More than 20 media representatives and
nutritionists attended the launch of Focus on Fiber on March 4 at The Pavilion
restaurant in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens.
Developed by dietitian Shane Landon on behalf of
Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing, the Focus on Fiber report reveals that
high-fiber diets can improve immunity, fight inflammation, boost digestive
health, and guard against colorectal cancer. New research has also linked
dietary fiber to protecting against asthma.
“Obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke,
and cancer account for almost two-thirds of A$100 billion expended each year on
health. Where conditions are preventable, we clearly need to take
responsibility for our health to reduce this cost burden and we need to start
by looking at nutrition,” said Landon.
Other keynote speakers at the launch included
nutritionist and chef Zoe Bingley-Pullin and Michelle Broom from the Grain and
Legumes Nutrition Council.
Bingley-Pullin recommended Australian men
and women aim to consume at least 30 and 25 grams of fiber per day
respectively. She noted that improving fiber intake could be a simple matter of
making small changes such as choosing whole meal bread instead of white, or
including more legumes in meals.
A recent Newspoll survey commissioned by
Sanitarium shows that one-fifth of the Australian population doesn’t think they
are getting enough fiber.
Of those surveyed, 96 percent associated fiber
with keeping the digestive system healthy. However only half knew that fiber
also helps prevent cancer and diabetes; and nearly a third were unaware of its
connection to preventing cardiovascular disease.