Recent research from Tate & Lyle has suggested that increasing the fibre content of everyday foods including baked goods, dairy products and soups could enable more adults to get their daily recommended amount of fibre, helping to lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
In the peer reviewed health and nutrition data modelling study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, scientists from the company, working with data analytics company Crème Global, found that reformulating everyday foods with added fibre could reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications and type 2 diabetes for the adult population while more than doubling the number of children meeting their fibre intake.
UK adults consume just 19g of fibre per day on average, significantly under the recommended amount of 30g, with only 9% currently meeting the daily target. Low fibre intake is associated with higher levels of colorectal and breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, and can disrupt the beneficial gut microbiome.
Dr Kavita Karnik, Global Head, Nutrition & Regulatory Affairs at Tate & Lyle, said: “Most people understand that eating fibre helps keep bowel function regular, but fewer understand that getting the right amount of fibre in your diet is highly beneficial for wider health and wellbeing, including cardiovascular, immunity, skin, brain and gut health. However, for most people it is difficult to get enough fibre into their diet without exceeding their recommended calorie intake. This is where fibre fortification could play a highly beneficial role to public health – it would allow consumers to continue eating the products they prefer while potentially, lowering rates of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and help maintain a healthy weight across the population.”
Consumers can take several steps to increase the amount of fibre in their diet, including eating more almond or other nut butters, swapping standard yoghurts with added fibre variants, and swapping sugary treats with ‘reduced sugar’ versions with added fibre.
The company recently signed up to the UK’s Food and Drink Federation’s Action on Fibre initiative, aiming to help consumers to bridge the gap between fibre intake and the dietary recommendation to help improve gut health and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.