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Five a day = too much fiber!



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SIMONEKP
Posts: 2,420
4/15/13 9:11 P

I wouldn't worry about it too much unless you start to experience constipation. Make a note to discuss it with your doctor the next time you're in



JOYCHAIRDANCER
Posts: 284
4/15/13 4:18 P

Thank you, ICEDEMETER, mostly for your helpfulness, but also for confusing me with a native English speaker for a while there. Both are very much appreciated!

My body is behaving as it should, so I guess there is no need to worry there. Maybe I can even add back those flax seeds I have dropped from my morning oatmeal after noticing the fiber intake being so high above the recommendations.

As for cocoa and popcorn - it's a harsh and horrible world that demands these sacrifices of you. And now I am craving cocoa.



ICEDEMETER
Posts: 602
4/15/13 3:33 P

@ JOYCHAIRDANCER:
Your english is so good that it never occurred to me that you might be translating! I hadn't considered that you might be counting beans in as veggies - they are very high in fibre, so definitely might be what is putting you at the top or over some days.

The general recommendation for healthy adults is based on a 2000 calorie per day diet and is 25g-35g. For those of us with different medical conditions, we may need more or less. As we age and have a lower calorie requirement, the recommendation can change (eg. 21g for women 50 and older). The trick is to figure out what works the best for you personally, and working with your medical provider or dietitian can really help.

As has been mentioned, the more fibre that you have, the more water you should be drinking with it. Also, increases in fibre intake should be gradual, as your body will take some time to get used to processing it. The same with any large decreases in fibre - your body will need some time to get used to functioning without it.

If you are currently eating up to 45g of fibre per day, and your body is functioning well at this level, then I would think that it's not something that you should be concerned about. If you are having issues with constipation or diarrhea, then you should have a look at the amount of fibre and make some adjustments.

@ those trying to increase fibre:
With my medical situation, I ended up increasing my fibre intake from virtually nil (low residue diet) up to the current 30g-45g over the period of a year. I am a huge veggie fan, but the majority of my fibre comes from grains.

Yesterday is a good example at 41g fibre for the day:

Breakfast was oatmeal with add'l 2 Tbsp each of oat bran and wheat germ with 1/2c blueberries for a total of 10g fibre
Lunch was 2c raw cauliflower with tomato meat sauce (includes onions, mushrooms, and broccoli) for a total of 7g fibre
Dinner was a chicken strata (crustless quiche - includes steel cut oats and oat bran, along with onions, mushrooms, and broccoli) for a total of 5g fibre
Snacks were carrots (3g fibre), yogurt with cocoa powder and hemp hearts (3g fibre), muffin with crunchy peanut butter (3g fibre), popcorn (7g fibre), and hot cocoa (4g fibre)

For any other Canadians looking for an easy, tasty fibre add: Fry's Cocoa Powder is 2g of fibre per Tbsp! You can see how much I have to suffer to get enough fibre --- the sacrifice of having to flavour my yogurt with cocoa or have a hot chocolate or eat popcorn emoticon (Somehow I'm thinking I'm not going to get a lot of sympathy on this...)

Seriously, I found that the easiest way for me to add fibre is to add a couple of tablespoons of oat bran, or wheat germ, or cocoa powder to almost everything. That 2g or 3g of additional fibre in everything really adds up quickly, and they aren't a ton of additional calories.



JOYCHAIRDANCER
Posts: 284
4/15/13 2:52 P

Oh, and just to be clear, I don't eat anything with added fiber, and I am not considering ditching my vegs. Also, I drink oat milk instead of regular milk, which counts for an extra 4 grams a day on average.



JOYCHAIRDANCER
Posts: 284
4/15/13 2:47 P

Thank you guys! I'll read your link later, ICEDEMETER, it looks promising! Sorry about the "greens" thing, I was internally translating from my primary language and it turned out weird, as these things sometimes does. As you figured out I meant veggies (and fruit).

I have looked at some random high-fibre days, and sure, I do eat grains. Usually I get at least 7 grams of fiber from my morning oatmeal. When eating pasta, rice and the like I tend to choose whole-grain, but I'm no fanatic and besides I don't eat that sort of thing daily. Also, beans seems to be a biggie, and I do eat those fairly often (and count them as up to 1 serving of veggies).

Still a bit confused as to what to actually aim for, but hopefully the link will help out even more.



NIRERIN
Posts: 11,519
4/15/13 2:06 P

erm, what are you counting as greens here? because i'm looking at kale, spinach, mustard greens and those run between 1 and 3 grams of fiber per cup. since a cup is a serving, you're looking at 15 grams, max. i mean, broccoli does have 6 g fiber per cooked cup, but there isn't any reason on earth you need to be having five servings of broccoli a day. the idea is to get different nutrients from 5 different fruits and 5 different vegetables so that you are getting a variety of nutrients, not a large quantity of the same set of nutrients. i mean, i am searching all fruits and veggies i can think of and most are in the 1-3 range for fiber with regards to what i am looking at being a serving size as per the usda. there are a few of those higher things like broccoli and bananas, but most things run a little less. so swapping a higher fiber vegetable for a lower fiber one could be an easy swap [instead of having a cup of broccoli have a cup of zucchini for example].
and then i would ask about your serving sizes. leafy greens are a cup, but cooked vegetables are half a cup. are you eating proper servings sizes or a lot more?
also, take a look at what else you are eating that has fiber in it. if you're eating any of that fiber one junk or something else that has had fiber added to it, skipping that in favor of the fruits and veggies would be the way to go. in other words, make sure you aren't blaming the thing that put you over rather than the pile of stuff that built up to that one thing putting you over.
as far as spark's ranges, one reason is that while you need fiber, you don't need more than around 30 grams. it's not that getting more is bad for you [up to that point], but there isn't any nutritional benefit from getting more than that. which means that by keeping the ranges closer to what you truly need it frees up more room in your diet to hit the other ranges for other things that you need. it's sort of like the other ranges as well. it's a base starting point and some people find that they do a little better above or below certain ranges, but as long as you're pretty close to the ranges then you're probably getting what you need.



BUNNYKICKS
Posts: 2,165
4/15/13 2:05 P

I am actually kind of confused and confounded by this problem!

Because - I eat what I think is a TON of veggies and fruits every day - and yet, I chronically come up short on the recommended fibre.

For example - yesterday.

Breakfast: yogurt with mangoes, strawberries and rolled five-grain cereal
Lunch: kale, carrot and avocado salad / 2oz leftover chicken
Dinner: homemade caramelized fennel, onion and mushroom pizza with gorgonzola cheese.

*SIXTEEN* grams of fibre. All those veg - including a freaking big bowl of kale!!!

What sorts of veggies are you eating? And in what size serving? I need to get me some of those!







SUNSHINE6442
Posts: 1,638
4/15/13 1:00 P

Fiber actually carries water out of the body and so drinking lots of water can help. Romaine has lots of vitamins and minerals just like spinach...iceberg has little. Eating raw veggies will help with nutrient and minerals, as well as, not over cooking Veggies....steaming is good too.

Popcorn is one of the healthiest foods anyone can eat. You may be surprised to learn that popcorn has large amount of protein, minerals and vitamins… and lots of fiber..3 cups of air popped popcorn is around 100 calories. You wll be surprised how good air popped tastes, add some cinnamon or parm or raomno to flavor.

Red Potatoes or sweet potato with the skin as opposed to peeling them off. Most of the fiber is in the skin and they have vitamins and minerals. Most Chinese people eat more fiber than Americans and if I remember right about 70% of their diet is fiber...chosing fruits and veggies that have fiber like pears, peaches, etc, leafy greens, broccoli should keep the nutrient, minerals and vitamin content in range. AS a pre-diabetic I stayed in the 50 gram range and had no problems....

If you are really unsure get advice from a medical professional as my post is not intended as medical advice.

Edited by: SUNSHINE6442 at: 4/15/2013 (13:02)


ANGIEN9
Posts: 2,460
4/15/13 12:22 P

That may be an older chart, but it is great! Thanks ICEDEMETER for posting! I don't get enough fiber, so I have the opposite problem!!
Angie



ICEDEMETER
Posts: 602
4/15/13 12:11 P

Hi there!

You don't have your nutrition tracker public so we can't see where the issue might be. The info that you have given here doesn't seem to make sense to me.

When you say "5 servings of greens", I take that to be 5 servings of fruits and veggies. When I look at the total fibre in most fruits and veggies, they are between 2g and 5g of fibre per serving. This would give you between 10g and 25g total for all 5 servings, well within your daily range.

I use the attached link to get a rough idea on fibre (it's older, but easy to read):

huhs.harvard.edu/assets/file/ourservices/s
ervice_nutrition_fiber.pdf


I personally usually run between 30g-45g of fibre per day. This is based on working with my doctor to determine how my system functions best now after colon surgery. At this level there are no concerns about nutrient loss.

You say that you have double-checked the serving sizes, so the only other thing I can think of is that it is grains that are bringing your fibre intake up so high. At least half of my fibre intake is in grains (cereal, oatmeal, popcorn, pasta, etc) so maybe this is where you need to look?

I hope the link helps!



ALGEBRAGIRL
Posts: 1,234
4/15/13 12:09 P

If you ate 5 large stalks of broccoli a day, boiled, that would put you at 45 grams of fiber, which does seem like a lot (I go way over that in a day,myself!) but it would also be almost 500 calories. On the other hand, if you ate a whole head of romaine lettuce, you'd only get 13 grams of fiber and 106 calories. So, 'greens' is a kind of broad term. If you're talking about salad greens, it's safe to say that by themselves, they aren't going to push the caloric limits. Most people have a really difficult time eating enough fiber (that romaine is without dressing, and most people don't eat romaine lettuce that way).

I did not know there WAS any decrease in nutrition when fiber counts get high.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 4/15/2013 (12:10)


JOYCHAIRDANCER
Posts: 284
4/15/13 11:26 A

I am having a fiber challenge opposite of what most people seem to have: Every time I get my five servings of greens a day I end up going way over my recommended fiber intake! Even some of the days I don't meet five a day this happens. I have checked and double-checked my serving sizes and they seem right.

This far I have just thought, oh, nevermind, it's not that bad. After all, I have never seen anyone say that it's really bad with a high fiber intake until you get up to 50-60 grams per day, and getting my greens and fruits is important for other reasons too. But now I am starting to wonder: If the decreased nutrition intake that can come from too much fiber does not start happening until 50-60 grams, why is SparkPeople's default upper limit so much lower than that? And is there a difference between soluble and non-soluble fiber here? In short, what am I missing here?



 
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