IIFYM Revisited: The Fiber Question

A couple months ago, as I was starting to put pen to paper, I introduced the topic of IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). In the next installment, I wrote about setting up a good baseline of how to structure a diet with those macros in mind.

Often times people break down fiber into two categories. There is soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. The difference between soluble and insoluble fiber is whether or not it liquefies in water. From a physiological point of view, there is really very little difference. Other more well known aspects of fiber are that a healthy intake of fiber are that it promotes satiety thereby causing us to eat less and lose weight, prevents colon cancer and gives us a little bit aid with the crapper. (For best results on the crapper, add a high protein diet. For even more fun, add a beet a day. Beet red on the crapper will take on a whole new meaning.) There are other benefits as well. Fiber slows down nutrient absorption which in turn will moderate any insulin response from the nutrients absorbed. In turn, fiber intake reduces the risk of sugar crashes, promotes better glucose control, ect.

Also, I briefly mentioned fiber noting that the calories don’t count. The idea is that when fiber is consumed, the body is unable to digest it and therefore it gets excreted out the other end. That is not entirely true. Some fiber is actually converted into short-chain fatty acids in the intestinal track and used in the body for energy. So I stand corrected on that point. It is true that a lot of fiber will simply just pass through the body, but not all.

In light of the video above, I went searching for daily fiber in my diet. Here are what I normally consume:

I eat at least one cup of mixed berries every day. Mixed berries consist of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. I like to mix the berries in a smoothie. The “Berry Dairy” smoothie consists of 1 cup of berries, 2 cups skim milk, 1 cup crushed ice, 1-3 tsp matcha and 1 – 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder. Mixed berries also go really well with yogurt or cottage cheese.  1 cup of berries (140 grams) will net 5 grams of fiber.

I normally buy all of my vegetables and berries from the frozen section. I find that they are easier to store, last longer and are relatively cheaper. California vegetables are a mix of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. One cup (100 grams) nets about two grams of fiber.

I also buy frozen collard greens and kale, eating roughly a half a cup of each per day. I cup mixed collard greens and kale will net about 3 – 4 grams of fiber.

I like to eat a bit of dark chocolate with a glass of red wine on my rest days. One serving of dark chocolate (85% cocoa). One serving has about 240 kcal and nets roughly five to six grams of fiber.

Hey, if you’re going to supplement, you might as well do it right. I know of no other perfect food mix than that of peanut butter and chocolate.

As far as recommendations for fiber are concerned, the good doctor above says that IIFYM is fine with the added constraint that we work in at least 20g of fiber per day. Others say that we should be getting 10g of fiber per 1000 calories consumed. The average American doesn’t even get half of those amounts. So I would just say chances are that you are not eating enough fiber, just try to get a little bit more.

Lyle McDonald: Fiber – It’s Nature’s Broom

Alan Aragon on Fiber

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