Along with promoting healthy eating, Dr. Ali Ghahary also wants patients to know that it’s important to have a diet that is high in fibre.

Including fibre as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet can help ward off many different illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It can also help you maintain a healthy body weight and improve your digestive health.

While many Canadians think they might be getting enough fibre in their diets, chances are you’re not.

So just how much fibre is needed? Well, that all depends on your age. For children between the ages of 1 and 3, Dr. Ali Ghahary recommends at least 19 grams of fibre per day, while children between the ages of 4 and 12 can have anywhere from 25 to 30 grams per day, and teenagers and adults anywhere from 25 to 40 grams.

There are two different types of fibre: Insoluble fibre and soluble fibre. Insoluble fibre is found in things like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and wheat bran, while soluble fibre is found in oats, barley, and legumes such as beans and lentils. To ensure you’re getting both types of fibre, it is important to include a variety of fibre-rich foods in your diet so that you can reap the health benefits.

In order to ensure you’re getting enough fibre in your diet each day, Dr. Ali Ghahary shares the following tips:

1. As an increase of fibre can cause gas and bloating, it’s important to make sure you’re also drinking plenty of fluids (water!) and getting regular exercise.

2. When eating breakfast cereal, try to choose ones that contain at least 4 grams of fibre per serving. You will be able to find this information on the nutrition label, which is generally found on the back or side of the box.

3. Eat whole fruits rather than fruit juice. Fruit juice contains a significantly lower amount of fibre than whole fruit, and sometimes a significantly high amount of sugar, which isn’t good for you.

4. When making soups, casseroles or salads, add things like beans, lentils, flaxseeds and unsalted sunflower seeds for extra fibre.

5. Sunflower seeds and almost also make for a great, healthy snack.

Find more information on fibre by visiting the Dietitians of Canada website at @DrAliGhahary.