The Truth about Fiber

­­­A lot of people ask us, if you don’t eat grains, how do you get your fiber?

WHAT??!! NO GRAINS?! WHAT ABOUT THE FIBER?! AHHHH!

Wait. Breath. Deep breaths. Ok.

Well, what I am here today to tell you the truth about fiber – where you get it and what types do what. Listen up Paleo-lifestylers! This is going to make your life much easier. Here’s the breakdown of fiber:

What you get: Soluble Fiber

What it means: Fiber that dissolves readily in fluids. These fibers have been linked to lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol and regulating of blood glucose levels

Is that good? Yes. You want this.

What they eat: oat bran, oatmeal, beans, peas, rice bran, barley

Your rebuttal: citrus fruits, strawberries, apple pulp

What you get: Insoluble Fiber

What it means: Does not dissolve in liquids, passing through the digestive tract, moving things along. If you are losing weight, these foods have a fulling effect, for weight management.

Is that good? Yes. You want this too.

What they eat: whole-wheat breads, wheat cereals, wheat bran (holy cow batman! That’s a lot of wheat!)

Your rebuttal: cabbage, beets, carrots, brussels sprouts, turnips, cauliflower, apple skin (ah, that sounds better)

What you get: Resistant Starch and Others (wow, that doesn’t sound pleasant, does it??)

What it means: Starches that are not digested in the small intestine. I like to call them fillers because a lot of them are added to other things to add fiber, lower the caloric intake, and screw around with your system.

Is that good? No. You do not want or need this.

What they eat: potatoes, pasta, legumes and rice

Your rebuttal: YOU DON’T NEED ONE! YAY!

In Summation: You are going to be just fine being Paleo. There is a lot of fiber in the foods that we eat, without having to stoop so low as to getting it from those nasty resistant starches. For actual comparison charts, click here

9 Comments

  1. nommer

    Resistant starch isn’t a bad thing. It helps with satiety, insulin sensitivity, fat oxidation, helps keep the colon healthy, and it is in bananas.

    • Many people are pro resistant starches. As a Paleo practitioner, the foods that have them legumes, starches, etc. are not a part of the Paleo diet and as you get your fiber from other sources, you don’t need to worry about the resistant starches – unneccessary. As for the bananas, the reason that we say no need for resistant starches is what they do to the body in terms of insulin production. Here are 2 articles that can better explain what I’m trying to sum up and as always, I recommend reading The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf – he really does a great job of covering everything.

      http://robbwolf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/the-paleo-solution-episode-31.pdf
      http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/metabolism/resistant-starch/

      Again, if you aren’t Paleo, they won’t hurt you, but if you are, you just have no need for them. I hope that this helps and thank you for your comments!
      ~Paleo Effect

    • Lexi

      Hey Amy,That’s great to hear! We have several more that we’re going to post over the next few days, hofelulpy giving everyone a full menu that they could potentially follow on Thanksgiving. Glad you’re as motivated as we are to keep it Primal!

  2. Lysander

    The way this written makes it confusing.

    • Lysander,
      I am sorry that this is confusing for you. Is there a question that you have or did you just want us to know that you thought it was difficult to understand? We’d like to help if possible, so please let us know.
      ~Paleo Effect

  3. Danielle

    Paleo seems to be working great. I feel great.
    Here is my regular intake:
    nuts and seeds, seafood and meats all organic, grass fed finished, fruit mainly blueberries/berries,apples,bananas, oranges,boiled prunes, and veggies all organic..have a special spot in my heart for kale and dark leafy greens, animal fat for cooking instead of butter..the like..sometimes oils, almond milk, raw milk yogurt(any suggestions here?..I do love raw milk(cow an goat).yogurt and cheese but have been quite good), ground flax(nutraclense), Tea and coffee. I’m a student and really cannot see myself giving up caffeine for a bit. Any suggestions for cream for coffee or an alternative? I understand with some of these items an alternative is difficult as modern food conceptions are so far removed from a traditional pale diet.

    Questions/help.

    How often should I be having “Granola”(I LOVE NUTS AND SEEDS), which for me is soaked almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower, nutraclense, and coconut. I know some of these nuts and seeds are high is phytic acid, polyunsaturated fats and anti nutrients, omega6-3 ratios. I know I can begin implementing other healther nuts such as chestnuts and macadamia. Even Brazil nuts for selenium..another catalyst for selenium if I do not want brazil nuts?
    Raw milk, yogurt, cheese: I seldom have milk and cheese. Perhaps cheese once a week or twice a week, but do love yogurt, again 1 or 2 a week. any suggestions here? I know I should have eggs a bit more often. Cream in coffee? anything to supplement that has a creamy taste?
    Beans…chickpeas..shit..can I have these at all?..once per week?
    I cave for Vega shakes..how do you guys feel about this supplement?
    Pooping? Bit constipated. What should I be having more of? I know high fat is important, I eat meat about 3 times a week. veggies/fruit anything i should be having more of?
    Really want to get my nutrient intake understood. I usually have the above noted granola for breakfast with blueberries and almond milk and or yogurt. For lunch I tend to have fruit like apples, maybe carrots, but am not a huge eater there. Dinner meat and veg.
    Cheers much appreciated!! all the best

    • Danielle,
      Your diet sounds like its on the right track! As for the tea and coffee, consuming a little caffeine can actually be good for brain function, mood, and physical performance. So you don’t have to give it up, but if you are drinking a lot (due to classes or long nights of studying), then you’ll want to try to limit yourself. If you only drink caffeine when you need it, it will work better too. Suggestions for creamer: coconut milk or almond milk will work, but be aware that if you like coffee because of the stuff you put in it, you should try to decrease that as well. Its ok to eat modern, you just want to use Paleo ingredients to do it, and remember that moderation is the key to success. ;)

      Now for the help: First, I like nuts a lot too, but you shouldn’t be eating more than 1-2 ounces per day, which is roughly equal to a handful twice a day. If you want to get selenium, the following foods are in order of highest percentage to lowest: halibut, tuna, cod, shrimp, crimini mushrooms, mustard seeds, sardines, salmon, turkey, lamb, scallops, chicken, grass-fed beef, eggs, shiitake mushrooms, venison, sunflower seeds, asparagus, spinach, garlic, and broccoli. I like that list for sure!

      Raw milk: if you don’t have autoimmune issues or lactose intolerance, then raw milk, grass-fed butter, etc. are all occasional options. They actually do make a yogurt made from coconut milk or almond milk (look up So Delicious online). For breakfast, more eggs is great, we have breakfast recipes on the site for n-oatmeal, smoothies, casseroles that can easily be frozen and re-heated, frittats, etc.

      As for beans – again, they are not Paleo, but if you don’t have any health issues and you are doing Paleo just to be healthy, then once a week should be just fine. Same with the Vega shakes. They have pea protein, hemp protein, brown rice protein and some other ingredients (depending on flavor) that are not Paleo, but they’re close and in moderation, shouldn’t be an issue. Again, this is all with the mindset that you are not having any health issues.

      As for the constipation, that is something that is relatively when transitioning to Paleo, especially if you are spotty and are integrating some non-Paleo foods. As usual, make sure you eat a lot of plant matter, if it is minor, try a little lemon juice 10 minutes before you eat (~1-2 Tbsp), which will ease digestion. You can look into tea, Yogi has a great Ginger tea for digestion that I really like. If you really need relief, you can take a magnesium supplement, like Milk of Magnesia, which should definitely do the trick. Otherwise, I would say to hang in there and it will get better!

      I hope this helps and Good Luck on your journey!
      ~Paleo Effect

  4. Chris

    Hi! I am venturing into the Paleo world starting Monday after doing some shopping today for the grass fed and pasture raised meats today and a good few hours planned tomorrow for some serious prepping and cooking up some meals for the week. One thing I’ve learned about myself is if I don’t prepare ahead of time…I don’t have an easy time sticking long enough to really get going and develop the new healthy habits. I’ve been doing the reading and researching (love your blog by the way…thanks so much!) but as a total newbie I have a couple of questions I’m hoping you can help me with. 1. Even if you are buying free range/pasture raised poultry products…. They still eat grains right so how is this allowed if you’re supposed to eat grass fed beef? I noticed on severe free range organic eggs I looked at… It still said grain fed so that’s a bit confusing for me.
    2. I bought this product called “skinny fiber” about a month ago to start when I was ready to get serious about diet and losing weight. I haven’t used it yet but hear a lot of good things about it helping to fill you up by taking two caps 20 minutes or so before meals so you’re not as hungry and that it really helps with keeping you satiated longer and minimizing cravings. It’s an all natural product that claims to have several other benefits as well. You can google it for more details and my question to you is do you think it’s ok to take on the paleo eating plan or would it be counter productive maybe due to certain ingredients? Thanks so much for any guidance you can give :)

    • Chris,
      So glad you are getting interested in your overall health and welcome to Paleo! Thanks for the kind words about the site, we really try to make it easy, as we want to share this amazing lifestyle with as many people as we can! As for your questions:

      1. There is a difference between “free range or cage free” and “pasture raised”. As we always get our poultry and eggs from a local farm, we just found out that there is a difference when you go to the supermarket and its something we’re going to update on our site. You are correct though, many pasture raised birds still get grains, so it is important to know your source. Our local farm raises them on nature – bugs, greens and the such, and they deliver to our local farmer’s market. Here’s a good reference that also has an eggs finder feature on it, so you can find the best in your area: http://www.apppa.org/content/10555

      2. When it comes to products like this, its hard to tell how they manufacture it and what else comes in it, as these types of supplements are usually NOT regulated by the FDA, so they can contain all sorts of random ingredients. From a glance, it seems that you can eat all of the main ingredients raw without toxicity, but again, I wouldn’t recommend it based on the unknown. Here’s my 2 cents on it: Even though the first 2 weeks will be full of cravings, I would not take this. I would recommend that you stick to good old fashioned, whole, clean foods for the first 30 days. Eat as much as you want, whenever you want, as long as it is Paleo. Your weight will slightly increase for the first week or two, as your body adjusts to its new regimen, but will rapidly decrease over the next 2-3 weeks. As you aren’t supplementing your diet with appetite suppressants, you won’t have to ween yourself off of them AND your appetite will naturally decrease. Trust me on this one, just have ready made snacks and proteins on hand and just eat when you are hungry and after a couple of weeks, you won’t be. I know it will be difficult for the first week or two, but then you’ll be good to go and you won’t have to start over with the cravings and the whatnot. Make sure to eat a good protein in the morning (eggs, salmon, chicken), as that will keep you fuller longer. Stay away from sugary fruits and if you get cravings, go for sweet potato, carrots or parsnips in the afternoon (starches should be consumed early morning or afternoon, so you have time to burn them off, they also feed sugar cravings and will give you energy when you feel tired). If you still choose to go the “skinny fiber” route, let us know how it works for you, as this is the first question we’ve received about it. :)
      Hope this helps and if you have any other questions, we’re here to help! Good luck on your journey and Keep it Paleo!!
      ~Paleo Effect

One Trackback

  1. By Post WOD Berry Coconut Smoothie « Kill It and Pick It July 3, 2012 at 11:07 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>