Fibre is a nutrient required by the body to help with digestion and keep bowels healthy.

Eating plenty of fibre is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer. In Scotland, most of us should be aiming to increase how much fibre we eat. The current guidelines recommend that adults eat 30g of fibre a day.

Choosing foods with fibre also makes us feel fuller for longer, and a diet high in fibre can help with digestion and prevent constipation. It is important to get fibre from a variety of different sources.

Eating more high fibre foods doesn't need to cost lots of money. Our shopping section provides great tips and advice on how to shop on a budget. Our in the kitchen section provides great tips on cheaper ways to cook, using leftovers, batch cooking, microwave cooking and also helpful cook-along videos.

Fibre can be found naturally in a variety of plant-based foods, such as starchy foods, fruit & vegetables, beans and pulses, and nuts.

Starchy foods

A good start is to base meals on starchy foods, and then pick wholegrain options if possible. Wholegrain versions of starchy foods are higher in fibre as are less processed than the white kind.

Starchy foods high in fibre include:

  • Wholegrain pasta, rice, cous cous and noodles - look for the brown versions.
  • Potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams with the skin left on.
  • Wholemeal and wholegrain bread products including pittas, wraps and buns.
  • High fibre cereal such as plain whole wheat biscuits or oats in porridge.

Find out more about how to eat more wholegrain foods in our making a change page.

If you prefer white bread to wholegrain, try switching to 50/50 bread.

Having half wholegrain and half white pasta is a good start to eating more fibre.

Fruit and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables make you feel fuller for longer as they are high in fibre.

  • Aiming for 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day will help ensure you get enough fibre.
  • Eating a whole piece of fruit rather than a juice or smoothie will ensure you get the benefit of fibre as well as essential vitamins & minerals.
  • Keeping the skin on fruit like apples and pears increases the fibre content.
  • High fibre examples include peas, peppers, sweetcorn, leeks and yam.

Beans, lentils and split peas are a good source of fibre and can be used to cheaply bulk out meals, or in the place of meat.

Check the label - most pre-packaged foods have a nutrition label which may include information on how much fibre is in a product.

We know it can be daunting to reach 30g a day, but any extra fibre can help.

Find some examples below of foods and approximate fibre content that could help you reach your 30g a day. You could try one or two that you don't already eat.

  • 1 medium sized banana or apple - 2g
  • Half a can of baked beans - 10g
  • 250g baked potato with skin - 6.5g
  • 2 wheat bisks - 4g 
  • Two thick slices of wholemeal toasted bread - 6.6g
  • 150ml of fruit juice - 1.2g
  • A small handful of nuts - 3.8g

Eating more wholegrain foods

How to eat more wholegrain foods.

Make a change