Lower your risk of death with breakfast and fibre

by Ashleigh Feltham,  Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist

Are you too rushed in the morning to have breakfast? Do you miss it due to fasting? Skipping breakfast could mean you are not meeting your daily needs for fibre. An adult requires between 25 and 38g of dietary fibre each day for optimal health.

Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that your body cannot digest. It plays many important roles in your body. These include:

  1. Helping to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
  2. Promoting stable blood sugar levels.
  3. Reducing your levels of ‘bad’ low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and total cholesterol.
  4. Helping to achieve and maintain a healthy gut microbiome and gut function.
  5. Helping to lower your blood pressure.
  6. Reducing your risk of developing certain cancers like colorectal cancer.
Breakfast fibre smoothie

There is a benefit that you may find surprising. Including enough fibre in your diet each day may help reduce your risk of dying from any cause, including heart disease.

A US study investigated the role of fibre and breakfast in reducing your risk of death. The recent study looked at 5761 people from data collected from 1999 to 2002. Researchers investigated the link between eating breakfast while consuming over 25g of dietary fibre each day and the risk of death from any cause including heart disease.

It was found that those people who ate breakfast had a lower body mass index, consumed more calories and obtained more fibre in their diet each day than those people who skipped breakfast. The people who included more than 25g of dietary fibre each day were 21% less likely to die from any cause. In addition to this, those who skipped breakfast were at a 21% greater risk of developing type two diabetes and experience heart disease or die from heart disease than those who ate breakfast every day.

The take-home message from this study is that breakfast may be needed in your day to allow you to meet your needed daily dietary fibre needs. Fibre has a satiating effect and consuming 25-30g of dietary fibre — the recommended amount of daily dietary fibre for adults — may be too great to include within lunch and dinner. You may need breakfast to spread out this recommended daily fibre intake. Including plant-based sources of food in every meal and snack can help you achieve your daily fibre needs. Plant foods that are rich in fibre include wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts and seeds.

It may feel like quite a daunting task to achieve 15-38g of dietary fibre every day. South Australian Gourmet Food Company Fruit Custard with Added Fibre can help you more easily meet these goals alongside a balanced diet. Available in Strawberry, Banana or Apple, each delicious fruit custard has 11g of dietary fibre. Check out the South Australian Gourmet Food Company website for a library of recipes for breakfast, such as the Almond, Walnut, Fig and Strawberry Custard Smoothie when you’re on the run, or a Peach, Blueberry and Apple Custard Porridge with Pepitas and Quinoa for an indulgent brunch.

Take home message:

If you don’t take the time to eat breakfast each day, you may be missing out on an essential meal that helps you meet your daily fibre needs. Achieving adequate fibre each day does not only support gut health, but it may help you live a longer and healthier life too. Making time for breakfast every morning is a worthy investment of your time.



King DE, Xiang J. A Relationship Between Mortality and Eating Breakfast and Fiber. J Am Board Fam Med. 2021 Jul-Aug;34(4):678-687. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2021.04.210044. PMID: 34312261.