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  • What's the optimal amount of fiber for a healthy diet?

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    Old 06-13-2009, 10:02 AM   #1
    JohnR41
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    What's the optimal amount of fiber for a healthy diet?

    In another thread, tjlhb painted a pretty good picture of paleolithic man and what he had to do to get enough calories and how that translated into a large amount of fiber: An average of 100 grams per day, compared to our much smaller amount of 15 to 20 and perhaps 35 to 50 for vegetarians or vegans.

    I eat a plant based diet and I'd be surprised if I ever consume 50 grams of fiber. Should I try to increase the amount of fiber in my diet? How would one go about determining the optimal amount for good health? (perhaps I'll find out by the time I finish reading "The Paleolithic Prescription")

    As a rule I don't eat processed foods (except flourless bread, a little soymilk and olive oil).

    I don't think there's any way that we can go back to living the lifestyle of Paleolithic man. The exercise we get is so much less and the quality of food is totally different. Even natural whole foods are not the same anymore.

    So, if we have to compromise, what should our diet be like? Whole grains? Paleolithic man didn't eat grain. Soymilk? Nope, he didn't have soymilk. Olive oil? He didn't have that either.

    Any suggestions or comments? (And hopefully, I'll get some guidance from the book as I continue reading. I tend to be a slow reader.)

    Last edited by JohnR41; 06-30-2009 at 08:34 AM. Reason: Changed 150 grams of fiber to an average of 100

     
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    Old 06-13-2009, 03:18 PM   #2
    jonas123
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    Re: What's the optimal amount of fiber for a healthy diet?

    IMO, we should probably shift between different diets throughout the year. what I mean by this is that we should have a "main" or "normal" diet, and then switch between fasting and being on the "main" diet throughout the year. however, fasting should always be done properly, such as incorporating pre-fast diets, etc.

    I always go by this rule of thumb, "if it takes discipline, do it". therefore, I try to do everything that requires discipline. then of course, though, right now I would not be doing anything that takes discipline because I am sitting down and staring at a computer, which probably is not good for my health anyway. then again, though, the internet can be very useful because it allows people to figure everything out. I am mentally ill btw.

    Last edited by mod-anon; 06-13-2009 at 10:46 PM. Reason: removed quote

     
    Old 06-14-2009, 10:14 AM   #3
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    Re: What's the optimal amount of fiber for a healthy diet?

    My approach is much more simpler.

    I tend to say "If it works, then do it"

    Olive oil, for example, has been used by Greeks for thousands of years.
    I'm Lebanese and my diet is mainly beans, olive oil and bread.

    I disagree with the opinion that we should eat what the paleolithic man did. We evolved since then and we should use the resources we have to our advantage.

    Stick to the basic, don't get stuck on the trivial things.

     
    Old 06-14-2009, 01:16 PM   #4
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    Re: What's the optimal amount of fiber for a healthy diet?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JohnR41 View Post
    . . . So, if we have to compromise, what should our diet be like? . . .
    There are discussions all over the internet and elsewhere about what an ideal ought to be. What is lacking in most discussion, IMHO, is openness to the possibility that there may not be one answer that works for everyone. Most who read about nutritional schemes seem to resonate with one or find some combination that works . . . often with some fine tuning.

     
    Old 06-15-2009, 02:52 PM   #5
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    Re: What's the optimal amount of fiber for a healthy diet?

    Quote:
    I disagree with the opinion that we should eat what the paleolithic man did. We evolved since then and we should use the resources we have to our advantage.
    DaisieFit,
    That's not all that different than what the author said in chapter six: "Hunting And Gathering In The Supermarket". He said something to the effect that although the foods have changed quite a bit over thousands of years (many of lesser quality), there's a lot to chose from and we can do quite well, assuming we learn to make good choices.


    jonas123,
    I read something similar to what you said in the book, "Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution. Basically, he said that we were designed to tolerate and thrive with changes, whether it be day to day, or seasonal. That's a good point that I had forgotten.


    auntjudyg,
    I see your point but I guess I just like to go off the deep end once in a while and try to imagine that there might be a perfect diet out there, waiting to be discovered. Perhaps the author believed that too, at least to some degree.
    But I realize that we have come to a point in time where there can be no agreement on one (perfect) diet for everyone. Maybe it's more about having some guidelines and a sense of direction? For example, if we know where we came from and what nature provided (before processed foods came about), it might be of some help.

    Thanks to everyone!

    Last edited by JohnR41; 06-15-2009 at 02:56 PM. Reason: added a few words for clairity

     
    Old 06-17-2009, 02:32 PM   #6
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    Re: What's the optimal amount of fiber for a healthy diet?

    Hi there! I found this thread pretty interesting since I struggle with eating natural, unprocessed foods. I find it relatively easy to eat this way on my own, but nearly impossible to eat this way around other people and while not at home. I have a difficult time finding a restaurant that serves the kinds of foods I wish to eat and people I visit don't have these foods at their home. I also love flourless bread (I buy Ezekiel) and even this bread is not found at all stores. I like to order a salad if I'm out, but instead of what I consider a good salad, I get served ones with unhealthy extras! Do you have any advice on this? I feel like I can't go anywhere. I'd just wait until I get home, but I get pretty dizzy/faint if I don't eat often. I just find a "perfect" diet difficult. People think I'm picky because I can't eat a lot of foods because of a sensitive stomach, and I'm even pickier than they think And wow, that sure is a lot of fiber you mentioned! I don't think I could ever meet that goal. Too much fiber in one sitting does not make my stomach feel well and I can't always be in the bathroom at work!

     
    Old 06-18-2009, 09:47 AM   #7
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    Re: What's the optimal amount of fiber for a healthy diet?

    tUrRrRa,

    If you find it difficult to eat the right foods when you're out or visiting friends, you're not the only one. I have the same problem. Last week I joined a friend for lunch at a restaurant and I ordered a $7 salad. I figured, "what could be wrong with a salad?" Well, I knew it wouldn't be up to my standards but I figured it would be OK. As it turned out it was EXTREMELY high in sodium. It made me so thirsty, I kept drinking water for the rest of the day and into the night. It was an awful experience for me because I never salt the salads I make at home. I've had that experience before but still I didn't think to ask about the sodium. Duh!

    My friend likes to eat out but I'm beginning to hate it. I like Golden Corral because I can have good control over what I eat and I won't overeat. She refuses to eat at Golden Corral because she's afraid she won't have control.

    Here's a suggestion: Believe it or not I once wrapped a slice of Ezekiel bread in cellophane and brought it with me to a restaurant. Here's where it came in handy: They serve buns or bread sticks that that people nibble on while they're waiting for the meal to be served. So while everyone else was eating the white gooey buns, I ate my slice of flourless bread.

    Another time I brought a small container of soymilk (hidden in a bag) so I could use it for my coffee.

    A few times I made myself a nice salad and ate it just before leaving my house to go meet my friend at a restaurant. That way I wouldn't be too hungry at the restaurant and I could order the smallest least damaging item on the menu.

    When going to visit neighborhood friends for coffee and cake, I would bring my own snack in a bag. I'd bring fruit, nuts etc. and eat my snack while they were eating cake and cookies.

    When going to a Mall (far from home) I'd bring a snack or small meal in a cooler box. Mall food is the worst.

    You just have to get creative and find ways to keep your standards.

    Last edited by JohnR41; 06-18-2009 at 03:49 PM. Reason: Word choice and punctuation

     
    Old 06-18-2009, 01:03 PM   #8
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    Re: What's the optimal amount of fiber for a healthy diet?

    Thanks for all of your great ideas! That is pretty crazy about the salad. Recently when traveling I ordered room service and got a very salty salad as well with WAY too much salad dressing and topped with onion rings! Yikes! The salad said nothing about onion rings. It's sad how such a good meal can be messed up so much.

    One fast food place I enjoy going to is Wendy's. They have side salads that are pretty good! Not enough for a whole meal, but a nice snack to have. I like that they also have light dressings as an option if you want any.

     
    Old 06-18-2009, 04:02 PM   #9
    JohnR41
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    Re: What's the optimal amount of fiber for a healthy diet?

    I agree about Wendy's. They seem have some better choices. I tried their chili once and it wasn't bad. Not sure if all the ingredients are healthy but it seemed like a better choice. At least it had some beans in it. I remember commenting that it should have had more beans. My friend offered me some of her fries and I was surprised that they didn't seem too salty or greasy.

     
    Old 06-28-2009, 10:31 PM   #10
    Harry
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    Re: What's the optimal amount of fiber for a healthy diet?

    John,

    A person needs 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily for normal gastro system to function and it should be a combination of both insoluble and soluble fiber.

    Harry

     
    Old 06-30-2009, 08:54 AM   #11
    JohnR41
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    Re: What's the optimal amount of fiber for a healthy diet?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Harry View Post
    John,

    A person needs 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily for normal gastro system to function and it should be a combination of both insoluble and soluble fiber.

    Harry
    Thanks, Harry, I think I do get at least that much fiber. I'm not sure exactly how much because it's not easy to add it all up. With a little luck I might be up to 35 grams or more on a good day.

    I'd like to make a correction: I have stated that preagricultural man consumed 150 grams of fiber per day. That gives the wrong impression. It could have been as high as 150, but I believe I read that the average was 100 grams per day.

     
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