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How do I get more Fiber?

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  • How do I get more Fiber?

    I am worried that I am not getting enough fiber in my diet. Are there certain fruits or vegetables I should be consuming which are higher in fiber than others?

    If I feel fiber deficient, should I start eating some non-primal foods for a while to increase my fiber? If so, what would be the best choice?

    I'm thinking I should leave the skins on my onions.

    Thanks in advance for you help.

  • #2
    Fiber is overrated and not as necessary as the mainstream would have you believe. Veggies give plenty of fiber.
    Last edited by Katt; 06-19-2010, 08:08 PM. Reason: Adding Link
    Start weight: 250 - 06/2009
    Current weight: 199
    Goal: 145


    • #3
      I don't think fiber is important, personally. Why is bulk good? It hurts.

      One of my favorite discoveries after going primal was the pleasure of small poops. It's funny because the higher quality dog food has better protein, less corn/rice/filler, and the healthier dog makes smaller poops, which makes picking them up less of an issue too. Small poop rules.

      Eat more roughage. Green veggies and BASs if you really want bigger poops.


      • #4
        Plenty of fiber in vegetables. You don't want to use wheat bran to sandpaper the insides of your guts.

        If you're being generous with your carbs, consider using prunes or better still, prune juice. I found it worked well.

        Are you getting enough fat?


        • #5
          Also, are you consuming anything that could be counter-productive, particularly too much dairy? Grainy 'cheats'?

          Just wondering as I've had digestive issues ALL MY LIFE which have improved 500% since going primal. I just put a box of All-Bran cereal from the back of the pantry in the bin today.


          • #6
            Also take a look at if you want some more details about why fiber might be overrated.
            quette's journal


            • #7
              There's some utility in oligofructose and -some- other soluble fiber for feeding the gut flora and producing certain fatty acids in the intestines. But that's not really a big deal. My solution: jicama fries, cooked spinach, and some avocado. Your onions are great too. Leave the skins on if you want. Bam. Done. Moving on.

              Mark has great posts bashing insoluble fiber. We definitely don't need that. *shudder*
              Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

              Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


              • #8
                In an attempt to heal my GI tract which has been jacked for 8 years, I am eating a steady diet of goat milk, meat (mostly grassfed), some onions and garlic, and occasionally potatoes. My poops have been awesome for the last 2 months, which is when I went hardcore "meatan." I dabbled in all types of other "healthy" diets before that, including veganism. Fiber != healthy colon. Take probiotics or fermented foods, stay hydrated, and ensure your magnesium intake is adequate.


                • #9
                  Agree with above. You don't need extra fiber.

                  I saw an ad on TV the other day for some product, and they said if you're not having a bowel movement every day your body will become toxic. Then, at the end of the ad, they said even once a day wasn't enough. Sheesh. What a load (no pun intended).

                  My GI tract has been so very happy since I quit eating so much fiber. Yours will be too as long as (to echo what prib81 said) you eat enough fat, are properly hydrated, etc etc.


                  • #10
                    I concur with everyone above that fiber is overrated. I am very regular since going Primal with the exception of about the first 10 days or so when I think my body was in transition mode. Here's how my belly stays happy: probiotics (yogurts and fermented foods) and the fat.

                    I will disagree with Grol, above, about smaller size being a positive. According to Dr. Ayers on coolinginflammation blog, in a healthy gut, over half the volume of poo is gut flora. If you have a robust amount of gut flora, I don't think it's possible to have compact poo. I definitely recommend Dr. Ayer's blog to learn about digestive health.
                    Because if you didn't know, of that is life made: only of moments; Don't lose the now.


                    • #11
                      Coconut flour is a GREAT source of fiber. But I don't believe in the need of fiber anyways.
                      ¸.·´¯`·.¸¸><((((º> ¸.·´¯`·.¸¸><((((º>¸.·´¯`·.¸¸><((((º>¸.·´¯`·.¸¸><(( ((º>
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                      • #12
                        I've read every post and comment at Cooling Inflammation. I am more interested in inflammatory issues than being primal. I see no reason to crank up fiber for bulkier poo, which is the topic here.

                        Doctor Ayers has linked to Gutsense for more on the issues. He also reported smaller stools during week 4 of his 6 week cure that he highly recommended. Sure stools are 50%+ bacteria, but that is a product of what we and our bacteria eat. The more you eat that needs to be passed (fiber), the more bacteria and larger the stools that will be in your morning artwork.

                        I stand by the assessment, smaller stools are better. Here's the BSF Stool Scale.

                        I was pushing out type 2s for a couple years prior to going primal.

                        Type 2: Sausage-like but lumpy
                        Represents a combination of Type 1 stools impacted into a single mass and lumped together by fiber components and some bacteria. Typical for organic constipation. The diameter is 3 to 4 cm (1.2–1.6”). This type is the most destructive by far because its size is near or exceeds the maximum opening of the anal canal’s aperture (3.5 cm). It’s bound to cause extreme straining during elimination, and most likely to cause anal canal laceration, hemorrhoidal prolapse, or diverticulosis...
                        Adding supplemental fiber to expel these stools is dangerous, because the expanded fiber has no place to go, and may cause hernia, obstruction, or perforation of the small and large intestine alike.
                        I almost killed myself trying to fix it with fiber. I suffered the hernia described and it led to leaky gut. Both are healed from better low fiber dieting and the associated smaller poops.

                        I am now a smooth moving type 4.

                        Type 4: Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft

                        This form is normal for someone defecating once daily. The diameter is 1 to 2 cm (0.4–0.8”). The larger diameter suggests a longer transit time or a large amount of dietary fiber in the diet.
                        I have decreased diameter by 3 to 4 times. Aah the relief.

                        Type 5 is not exactly a goal, but what he says about it is interesting. He hates fiber and has dedicated his life to healthy pooping. Hey, somebody has to do it. Better him than me.

                        Kysulli, you posted while I was typing this. I doubt everything at Gutsense applies to every situation, but he does mention it taking weeks to normalize in some cases. Stopping the unhealthy plunger effect of bulky fiber can leave the system with discharge issues. "Smooth Move" is an organic Senna based laxative tea that might work to get the system going, but I wouldn't want to rely on it anymore than I would want to rely on fiber. I would use it to jumpstart things though.


                        • #13
                          Why don't you think you're getting enough fiber in your diet?
                          Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

                          Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is:

                          Ditch the scale!:

                          My Success Story:


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Katt View Post
                            Fiber is overrated and not as necessary as the mainstream would have you believe. Veggies give plenty of fiber.


                            Most people on a modern diet have to make a effort to eat 30grams a day.

                            The papers I've seen about paleo man suggested he consumed between 100-150 g/day of fiber. That seems like a lot of fiber, I usually consume around 50-60 and I eat a ton of veggies and fruits.

                            Anyone have any idea why their is a discrepancy between the advice and the scientific papers?
                            Last edited by Kattanga; 06-20-2010, 10:28 AM.


                            • #15
                              I concur. Konstantin Monastyrsky (the very outspoken "gut sense" Russian) is right about insoluble fiber being big trouble. It's one of the reasons that people do so much better when they completely give up grains. He also noted that those "wholesome whole grains" are even bigger trouble than the refined ones.

                              Smaller poops are easier to pass. Making smaller poops doesn't mean that the total volume is too small - they are often numerous.

                              Insoluble fiber slows down the transit through the digestive system, which works and works, trying to digest the indigestible. Helen, you did a good thing when you tossed the All Bran. It probably would make good garden compost, though.

                              I've found out the hard way what each part of that stool chart is like. The little rocks, about every ten days, as a child, after being dosed with sulfa drugs for a year and a half! (Talk about malpractice!) The big sausage-like poops which tear one's gut apart and give one hemorrhoids, while trying to eat "healthy." The diarrhea from having bad flora and an irritable bowel and leaky gut. And the little poops, either well defined or slightly soft around the edges, which is where everyone should try to be on the chart, IMO.

                              Oh, and I've had the floating poops, from being all gassed up inside, trying to eat those "healthy" veggies full of polysaccharides which gave my less desirable gut flora a feeding frenzy, and me bowel cramps and smelly gas.

                              Making the "Inner Village" a happy but orderly and law-abiding place is often a challenging exercise, especially for people who have struggled many years with a difficult digestion. "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" by Elaine Gottschall provided many new and useful ideas, as did "Fiber Menace" (with the priceless cover photograph of a cereal bowl full of bright sharp brass wood screws) by Konstantin Monastyrski. In my opinion, fermented foods like cider vinegar (the live kind), kombucha, kim chee, home made sauerkraut, and other lactofermented veggies -- home made pickles, green beans, etc. -- and home made yoghurt cultured for 24 hours (Elaine's idea, get rid of the lactose) are the way to go. I think they're a lot more effective than just taking a capsule of probiotics.

                              By the way, fixing the leaky gut by following Elaine's advice also got rid of the hay fever which had plagued me every spring for fifty years.

                              What several successful ways of eating seem to have in common is completely eliminating all grains.
                              Last edited by piano-doctor-lady; 06-20-2010, 10:49 AM.