which began back in 2017 by the organisation that represents the flour milling industry across the UK – aims to show that it will not need a huge diet change to feel the benefits.
The initiative is encouraging Brits to make just ‘small swaps’, such as amending recipes to include wholemeal flour and choosing seeded, wholemeal or bread made with a mixture of white and wholemeal flour.
Fibre is vital to keep our digestive systems working normally, as well as contributing to healthy cholesterol levels and promoting healthy gut bacteria. There is also evidence that diets rich in fibre help to reduce risk of colon cancer and cardiovascular disease.
According to data from NDNS, foods made from grains, such as bread and breakfast cereals, contribute the highest fibre intake (between 38-44%, depending on age), followed by vegetables and potatoes (21-32%). Fruit contributes between 6-16%.
“Last year’s Fibre February campaign proved a huge success, and as a result we’re rolling it out again this year,” said Priay Nicholas, communications manager of UK Flour Millers.
“The message is clear: experts say we should eat 30g fibre per day and that women, in particular, are most likely to need to increase their fibre consumption – sometimes by as much as 75%. Those on fad diets or avoiding staple foods like bread or cereals are particularly at risk of not eating enough fibre – yet the solution is easy and tasty, too.
Become a fibre hero
To help the younger generation make the change, the Fibre February campaign is pressing home the message to more than 13,000 educationalists currently registered on the ‘Food, A Fact of Life’ programme and targeting school-going children with activity packs, which have been specially adapted to meet the demand of remote learning. UK Flour Millers is also working with the Food Teachers Centre to encourage conversation around fibre and promote a change in lifestyles.
“Regular social media partnerships also focus on making small tweaks to increase fibre intake,” added Nicholas.
“As well as working with a mixture of nutritionists and lifestyle influencers to support the campaign, we are also sponsoring a podcast by a group of nutritionists, supporting live-streamed and interactive ‘bake-along’ events.”