Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
3,293 10/2/13 4:37 P
AR3BYS, you can buy them frozen in grocery stores. I pick and freeze them myself every summer.
Blackberries have similar fiber content as well as tons of antioxidents. Plus they grow wild and are free! I have half a freezer full of blackberries--good for smoothies, great for breakfast (thawed) with some yogurt or cottage cheese.
I had a nurse explain it to me this way a couple of years ago:
- soluble fibre (found in oats, barley, psyllium, the pulp of fruits, etc) collects water and turns gel-like: this is what slows the absorbtion of sugars and cholesterol, and slows the movement of foods through the GI tract to allow the body time to absorb nutrients
- insoluble fibre (found in bran, vegetables, the skin of fruits, etc) is like a broom: it just sort of gathers together and "sweeps" out all of the debris on the edges as it works its way through. It also speeds up the movement of foods through the GI tract by giving the muscles something to "grab on" to.
- fats are the lubricant that allows everything to move smoothly, although too much at once can also cause a jam up - think of adding too much of a thick oil to a mechanical joint - it just gums up and doesn't move (cheese is notorious for this)
- water is needed to work with the soluble fibre for your body to use it properly
- your entire GI tract has a series of muscles that are constantly pulsing to create physical movement of the contents, but they can start spasming (cramps) if they come across something that doesn't want to move or is too bulky
Obviously, this is extremely simplistic, but it gives the basic idea. I use this older site for info on soluble/insoluble fibre:
I've found that starting the day with more soluble fibre and ending the day with more insoluble fibre seems to make my body the happiest.
Hope this is useful!
Fitness Minutes: (23,806)
7/11/13 9:12 A
Thanks for all the reponses everybody. I don't have the time to respond to everyone, but just one general thing is I'm wondering if maybe it may be more fats keep you regular, and fiber keeps it soft?
Fitness Minutes: (0)
7/10/13 8:50 P
Another thought is to use psyllium if you're having classic "irregularity" problems.. That's the basis for Metamucil. It helps people with bowel issues in any direction even though they advertise as for constipation. I actually take a capsule a couple of times per day or more to slow me down... And save on toilet tissue! (The capsules basically pay for themselves, maybe TMI?). It has a gelifying effect apparently which can both help keep things moving and help keep things together, whichever you need, basically there's a normalizing effect (people with IBS often find Metamucil helps for that reason). The capsules are easiest for me but they have other forms. They add a little bit of fiber, but not enough to make a big difference for that reason.
By the way, I eat nearly vegan (allergic to eggs and dairy, can tolerate occasional cheese but not every day). I'm a lot less active and smaller than you, also female. 20 grams fiber is a low day for me unless I'm eating very little. 25 grams is moderate, usually means I haven't eaten terrifically. The 30-35 gram range is pretty easy for me to achieve, even though I don't eat wheat every day and hardly cook. So maybe you should look more closely at your diet - maybe you're not getting as much veg/fruit as you think? You're way ahead of most Americans with 20 grams fiber per day, but the standard American diet is called SAD for a reason. With your activity level, you should have plenty of room for loads of fiber.
For an extensive listing of foods with the fiber content, click here: ndb.nal.usda.gov/
Select NUTRIENT LISTS. Select FIBER BY AMOUNT.
Hope this helps Becky
Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 7/10/2013 (20:35)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
7/10/13 8:33 P
Maybe you could try adjusting the times you eat beans- make it part of an evening mini meal instead of during the day. They might make you feel sluggish during the day because fiber slows down digestion.
I actually like beans all by themselves- I just rinse off the can juice well and keep leftovers in the fridge. So you might try different types of beans to see if there's one you can eat plain, if you are worried about eating too much at night. I like kidney beans (light and dark) and garbanzo beans plain myself as well as tossed into salads or casseroles or noodle boxes/bowls (I fit a 15oz can into them and just add some cooking time in the microwave, stretches the number of servings also). If you can use more calories, there are loads of canned baked beans to try. They don't actually need cooking. Bush has a whole line of Grillin' Beans- all of them are gluten free and three of them are almost vegan except for the sugar (Steakhouse Recipe, Southern Pit Barbecue, and Bourbon & Brown Sugar). Their regular Vegetarian baked beans are good, too. I haven't tried the non-veg flavors but there are quite a few, and likewise for other canned bean companies. Anyway, there are a lot of options and maybe you just need to avoid beans during times you may be training. You could boost your fiber by 7 grams at a calorie cost of only about 130 by making it a nighttime snack. Plus they add about 7 grams protein per half cup as well.
Fitness Minutes: (120)
7/10/13 7:51 P
Russell makes a good point about raspberries. They're one of the highest fiber fruits there is. Since you're already eating strawberries a lot, maybe swap them for raspberries.
Fitness Minutes: (55,464)
1,751 7/10/13 7:48 P
I try to get in the recommended fiber b/c it supposedly helps prevent colon cancer, but I'm willing to bet that's no guarantee.
When I'm too low, I take a fiber supplement with a glass of water. The sugar free varieties offer very low carbs.
Also, look up articles on high fiber produce. I think I remember that sweet potatoes have high fiber. They're also vitamin and mineral powerhouses. And someone mentioned beans; they're really packed with fiber - even a small serving added to soups or salads are nice. If you're using canned beans, rinse them first to eliminate all the salt. Potatoes, with their skins, add fiber too.
Every body is different, so it takes some experimenting to find the level of fibre that works for you. As has been mentioned, other things that will also have an impact are level of activity, hydration, and amount of fats.
If you're having issues now while eating your usual amount of fibre, then it's possible that it's a temporary quirk due to a high level of activity in the heat, causing there to be less water available for flushing your system. If this is the case, then simply adding a whole pile of water should help the situation.
Another thing that often helps is to change to a low-residue (extremely low fibre, higher fat, moderate protein) diet for a day or two, along with increased fluid. Although I'm sure the idea will make you cringe as much as it does me, this means either juicing your veggies and fruits, or cooking them to the point of being essentially mush for a couple of days (I'm shuddering just typing that - sorry!). Since I can't deal with over-cooked veggies, I tend to go to a full liquid diet for a day or two until things sort themselves out (I'm dealing with a semi-colon, though, so you likely wouldn't have to go that far). The idea is to not add anything to the bulk inside you until it decides to move out. These are the times that I become a yoghurt junkie... although ice cream has it's merits here as well...
Walking or other moderate-level activity can be really helpful, as can the application of heat (heating pad on the belly, or a soak in a tub) as this can relax the muscles.
Some folks find that a blast of fibre does help in this situation, but for anyone who suspects any other medical issues with their plumbing it isn't recommended.
There are a number of over-the-counter meds that can help (Milk of Magnesia, SenekotS, or Dulcolax to name a few - all with different methods), but I would caution you to try them when you are at home and have lots of time. The results can be somewhat untimely and, well, um, shall we say, "extreme", or "exciting", or "explosive" (they all start with "ex" - wonder if that's how they came up with "Ex-Lax"?)
Once you're back to normal, then you might want to start trying some of the higher fibre / lower carb items (raspberries are my personal go-to item) to see if increasing fibre over your usual amounts works for you. Please remember to increase gradually, and keep the fluid intake up with it.
If your usual level generally works for you though, I wouldn't bother messing with it. It's absolutely true that too much fibre can stop you up, can cause diarrhea, or can work just fine - it comes down to your own body, your activity, and your hydration.
I eat low carb, and get around 10 g of fiber a day. I find that if I have eat enough fat, I stay regular. Hydration matters also. It may be some reason totally unrelated to fiber. If necessary, I've found Milk of Magnesium works quickly.
Fitness Minutes: (16,207)
7/10/13 3:35 P
Try some chia seeds :) I am getting used to the bland taste and slimy texture of soaked chia. They are not so horrible now after a few days of having them. Of 44 g carbohydrate per 100 g, 38 g are dietary fiber. I am eating them for the protein, the fiber is just a bonus for me.
Fitness Minutes: (23,806)
7/10/13 3:05 P
That's kind of why I asked. These last 2-3 days I kinda haven't... been regular you could say. Interesting that someone else mentioned too much fiber can be what blocks you up. I ate a tuna/bean salad over half a full bag of spinach two days in a row couple weeks ago, and that left me backed up. I blamed the massive amount of tuna tho, or maybe just thought it coincidense. I don't think I could be overdoing the vegetables tho, or is it a bit much?
Monday total: half english cucumber, 1 tomato, 2-3 cups spinach and some canned tomatoes. Plus 2 fruits Tues: 2 handfuls chopped peppers, large salad with a bean/corn salsa in it, 2 cups steamed green beans and a few almonds, large apple Today: strawberries, spinach sauted in diced tomatos, cucumbers and tomato salad
I eat a lot of dairy too, but that's never bothered me before unless it was strictly the cheese I was overdoing
Fitness Minutes: (1,690)
77 7/10/13 2:29 P
If you don't mind adding some more fat, too.....avocado is loaded with fiber!
Fitness Minutes: (120)
7/10/13 2:27 P
This may not be a popular answer, but I eat a granola bar w/ extra fiber in it (Kellogg's Fiber Plus). Yes, it's processed. But, it's my afternoon sweet treat after lunch, which helps me avoid sweets cravings. It has 9 grams of fiber, and 26 carbs, but is only 120 calories. They make a higher calorie version (190 I think) that has more protein too.
But, like the other poster said, unless you're having issues "going", eating tons of fiber is not that big of a deal. I usually am in the 25-28 range. I would say if you're good in the low 20s, then don't worry about it.
Try beans, or raspberries. A cup of raspberries has 14.2 grams of carbs, but 8.4 is fiber. Green beans are 50% fiber, and dark red kidney beans are 40% fiber out of total carbs. Seems like you tend to eat meat stir fries some, and you can just change the vegetables in them.
Overall, I don't worry about fiber that much. 20 g isn't that low. Make changes if you can, but don't stress out about the fiber.
IMO if you are regular there is no need to worry about adding more fiber. In fact for me too much fiber can be constipating. If I eat too much ground flaxseed I often have a problem the next day. I find eating more fat to be quite helpful in the regularity department. Some flax oil on my salad, some butter on my green beans and broccoli. Everyone's different though.
Fitness Minutes: (23,806)
7/10/13 2:10 P
So I know the obvious answer everyone's going to be posting here is "eat more veggies" But I'm already doing that and it's a fight to reach 20g each day. I eat a double, sometimes more, serving of vegetables with each lunch and dinner and have fruit with breakfast and for a snack. Not sure how much more I can do. Nuts are something else I eat about every other day, but I also like cheese and cuts of meat with a little fat on them so I can't go overboard with the almonds. The only days I truly get to my fiber amounts are days I have beans, but I'd rather not do that too much because although they fill me up wonderfully, they tend to leave me feeling a bit slow and sluggish when working out or training.
My trackers are public if anyone has some recommendations. Just ignore the little naming convention I use for recipes. I do makeovers without the meat in them, so that the next time I do it it's easier if I decide to use a different cut as I grab whatever is on sale.
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