Eat more fibre and try this couscous salad!

22 July 2019

According to the ComPARe study – a recently published, CCS-funded study on modifiable cancer risk factors – about 6,700 cancer cases are due to low fruit and about 3,500 cancer cases are due to low vegetable consumption. We can use this information to make healthy changes to how we eat, lowering our cancer risk.

Vegetables and fruit are full of fibre, and you can add them into your diet by eating them raw and also using them in recipes!

There are also lots of other ways to increase the fibre in your diet. Here are a few tips:

Read nutrition labels - High-fibre foods have at least 4 grams of fibre per serving. When buying packaged foods, look for ones that show a 15% DV (daily value) or higher on the nutrition label.

Choose foods made with whole grains - Look at the ingredients list rather than the colour of the foods. Some brown bread is simply white bread coloured with molasses. The first ingredient should be a whole grain, such as whole grain wheat, oats, whole grain corn, barley or brown or wild rice.

Start your day with fibre - Go for bran or whole grain breakfast cereals. Add bran to your favourite cereal or sprinkle on top of low-fat yogurt.

Try whole wheat - Swap whole wheat pasta for regular pasta and bake with whole wheat flour. You can substitute half of the white flour with whole wheat flour in most recipes with little difference in taste and texture. For example, if your recipe calls for 250 mL (1 cup) of flour, you can use 1/2 cup of white and 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour.

Pick pulses - Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. Add pulses such as beans or lentils to your soups, casseroles, stews and curries. Try chickpeas in salads, lentils in meatloaf or kidney beans in burritos.

Increase the fibre in your diet and bring this couscous salad to your next barbecue or summer potluck!

Peas and Beans Pearl Couscous


¾ cup pearl or Israeli couscous

6 oz, trimmed yellow and green beans (each)

1 ½ cups fresh shelled peas

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp cider vinegar

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Pinch, salt and pepper

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

2 tbsp chopped fresh mint


  1. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook couscous for 2 minutes. Add beans and peas; cook, stirring for 4 minutes or until beans and couscous are tender but firm. Drain well and place in large bowl to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in parsley, mint and basil. Pour over couscous mixture and toss well to combine.
  3. Makes 5 to 6 servings.

This recipe is courtesy of Half Your Plate.