The everyday foods that are surprisingly high in fibre

The supermarket shop is an essential part of everyday life. Stocking up on items like peanut butter, baked beans, and cheese keep the household going, but you might not realise just how these pantry staples could contribute to a healthy diet.

Across the UK, health data shows that British adults aren’t getting enough protein or fibre in their diets. Most adults need about 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight – equivalent to 56g and 45g of protein per day for men and women of average body weights (75kg and 60kg respectively), according to the British Nutrition Foundation.

In addition, it is recommended that adults consume at least 30g of fibre a day as part of a balanced diet.

The importance of eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy sources of protein like lean meat, beans and lentils, cannot be understated. However, you can also get protein and fibre from standard cupboard ingredients you might already have.

Alexandra Gorton, a nutritional therapist, said that knowing how much protein and fibre content is in everyday foods can help people reach the recommended goals.

Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce on Slice of Toasted Bread, traditional British breakfast�

The British classic, baked beans on toast, can deliver plenty of fibre as well as being delicious. (Getty Images)

“Increasing the amount of protein in your diet has several health benefits. It can be described as the building blocks of our body as it is used for growth and repair, and is essential for bones, muscles, cartilage and skin,” she said.

“Whilst fibre and protein goals will mainly be reached through whole food products such as nuts, vegetables and poultry, understanding the contents of other everyday food items can help you hit your goals without compromising on taste.”

Tombola analysed 20 everyday food items from own-brand ranges available at the UK’s five main supermarket leaders to see how much fibre and protein they provide to consumers.

The top five everyday foods that are surprisingly high in fibre include:

  • Peanut butter: 23% of recommended daily allowance per 100g

  • Plain tortilla chips: 17% of recommended daily allowance per 5g

  • Baked beans: 14% of recommended daily allowance per 4g

  • Digestive biscuits: 11% of recommended daily allowance per 3g

  • Toastie loaf: 10% of recommended daily allowance per 2g

In terms of protein, the top five foods with more protein than you may have thought include:

  • Mature cheddar cheese: 56% of recommended daily allowance per 25g

  • Peanut butter: 55% of recommended daily allowance per 24g

  • Wafer thin ham: 41% of recommended daily allowance per 18g

  • Pork sausages: 32% of recommended daily allowance per 15g

  • Cheese and onion sandwich filler: 23% of recommended daily allowance per 10g

Commenting on the findings, Samantha Wilcox, SEO and digital PR manager at tombola said: “This research proves that incorporating protein into your diet doesn’t need to be complex or inconvenient. In fact, it highlights how everyday food items can complement a healthy diet, so you don’t have to compromise on an occasional treat such as cheese, sausages and even peanut butter.

“From our research, it’s clear that fibre and protein are essential for your body to function properly. From supporting your gut bacteria to improving digestion and keeping you fuller for longer, they deserve all the limelight they are getting in recent years.

“Many people are aware that fruit and vegetables are good for you, but it’s difficult to pinpoint what other changes to make and more importantly, what everyday foods to cut or introduce based on their contents – this research does just that.”

To help consumers make healthier choices with their supermarket shop, Gorton shared her top tips:

Don’t forego fruit and vegetables

“Including a wide variety of different vegetables in your diet is extremely beneficial for the good bacteria within your gut,” Gorton says. “Try adding some fruit or seeds to your porridge for breakfast, or if you have children, create meals where they can be easily concealed such as chili con carne, bolognese or stews.”

Add protein to each meal or snack

“It helps you to feel satisfied for longer as it is broken down slowly by the body. Some great snacks include Greek yoghurt, boiled eggs, hummus and even a small block of cheese.”

Meal plan

“When you can, give yourself time to plan out your meals as this enables you to consider the nutritional content of your food.”

Read more about fibre and gut health:

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