We need at least 40 grams of fiber. The more the better. But 97% of Americans do not even eat 40 grams. In today’s podcast, we dive more in-depth into how and why we should be eating more fiber. We also list 10 high-fiber foods that can easily be incorporated into our diets. This episode is a spin-off of the Video, “3 Major Reasons to Add More Fiber | Improve Your Health This New Year!” (The video link is listed below in the show notes.)
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EAT MORE FIBER (Show Notes)
- Some content for this podcast was compiled from Shonda’s “take-aways” of this online interview by PCRM: https://youtu.be/qIY1TQIH0jc?t=1060
- Dr. Will Bulsiewicz | The Gut Health MD
- “Results from a meta-analysis of 13 case–control studies have suggested that increased dietary fiber intake is associated with decreased risk of colorectal cancer” https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/93/7/525/2906521
- 3 Major Reasons to Add More Fiber | Improve Your Health This New Year! (YouTube Video)
Recipes Loaded with Fiber:
Oatmeal Bars with Berries and Seeds
Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato
Chickpea Tortillas (Make gluten-free tortillas using chickpeas)
US Dietary Guidelines
Fight COVID-19 with Food Tuesday, Jan. 19 – Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 4-5 p.m. ET (1-2 p.m. PT) Weekly on Tuesdays with class recordings available on-demand for registrants https://www.pcrm.org/nutritionclass
Links to the G-Bombs series (which also includes some recipe videos):
[00:00:00] Shonda: Hey today, we're talking about fiber. Back in December, well, on December 31st, or just about, I released a video. It was titled three reasons why you should add fiber to your diet and make it your new year's resolution. I thought that adding fiber was the most important thing that you could do to help your health. So that's why I chose that as a new year's resolution to give you some good ideas. Because 97% of Americans do not get enough fiber.
[00:00:39] (Music & Introduction)
[00:01:37] Shonda: 97% of Americans do not get enough fiber.
[00:01:41] Patryce: That's unbelievable.
[00:01:42] Shonda: Yeah, that is. And we're supposed to get at least 40 grams of fiber per day. And it's really not difficult to do, especially if we're eating lots of plant foods.
[00:01:56] Patryce: That's true.
[00:01:57] Shonda: Yeah. So there's a lot reasons to do so, but I'm gonna repeat the same ones that I discussed in the video that you can refer to, but hopefully we can get a little bit, even more in depth here in our discussion.
[00:02:15] So one reason. That I gave for increasing fiber is to increase longevity . Well, okay. I eat more fiber. I live longer, but why? But the reason is because we know that the top diseases that result in death are cancer, especially colon cancer, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. They are very high causes of death here in America where we live.
[00:02:52] But still further, you know, avoiding cancer, how ? And so I looked into that a little bit further and, it's by improving the intestinal transit of food and waste. So fiber cleans up our intestines.
[00:03:07] It grabs toxins. So it's helping grab those toxins and get them out of our body. So it's not just staying there in our blood system . We want to have fresh new blood and chemistry to work with.
[00:03:20] So fiber helps your body by eliminating carcinogens because carcinogens are toxins or toxins are carcinogens. So that's how we can avoid cancer by eating more fiber.
[00:03:36] I saw this post and it said that a meta analysis published in the journal of the national cancer Institute examined 13 studies and found that the risk of colorectal cancer decreased as fiber intake increased.
[00:03:52] Patryce: Mm. So, Good information.
[00:03:56] Right? Yeah. We're hearing more and more about colon cancer. Yes. In light of the recent passing of the actor Chadwick Boseman.
[00:04:07]Yes. That's really been highlighting what we need to know, some of the risk factors. As well as some signs, but that is one of those diseases that you often don't find out you have it in until it's more far gone.
[00:04:22] Right? So this is important to know that fiber can be part of our preventative medicine.
[00:04:30] Shonda: And you're going to talk later about the foods, but I'm just thinking and fiber tastes so good. You know, I just enjoy eating plants and fiber .
[00:04:38] So another that I mentioned earlier was diabetes.
[00:04:41]So in cases of diabetes, fiber helps by keeping blood sugar levels steady. And helping you keep a healthy weight that may even prevent diabetes altogether.
[00:04:59] Patryce: That's important. Yes. As that is another thing, not only in America are more people having diabetes, but worldwide.
[00:05:09] Yeah, I know in Asia it's become something very much on their radar as a country in Singapore. And they're taking steps to help the public not take in as much sugar through their consumption of fast foods. Yeah.
[00:05:24] Shonda: Fast foods is definitely the culprit with a high sugar, fat, but low fiber fiber. Right.
[00:05:35] Okay, so I'm going to go ahead and move on to reason number two that I talked about in the video . High fiber foods feed the healthy bacteria that improve immune function, reduce inflammation and chronic disease and even help elevate mood. And that is important because certain fibers are prebiotic foods that help us produce healthy gut bacteria. And that too sort of explains how we're getting rid of the toxins and things like that.
[00:06:07] But we're getting more specific. It's the prebiotics, which produce the probiotics . It's just like building upon itself, you know . It's removing toxins while the prebiotic fiber is producing probiotics that we know that we hear about all the time. You know, take your probiotics, take your probiotics.
[00:06:27] Well, The Gut Health MD always talks about get your prebiotics and you're feeding your probiotic bacteria by filling up on the prebiotics.
[00:06:42]Patryce: What about those probiotics that you see marketed all the time? The pills and some of them are refrigerated. Some not. You're saying focus more on, on getting your prebiotics?
[00:06:51] Shonda: You should focus more on getting your prebiotic foods.
[00:06:55]So that's why it's important to get all the prebiotic foods and Patryce is going to be discussing what those prebiotic foods are in just a bit.
[00:07:07]So the third reason I mentioned in the video, just getting more specific, is that eating high fiber produces these short chain fatty acids.
[00:07:20] And I think they are just like, the winners , the key or the prize that you get from eating your fiber. Okay. This is what helped to convince me to eat fiber. Although I was dealing with IBS. And, you know, with IBS, certain fibers just really put your stomach in like a crazy state, you know, the bloating and the pain and all these things because your body is not accustomed to all this fiber.
[00:07:54] So my body had to relearn how to adjust to fiber is really what was happening.
[00:08:01] Patryce: Interesting. Interesting.
[00:08:04] Shonda: And so when I learned about short chain, fatty acids, specifically butyrate, which is a short chain fatty acid. That was one that I was like, okay, science says this. I am going to give it a try. You know, I was always my own Guinea pig.
[00:08:23]Short chain, fatty acids help with inflammatory bowel disease, IBS , acid reflux and several other gut disorders. Okay. So that's why this helped me. And it really does help guys. Listen to this. If you have any of these issues, just take it really slowly. And eventually you will reap the benefits of doing this . Because this specific one , butyrate, it repairs leaky gut it. So it helps with the integrity of your gut lining. I mean, I even heard about leaky gut 10 years ago when I was diagnosed with it, you know, you have leaky gut and this and this and that, and they were trying to give me all these supplements and these different things, but, you know, I mean, all I had to do was boost up my fiber and let my body heal. And so that's what we're all talking about is we're talking about supporting our health with real food and letting real food and the nutrition that we get from it help our bodies heal.
[00:09:31]The only other thing I wanted to add on when we have leaky gut, there's a disruption in the gut brain barrier. When I had leaky gut I experienced a lot of brain fog. And that's like all these toxins transferring over into your blood and you know, your blood's going through your brain. The gut disruption in the gut brain barrier is linked to Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and many auto-immune diseases and including ADHD.
[00:10:04] Oh, so that's what studies are showing now. I mean, it's been proven, it's been studied. Leaky gut, or disruption in the gut brain barrier leads to these diseases. So that was my takeaway from when I found out about fiber. And that's why I wanted to share it with everyone.
[00:10:26] It's such an amazing thing. It's such a beautiful thing. And that's the thing that I hope to spread to everyone within our hearing. That they will hear this and believe this and be empowered to do this.
[00:10:39]Patryce: How encouraging.
[00:10:40] That's very encouraging that our body can heal with the foods that we choose to eat.
[00:10:45] So glad that we are sharing this. Like you said, people take it to heart and it doesn't hurt to give this a try. Eat more fiber.
[00:10:57] And with that said, we have some foods to share with you to meet that goal of eating more fiber.
[00:11:05] Shonda: Okay, good. I'm excited to hear about those. See if there's anything else I need to add.
[00:11:10] Patryce: Well, I will say all the foods I was familiar with, but there were one or two where I didn't realize that they had so much fiber. And so of the 10 that I'm mentioning today. Begin with raspberries. Okay. Berries have a lot of fiber, but raspberries seemed to have the most fiber of all the berries.
[00:11:33] So raspberries, for example, have nine grams of fiber per cup.
[00:11:39] Wow. Okay. Oh, and yeah. And our goal is 40. Okay. So that's almost a fourth there already.
[00:11:49] Yeah, that's exciting. And, and of course, you know what, the berries, you also get the vitamin C, but not to say that the strawberries, blueberries and all those others aren't excellent berries.
[00:12:00]Then we move on to black beans. Black beans have eight, about eight grams for about one third cup.
[00:12:12] Shonda: Wow. Okay. You said eight, for a third. Yes. So anyone eating a cup of beans is already halfway there.
[00:12:22] Patryce: Exciting.
[00:12:23] And with that, I do want to mention, you're also getting in your protein because we know black beans or beans are just high in protein.
[00:12:31] And I don't want to forget to mention, we've talked about, and you can go look at our past podcasts about the GBOMBS. Because GBOMBS include what?
[00:12:45] Shonda: Include beans? Yes.
[00:12:48] Patryce: And then number three, I just didn't realize avocados had so much in the way of fiber and they do, they have about seven grams of fiber for a whole avocado. That's pretty exciting because we know we can eat them sliced, diced, and put them on top of foods, salads or potato, or we can eat them in our smoothies. I know we've done a lot of smoothies with mango, avocado, spinach... whatever the combination. Smoothies are made even creamier with an avocado added.
[00:13:22] Shonda: Yeah, that sounds good. Okay. What else you got?
[00:13:27] Patryce: I have number four...artichokes now that's the one I didn't realize had as much fiber.
[00:13:34]Maybe because I just don't eat them as much. I love them, but I don't really eat them as much as I probably will going forward because they have about six grams of fiber per cup.
[00:13:46]Shonda: Per cup. Okay. And artichokes also are prebiotic . Ah, yeah. And, and for those interested, there is a link to an artichoke spinach recipe. And also we have a video available, so be sure to check those out.
[00:14:07] Patryce: That's exciting. Yeah, that's exciting because I used to love that dip, the old dip, but I'm not into dairy anymore. So I'm looking forward to trying out your recipe and then also realizing that artichokes have a lot of potassium as well.
[00:14:23] I didn't realize that. I just wanted to add that. So you're getting fiber and potassium with your artichokes.
[00:14:29] And then we have coming in fifth, lentils. And of course at eight grams per half a cup, gosh, you can get 16 grams of fiber with just one cup of lentils.
[00:14:43] And I can eat that in a day. Eating lentil soup or stew, what have you. It's exciting stuff.
[00:14:50] Shonda: Right? Right. Let's just think about what we've talked about already. You talked about some berries, artichokes and two different kinds of beans, really so far. But if we eat those in a serving size, we're almost at 40 grams. We are already.
[00:15:09]We're about halfway there.
[00:15:11]Patryce: So we're halfway through the list and almost halfway there.
[00:15:14] And I'm sure when you hear the other half of this list, folks will see that it's very easy to get in the recommended 40 grams because the next item listed are sweet potatoes. Yes. At five grams of fiber per a medium-sized sweet potato, apparently. Yeah. And then right after the sweet potatoes. You have whole wheat pasta for those who really liked our pastas and maybe you're putting some beans and other things with the pasta. But the pasta alone, for a half a cup serving, you're getting about seven grams of fiber.
[00:15:54] Shonda: And we know everyone eats more than half a cup of pasta.
[00:15:57] Patryce: Well, yeah, you're right about that. So you can really pack it in with the pasta. You're right. Probably easily a cup of pasta. So you're at 14 grams with just your pasta and then you have chickpeas and another bean six grams of fiber for half a cup there. Yeah.
[00:16:17] And what was interesting? The next item is oatmeal. Now, before I did this research, I just assume oatmeal would have been like one of the top. Okay. Oh no, it's still great. You get five grams for a half a cup, but I realized now I can go to some of these other foods and get just as much if not more fiber.
[00:16:38] Shonda: Yeah. Okay.
[00:16:41] Patryce: And the last thing on the list of the 10 were green peas with about two-thirds cup of green peas you're getting about six grams of fiber.
[00:16:53] Shonda: How many cups?
[00:16:54] Patryce: Just two-thirds cup.
[00:16:56] Shonda: And we know a lot of people like green peas. That's one of the first foods that we have when we're toddlers, right?
[00:17:04] Patryce: Yes, you're right. That's one of the first ones to be introduced the little ones too.
[00:17:08] But you know what, it's just funny. Many of us, if not, all of us have heard of the saying "an Apple a day keeps the doctor away." The truth is that is healthy because apples have fiber too. They weren't on my list.
[00:17:22] Shonda: Yeah, all these other foods, right, had more fiber than the apple.
[00:17:27] Patryce: True. True. So that's exciting that after hearing about the benefits of adding more fiber to your diet, we see how easily it can be done.
[00:17:38] Shonda: Yeah. It can really be. An easy thing to do.
[00:17:41]I thought maybe when you were talking about oatmeal, did you have more to say about oatmeal? Because I remember someone who had high cholesterol told me that he put oatmeal daily in his diet and his cholesterol went way down or maybe even down to normal.
[00:18:03] Patryce: I, I don't have anything about that. But now that you shared that I've heard similar stories over and over again, over the years, about people who have chronic diseases or cholesterol and just other issues. And they find incorporating oatmeal daily has been awesome. So there must be something to that oatmeal.
[00:18:28]Shonda: Yeah. You know, I push oatmeal for breakfast. It's just the easiest thing. I eat it every day. I mean, I rarely go away from oatmeal during the week.
[00:18:39] Yeah. you can add your raspberries to the oatmeal, you know, other fruits and just, yeah. Nuts and seeds and yeah. So oatmeal is just a wonderful thing. But I hope you all are, are being encouraged that you can easily, so easily increase your fiber intake by eating more fruits. ,vegetables and beans. Yeah. I think they're like the top of the list. Fruits, vegetables, and beans. Well, yeah, fruits and beans, maybe, maybe really at the top.
[00:19:18] Patryce: Definitely fruits and beans are at the top. You're right about that.
[00:19:22] You know what? Part of being a human being is elimination. Okay. Whatever you want to call it. And I have been surprised, well, more and more people I've discovered over the years. Somehow it comes up about constipation.
[00:19:37] Shonda: Yeah. Well, we can't get rid of our toxins and our carcinogens and the fiber is helping that.
[00:19:44] I mean, it's not just grabbing it and going nowhere. We have to eliminate it. Right. We have to get it out. So we cannot be constipated. We need the fiber to help us. Eliminate the toxins yeah. So it, it, I mean, it, it all works together. You know, it works out. We eat the fiber, it grabs the toxins and then it brings it out of our body.
[00:20:09] Patryce: Well, I just want to throw that in there because I want to promote that this is a natural way, instead of so many of the go-to over the counter recommendations... why not just increase your fiber intake first?
[00:20:25] Shonda: Yeah, exactly. Very agreeable.
[00:20:30]Oh, so we did not talk about one last thing we want to add to that is about how fiber fills us up.
[00:20:39] Patryce: Yeah. I thought we talked about that, but yeah. And when you spoke about the oatmeal, which I know you love, it definitely fills you up.
[00:20:48] So for, for anyone trying to not overeat, that is a great way to start your day. Start your day with your own way of doing oatmeal, like customize it. Like Shonda has said so many times you can do what ever with your oatmeal. You can add berries, and nuts and seeds, and other fruits too. Yeah. So when you're trying to maintain a healthy weight, and feel satisfied, without eating a lot of food start off with oatmeal. And maybe , maybe you already gone through the day and you're just very hungry and it's closer to dinner time. I'm one of those people where I don't have to eat certain foods certain times of the day.
[00:21:33] So I think it's fine to have oatmeal for your evening .
[00:21:37]Shonda: It sure is. Yeah. So, yeah.
[00:21:42]Patryce: Wow. This is all good. So I hope that more people will eat more fiber and tell more people to eat more fiber.
[00:21:54]Anything else to share about fiber, Shonda?
[00:21:56] Shonda: No, I think that's it, but we can just summarize it by saying the goal is 40 grams of fiber per day. And there are a lot of apps that will allow you to track that. Track your fiber intake to actually see how much you're getting. To make sure you are meeting those 40 grams per day. ' And if you're not, that means that you're not eating enough plant foods.
[00:22:23] Patryce: Great. Well, that's a great suggestion . And again, as Shonda said, there's a wonderful challenge to start this year, eating more fiber.
[00:22:34] Shonda: Yeah, that was definitely I guess, a challenge. And I'll also put a lot of other links of recipes and YouTube videos that can help increase your plant-based foods.
[00:22:49]All right. So until next week eat more fiber. Yes. And we'll check in on you.
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