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  1. #1
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    how much fiber do you consume each day?

    got a handy hand-out after my colonoscopy with suggestions about how to increase fiber in one's diet. for guys over 51 we're supposed to get 30 grams. the 30 isn't divided into soluble or insoluble, that's just a total for the day. should be interesting taking a closer look at this topic personally. a quick look at the 3 pager makes me think I'm doing pretty well, but always room for improvement ...
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  2. #2
    RIP Sonny RaleighSport's Avatar
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    What's it say for us guys under 50?
    "Seriously is what I want to be, so I put on spandex and show off my gear, my junk, my thing, yes my ding-a-ling."

  3. #3
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    a little more, like 35 I think. the doc is in my car right now sorry, but I did notice that over 51 the suggested amount went down a little. go figure ...
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  4. #4
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    35-45 grams, I use a calorie counting app which also tracks macro- & micro-nutrients and various other nutritional data points.

    I eat a lot of fruit, a very large salad for lunch every day (before someone chimes in to say lettuce is a low-fiber food, let me just say "no it's not if you eat 5oz of romaine per salad"), two veg with dinner, nuts as a snack, "healthy" cereal, and currently I'm on a raisin kick.

    I actually don't eat a lot of beans or whole grain, some but not that much. No particular reason, it's just hard to work those relatively high-calorie items into my nutritional plan.

    H

  5. #5
    RIP Sonny RaleighSport's Avatar
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    Thanks. I really should get more serious and actually peruse this section as well as changing my own lifestyle.

    Glad everythings running right with you rum
    "Seriously is what I want to be, so I put on spandex and show off my gear, my junk, my thing, yes my ding-a-ling."

  6. #6
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    I get enough fibre in my diet from foods such as: potatoes, lentils, split peas, oats, kasha, barley, berries and veggies.

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    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    old fashioned oatmeal, acorn/spaghetti squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, fruits, black/navy/pinto beans, corn.
    increase fiber content in your diet gradually until your GI tract acclimates.
    you may find that you do not tolerate some foods very well.

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    I've been dieting and keeping detailed food logs since late January. (Lapsed about a week ago, need to get back on track.) Over the 3 weeks for which I have full data, I was averaging 47 g/day. 51 if you exclude the day I rode an organized century and the day after that. But it took some pretty significant conscious effort to get that high. I had to eliminate snacks and junk food, I usually ate two servings (60 g) of Fiber One and a plate of pulses (lentils, chickpeas) per day. Fiber One is only a couple of notches above cardboard in terms of taste, but that's 28 g of fiber in a single bowl. With pulses, what I ended up doing was boiling a large amount at once, with some veggies (carrots, onions) and spices, then freezing the whole thing, cutting it into serving-size pieces, and reheating in the microwave before eating. It's convenient and it keeps the food from spoiling. I still have a pound or so of frozen chickpeas with veggies, and several pounds of frozen homemade "Mayan harvest bake" (I went a little overboard with that one, started with one large sweet potato and two plantains, and ended up with 8(!) pounds of stuff. It tastes pretty good though.)

    On the up side, as long as I was doing this, I was able to maintain large caloric deficit, eating 1200-1400 kcal/day and burning 300-500 kcal/day most days. You get cravings for junk food, but the diet can be reasonably filling even with this kind of deficit.

    There really isn't much fiber in most foods. Even stuff that most people consider to be fiber-heavy, e.g. celery, often isn't - there's only 8-10 g of fiber in a pound of celery or a pound of spinach. Suppose that you want to get 50 g/day of fiber. And you can't realistically eat much more than 3-4 lbs/day of food. You need to average about 3 g of fiber per 100 g of food. Very few foods go this high. Dry lentils are at about 30, dry oatmeal is at 10-11, but both absorb a lot of water during cooking. Many veggies are at 2-3.
    Last edited by hamster; 02-19-14 at 08:26 PM.

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    Thirty grams is nothing. If you don't get more than that you're eating way too much processed food. Having never counted fiber grams, it seems I get 50-60 on average, and I don't eat a lot of fruit. Black beans, nuts, oats, 10+ servings of vegetables, it adds up pretty fast if you are eating decent food.

  10. #10
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Looking at the last 30 days, most days were in the mid 40's -- a few in the 30's and several in the 50's, 60's, and 70's. But I eat all whole grains and start each day with a bowl of oatmeal loaded with bananas and apple.

    It looks like most of the people responding have pretty good intakes. I suspect you might get a different answer from the carnivores over in the paleo thread..
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
    I suspect you might get a different answer from the carnivores over in the paleo thread..
    Quite possible, and goes to show how immensely confused the whole dieting scene has become. Original researchers pretty unanimously describe "Paleo" as very high fiber, possibly as high as 70-100 g/day. (It's hard to achieve these levels today, partly because our fruit and veggies have been selected to increase sugar and to reduce fiber.) But there are indeed branches of "Paleo" with very low fiber intakes.

  12. #12
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    Quite possible, and goes to show how immensely confused the whole dieting scene has become. Original researchers pretty unanimously describe "Paleo" as very high fiber, possibly as high as 70-100 g/day. (It's hard to achieve these levels today, partly because our fruit and veggies have been selected to increase sugar and to reduce fiber.) But there are indeed branches of "Paleo" with very low fiber intakes.
    Perhaps -- but it would be difficult to consume 70-100g of fiber on a regular basis even on a plant based diet -- much less one predominantly from animal products (which most paleo's seem to be).

    As for the original paleos: They ate probably ate whatever was available and that changed as the climate and weather changed depending on the location and season.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    ummm, hello ... evolution? why should we eat like a caveman?
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
    Perhaps -- but it would be difficult to consume 70-100g of fiber on a regular basis even on a plant based diet -- much less one predominantly from animal products (which most paleo's seem to be).

    As for the original paleos: They ate probably ate whatever was available and that changed as the climate and weather changed depending on the location and season.
    Yes, there was of course variation from place to place and from time to time. Most modern paleos do seem meat-based, but that's not all that representative of all cavemen everywhere. Of Inuit in the Arctic, yes. Of everyone else, not so much. In addition, it is possible to be mostly meat-based yet high on fiber if the plant part of your diet is sufficiently fibrous. For example, there's one study of Australian Aborigines that gives an estimate that they only got about 30% of calories from plants (which is, generally speaking, pretty low as far as these studies go) but that still translated into 60 g/day of fiber.

    There is a fairly direct method of estimating how much fiber cavemen got, it involves chemical analysis of their, ahem, fossilized poop (which apparently can be preserved for as long as 10,000 years under the right conditions). Studies using this method routinely report figures upwards of 100 g/day. E.g. "When the non-starch polysaccharides (for example, cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin) from agave, sotol, onion and the other dozens of plants from the diet are considered, the overall dietary intake of fibre from all sources ranges from about 150 to 225 g/d for an adult male." (This is for precolumbian native Americans from northern Mexico / southwestern Texas.) Though this might be skewed because we can only find "samples" in low humidity environments and people living there could have relied more on fibrous plants than people elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    ummm, hello ... evolution? why should we eat like a caveman?
    If cavemen ate 100+ g/day of fiber, it stands to reason that our GI tracts, digestive processes, satiety signals, etc. are "optimized", so to speak, to work with these quantities. Then came the agricultural revolution, and though the overall quality of the diet went down pretty rapidly, fiber intake did not drop much (instead of the wide assortment of plants, people started getting most calories from whole-wheat bread and beans). We simply had no time to "evolve" and to adapt to low-fiber diet, most of our ancestors ate high-fiber diets well into the 19th century.
    Last edited by hamster; 02-20-14 at 04:43 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    If you want the short version of what I posted below, here it is: if things are moving along normally, I wouldn't make an effort to include extra fiber.

    I used to consume a lot of fiber in the forms of vegetables, beans and whole grains, and things were pretty good. However, my body no longer tolerates large amounts of fiber. I can tolerate moderate amounts of fiber, but too much and I start to have GI issues again. For some reason, I tolerate fruits better than vegetables.

    I've done some reading and wonder if I actually consumed too much fiber and possibly damaged my digestive tract in some way. I didn't monitor what I was eating to know grams of fiber, but I literally ate pounds of vegetables a day for months at a time (I was trying to lose weight and the chewing / bulk helped).

    At this point, I'm not sure that fiber is as necessary as they say it is. I've done very low fiber diets and actually suffered less ill affects than when I include fibrous foods. But that's a very low volume diet and I don't find it to be a pleasant way to eat long term, so the longest I've done that was 3-4 weeks. "Fiber Menace: is a bit fringe, but contained a lot of information about possible harmful affects of fiber
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  16. #16
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    Soluble / Insoluble is a bit misleading. As far as our GI tracts are concerned, it's just fermentable vs non-fermentable. You get fermentable material from pretty much any plant really. If there's any benefit to dietary fibre on GI health, it'll be fermentable fibre you're after - it is the things our gut microbes actually digest.

    M.

  17. #17
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
    Soluble / Insoluble is a bit misleading. As far as our GI tracts are concerned, it's just fermentable vs non-fermentable. You get fermentable material from pretty much any plant really. If there's any benefit to dietary fibre on GI health, it'll be fermentable fibre you're after - it is the things our gut microbes actually digest.

    M.
    The soluble helps to absorb some of the toxins in the digestive track. It also nourishes the downstream bacteria that we need for good health.
    The insoluble is the stuff that helps to move the other stuff through the digestive track.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    Sort of. Firstly, I'm skeptical about "absorbing toxins" because that latter word is rarely defined strongly.

    More importantly, soluble and insoluble really only matter industrially. It just dictates if it can or cannot dissolve in water. As far as your body is concerned, it is fermentable or not. Things can be both insoluable and fermentable.

    It's important to recognize that not having a BM is not the same as constipation. I've gone times where I've had very little fibre in the diet and had a much larger gap between BM's. This simply means that much more of what you are taking in is being absorbed, in terms of mass.

    M.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    At this point, I'm not sure that fiber is as necessary as they say it is. I've done very low fiber diets and actually suffered less ill affects than when I include fibrous foods. But that's a very low volume diet and I don't find it to be a pleasant way to eat long term, so the longest I've done that was 3-4 weeks. "Fiber Menace: is a bit fringe, but contained a lot of information about possible harmful affects of fiber
    Fiber Menace is a bit fringe.

    I think it's like most things, everything in moderation. Humans are not cattle or rabbits, we don't have multiple stomachs, and most of us do re-ingest our previously excreted food. There are limits. The very low fiber diet can seriously harm your overall health long term, maybe without much noticeable immediate effect. There is a definite link between low fiber, high fat diets and colon cancers. Aside from an extreme fiber diet, I don't know how you could damage your GI with fiber, except from gas pressure or dehydration. You do need additional water to digest fiber, and for animals that eat plants passing gas is normal.

    Fiber is just one aspect of digestive health. One of the most important things for your digestive tract is bacteria. It helps in digestion, regularity, nutrient absorption as well as synthesizing B-12 and other vitamins. Excess gas is usually a matter of too little bacteria (fermenting), or lack of enzymes.

    Paleolithic man didn't have the luxury of spending his time contemplating the grams of fiber in his diet. He got hungry and ate whatever he could find, along with a butt load of incidental fiber and bacteria.

  20. #20
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprince View Post
    Fiber Menace is a bit fringe.
    Yes, I said that in my post


    Quote Originally Posted by sprince View Post
    I think it's like most things, everything in moderation.
    Unfortunately, I'm not a moderate person. Never have been, never will be. So I simply have to exclude certain things from my food / drink intake.

    I don't feel like engaging in a debate, so I'm not going to comment on the rest of your post. I've made my contribution, and and I feel it to be an accurate representation of the conclusions I've reached during the last 7 years while trying to resolve my GI issues.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

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