The amount of fibre consumed by people is dropping at an alarming rate. This has led to a rise in health problems among people, say doctors. They believe westernisation of our food habits has led people to be prone to diseases like colon cancer, obesity and health problems related to obesity, constipation, etc.
Dr Nupur Krishnan, a Clinical Nutritionist said, “Food intake which is high in fibre plays a key role in maintaining a healthy digestive system. The main purpose of dietary fibre is to help your digestive system work properly.”
Krishnan explained that, due to the availability of packed foods people are consuming less amounts of fibre which is important for their body. “Due to lack of time, people cut fruits and take it in tiffin; they are unaware that this is of no use as maximum fibre which one gets goes away. Fruits should be cut and eaten immediately, rather than consuming it after a period when it contains no vitamins and fibre anymore. Adding maximum vegetables to the meals helps one in having a rich fibre diet” said Krishnan.
Experts say fruits which contain edible seeds, such as kiwi, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are best for getting fibre into the body. “People should intake more of soluble fibre, which is easy to digest than insoluble fibre which takes time digest and often leads to health problems like constipation” said Krishnan.
Dr Usha Kiran Sisodia, a Clinical Nutritionist informed that, 25 to 30 grams of fibre should be consumed by everyone on a daily basis. “In today’s lifestyle lot of people consume bakery products, like bread and biscuits rather than fruits and vegetables. People do not eat a proper amount pulses” said Sisodia.
Doctors and experts say an absence of fibre in diet leads to:
Sisodia also said having packed food like pasta, Maggie, restaurant roti’s which are made of maida (refined flour), and white bread etc. cause damage to the body and affects the digestive system.
Doctors and experts warn that, due to life style change and having less intake of fibre, the cleansing process of tour body gets affected and the body gets more prone to diseases.
Dr Jayshree Todkar, Bariatric Surgeon and founder of JT foundation said, “With food and water, the cleansing process is very essential for the body. Due to lack of fibre in the body, the digestive cycle gets affected and toxic materials get collected into the gut and which disturbs the eco-system of the body.”
Todkar also informed health problems like diabetes, hypertension, blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases are caused as a result of this.
Dr Pravin Rathi, Gastroenterologist at Bombay hospital explained that lack of fibre intake leads to diverticular disease. “Colon cancer is one rapidly increasing cancer in India especially in Mumbai and one of its reasons is a lack of fibre intake,” said Rathi.
Dr Anil Heroor from Fortis Hospital said colon cancer has two factors. “One is if there is history of colonic cancer in the family which is a very small percentage. Another major contribution to colon cancer is dietary habits. People having more fast food and non-vegetarian food with very less intake of fruits and vegetables are more prone to develop colon cancer,” said Heroor.