Is there an RDA for dietary fibres in the EU? Is there an RDA for Ireland?
Fibre is a collective term used for plant substances (materials) which are not digested, or only partly digested, by human beings. This includes waxes, lignin and polysaccharides such as cellulose and pectin. There are two broad types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Oats, fruit, vegetables and pulses (beans, lentils, chick peas) are good sources of soluble fibre. These form a gel in the presence of water. Soluble fibre may help to control the blood sugar level and even reduce the cholesterol absorbed by the body, thus resulting in a reduction of blood cholesterol levels. Insoluble fibres are found in whole-grain cereals. They absorb water and help to form larger and bulkier stools, thus helping to relieve and prevent digestive disorders such as constipation. The European Union does not have established RDAs for dietary fibres. However, in the Eurodiet report the consumption of fibre-rich carbohydrates (e.g. whole-grain cereals, pulses) is encouraged to ensure that the specified population goal of at least 25g per day is met. This value is consistent with the FAO/WHO (1998) report on carbohydrates. Apart from that, there are country-specific recommendations.
See also :
European Council Directive 90/496/EEC