Looking to add more fibre to your day? You’re not alone! Most Australians fall short of their daily fibre needs. A handful of nuts is a healthy way to boost your fibre intake. But how much fibre do nuts contain and which ones contain the most?  

Why is fibre important?

Dietary fibre is important for digestive health. A fibre-rich diet supports bowel regularity, and can help prevent gut issues, such as diverticulosis and haemorrhoids.

Studies also show that fibre helps keep us feeling fuller for longer, can improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels and can assist in preventing certain diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer (1-4).

A fibre-rich diet supports a healthy gut microbiota. This is because fibre feeds our gut microbes – the beneficial community of microorganisms in our digestive tract. 

What foods contain fibre?

Fibre is only found in plant foods. It’s the indigestible parts of plant foods, such as vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Eating a variety of plant-based foods every day is important.

Each of these foods will give you around 4g fibre:

  • 1 cup (150g) cooked broccoli
  • 2 bananas
  • 50g mixed nuts
  • Large (170g) peeled, cooked potato
  • 2 slices wholemeal bread
  • ½ cup canned chickpeas
  • ½ cup rolled oats (raw/uncooked)
  • An apple
  • 1 cup cooked pasta

Did you know? Foods with at least 4g fibre per serve are considered a good source of fibre (6). To compare the fibre content of different foods, check the 100g column on the Nutrition Information Panel of a food product.

Which nuts are highest in fibre?

While there’s no such thing as an unhealthy nut, they do vary in their nutritional make-up – including their fibre content. Chestnuts (14.9g/100g), almonds (10.9g/100g) and hazelnuts (10.5g/100g) contain the most fibre.

Mixed tree nuts contain 7.1g fibre per 100g (or 2.1g in a 30g handful).

Where possible, look for nuts with their skin on, as these will be higher in fibre.

Nut Fibre (g) per 30g Fibre (g) per 100g
Chestnut 4.5 14.9
Almond 3.3 10.9
Hazelnut 3.1 10.4
Pistachio 2.7 9.0
Brazil nut 2.6 8.5
Pecan 2.5 8.4
Macadamia 1.9 6.4
Walnut 1.9 6.4
Cashew 1.8 5.9
Pine nut 1.5 5.1

Figures from Food Standards Australia New Zealand (2019). Australian Food Composition Database – Release 1. Canberra: FSANZ.

Did you know? According to the latest National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, just 28% of Australian adults met the recommendation for fibre intake (7).

Need to add more fibre to your day?

Simple ways to increase your fibre intake with nuts:

  • Add nuts to breakfast cereals, including hot cereal, like porridge
  • Sprinkle nuts on salads or vegetables
  • Mix nuts through grain-based foods, like quinoa or brown rice
  • Use nuts in sauces or make nut-based pesto
  • Snack on a handful of nuts
  • Blend nuts into smoothies
  • Add nut butters and flours to sauces, casseroles and baked goods.

Try these three easy swaps:

Swap For Fibre boost
Packet of potato crisps     Handful of nuts ↑ 2g
2-3 plain, sweet biscuits   Muesli bar with nuts ↑ 2g
Slice white bread with jam Slice wholegrain bread with nut butter ↑ 3g

References

  1. Anderson JW., et al., Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutr Rev, 2009. 67:188–205.
  2. Dahl WJ., Stewart M.L. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Health implications of dietary fiber. J Acad Nutr Diet, 2015. 115:1861–70.
  3. Lattimer JM., Haub MD. Effects of dietary fiber and its components on metabolic health. Nutrients, 2010. 2:1266–89.
  4. Kim Y., Je Y. Dietary fiber intake and total mortality: A meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Am J Epidemiol, 2014. 180:565–73.
  5. National Health and Medical Research Council 2006, Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council. Available from: http://www.nrv.gov.au
  6. Australian Government Department of Health. Health Direct. Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/high-fibre-foods-and-diet
  7. Fayet-Moore F., Dietary fibre intake in Australia. Paper I: Associations with demographic, socio-economic, and anthropometric factors. Nutrients, 2018. 10(5):599.
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