Generally, eating a diet high in fibre is encouraged amongst those wishing to lose weight.
Fibre is helpful with weight loss as it’s filling and takes longer to chew and digest. Plus it’s long been believed that much of the fibre content of food which passes through us undigested, contains little to no calories.
But it seems we’ve all been misled.
According to scientists, the calorie labelling on our food has been wrong for years. Apparently regulators have known since the early 1990s that fibre does have a calorific value. However, for some reason, they decided to stick to the old system which only takes into consideration the calorific values of protein, fat and carbohydrates, while largely ignoring the fibre content.
But things are about to change, namely the calorie values on our food labels. By the end of next year, in order to meet with changing European food regulations, all food labels will have to show an extra 2 calories per gram of fibre.
This might come as quite a shock, particularly for those who eat a very high fibre diet. All food which has a high fibre content, for example, wholemeal bread and high fibre bran cereals, will be consuming more calories than they realised.
Don’t panic too much though. Just 2 extra calories per gram of fibre isn’t that much. For example, a slice of M&S Hi Bran wholemeal bread has 60 calories and 2g of fibre per slice. Under new labelling, this bread would have 64 calories per slice.
Eating a high fibre breakfast cereal is a popular way of starting the day. One of the highest fibre breakfast cereals is Kellogg’s All Bran. Currently, a 40g serving provides 134 calories. But adding on the extra calories for fibre content would increase this figure to 156 calories.
If you consume the recommended minimum of 18g of fibre per week, this would equate to an extra 252 calories per week. Putting it that way, it does sound a lot. But dividing it up per day, it’s only an extra 36 calories.
And if you’re following the Weight Watchers ProPoints plan, the foods highest in fibre are likely to have a lower ProPoints value because of the energy used up by our body in both chewing and digesting the fibre!
So even accounting for foods with some of the highest fibre content, the calorie increase per portion isn’t a hugely significant amount, even if you are watching your weight.
Further information on these findings can be found in this article.
© Diets and Calories