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17 September 2014
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The High Fibre Diet


Can changing your diet give your gut a makeover?

According to recommended UK guidelines we should be consuming between 18-24g of fibre per day. The average UK intake is just 12g.

An increase in transit time, the process from which food travels from the mouth to the anus through the digestive system, means potentially harmful waste products are kept on the move and is one of the factors associated with reducing the risk from colon cancer.

We took two truckers – Don and Wolfgang - with a high-fat, low fibre diet and tracked their bowel movements as they travelled from Southampton to Turin. We gave them a pill which measured their transit time before we put them on the high fibre diet, and after, at the end of their journey. In addition, we sent a pill cam – an incredibly small camera - into the dark, deep recesses of the trucker Don’s intestine to follow the progress of his new, high fibre diet.

"We should be consuming 18-24g of fibre per day"

Before the diet it took Don 22 hours and 39 minutes for the pill to be passed through the digestive system and Wolfgang an astonishing 42 hours and 25 minutes.

Ten days later, after a diet of 50g of fibre per day, the trucker’s transit time had reduced dramatically by an average of 20 hours and 40 minutes.

The test was conducted with the help of Dr Mark McAlindon, Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield.

If you want a healthier gut then why not look at our Healthy Takeaways Tips.

See an example of what the truckers ate.

Suggested recipes from BBC Food

High Fibre/ low budget recipes:

Chickpea stew

Image: Innerspace Imaging/Science Photo Library

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