FIBER: How Much Do I Need?

Dietary fiber intake is important. It…

  • Increases food volume without increasing caloric content, providing satiety which may reduce appetite.
  • Attracts water and forms a viscous gel during digestion, slowing the emptying of the stomach and intestinal transit, shielding carbohydrates from enzymes, and delaying absorption of glucose,[62] which lowers variance in blood sugar levels
  • Lowers total and LDL cholesterol, which may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Regulates blood sugar, which may reduce glucose and insulin levels in diabetic patients and may lower risk of diabetes[63]
  • Speeds the passage of foods through the digestive system, which facilitates regular defecation
  • Adds bulk to the stool, which alleviates constipation
  • Balances intestinal pH[64] and stimulates intestinal fermentation production of short-chain fatty acids, which may reduce risk of colorectal cancer

Source: Wikipedia, “Dietary Fiber”

Clearly then fiber is a good thing. However, it’s also possible to have too much, the side effects being gas, diarrhoea, constipation and bloating*. Keep between the following numbers and you’ll be fine.

General Daily Fibre Intake Guidelines:

  • Minimum –  20g/25g for women and men respectively.
  • Maximum – 20% of your carb intake.

Further Reading: Fibre – Nature’s Broom by Lyle McDonald.

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*Roid Gut: (Irrelevant, but fun fact)

You may have noticed that many pro-bodybuilders have distended abdomens, yet still have abs. This is usually from the steroid/growth hormone that has made not only their muscles but their internal organs grow also. However another way people sometimes get this roid-gutlook is when they try to bulk using only “clean foods” leading to a huge fibre intake and bloated intestines.

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