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Official nutritional advice

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  • cmriversidecmriverside Posts: 26,533Member Member Posts: 26,533Member Member
    It's still good advice in general. What really over weight person do you know who has any reasonable amount of vegetables on their daily food plan? That would be the one piece of food advice I would give: Add vegetables to every meal and snack. Like 100g at each feeding - minimum.

    When I first started losing weight, I couldn't even remember the last fresh vegetable I had purchased. Now I'm going to the store produce department twice per week.

    The dried bulk beans (and bulk grains) are in Produce at my store. :) So are nuts. And the bakery abuts Produce, so really I could get all my fiber shopping done in three minutes.
  • French_PeasantFrench_Peasant Posts: 1,513Member Member Posts: 1,513Member Member
    I think the *guidance* is excellent, to hit a high amount of fiber.

    The problem is the educational article, likely written by some low-paid, not terribly knowledgeable hack, is not the greatest. It's not entirely useless, but I agree, it would be much more helpful to point out that fruits and veg can have widely varying levels of fiber, and you might want to focus on broccoli and apples and the importance of whole foods rather than things that are always or often peeled, like bananas, potatoes and eggplants.

    I also find it hard to believe that the average person in Great Britain (or the US) is getting 18 g fiber daily. It seems like I have read NHS studies lamenting that people don't even get their 5-a-day veg, and wildly popular foods like white bread, crisps, chips, and mash have much of their fiber stripped out.

    I am definitely quite pleased on the days I can nail my fiber, protein AND calories goals--just one goal alone is tough enough; to hit all three calls for very virtuous eating and/or a high amount of exercise.
  • estherdragonbatestherdragonbat Posts: 4,203Member Member Posts: 4,203Member Member
    It's still good advice in general. What really over weight person do you know who has any reasonable amount of vegetables on their daily food plan? That would be the one piece of food advice I would give: Add vegetables to every meal and snack. Like 100g at each feeding - minimum.

    When I first started losing weight, I couldn't even remember the last fresh vegetable I had purchased. Now I'm going to the store produce department twice per week.

    The dried bulk beans (and bulk grains) are in Produce at my store. :) So are nuts. And the bakery abuts Produce, so really I could get all my fiber shopping done in three minutes.

    *Raises hand* I was (and still am!) working my way through a vegan cookbook, recipe by recipe. I was getting a decent amount of veg in my diet (and not all potatoes and ketchup either). I wasn't tracking, and I probably wasn't getting the recommended, but I'd definitely made a whole bunch of soups and salads. Just also bought a whole lot of potato knishes, naan, low-calorie snacks of which I consumed multiple portions at one sitting, etc. But veg, too. (And sometimes, those snacks were spinach knishes because spinach was low-cal. Sadly it didn't negate the phyllo/puff pastry dough in which it was wrapped...)
    edited January 11
  • zeejane03zeejane03 Posts: 174Member Member Posts: 174Member Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    Yeah, I would not be counting popcorn as a 'vegetable' :) And beans absolutely have good fibre, but I probably wouldn't consider them under the generic heading of 'fruit and vegetables' - I know they technically are, but they ain't generally found in the fresh produce section of the supermarket! The official guidance tends to list beans and pulses separately, and that part I agree with :)

    (I do eat potatoes occasionally, when I fancy them, but once again I am not asking for advice on how to improve my own fibre intake because I totally know how to do that. I am pointing out the problem with advising people to eat unspecified 'fruits and vegetables' and nuts to significantly improve their fibre intake, using my own high-veg diet as an example.)

    My local grocery store does actually sell them in the produce section (their sold dried, in bulk by the pound). The USDA counts beans as a vegetable and the new '10 a Day' recommendation also counts one serving of beans as part of the 10.

    I'm with you though, I always separate them because they're more of a protein source for me.

    Anyways, back to the original post-I've never personally had any expert (my doctor etc) recommend increased veg/fruit or nuts for increased fiber so I'm confused who's actually recommending this. From the NHS link I'm also not seeing this being promoted as the best way to get in fiber, but instead they're part of a comprehensive list that lists several other things first.
    edited January 11
  • ceiswynceiswyn Posts: 795Member Member Posts: 795Member Member
    Eating more fruit and veg is good advice in general, but we're not talking about general here, we're talking about fibre.

    As for "What really over weight person do you know who has any reasonable amount of vegetables on their daily food plan?" - past-me. I used to eat a lot of fruit and veg. I just ate a lot of other stuff as well.

    And as I believe I already said, the last time I sought advice on constipation I was told to eat more fruit and veg, specifically; nothing about beans or wholegrains. So that advice is out there.
  • kimny72kimny72 Posts: 10,157Member Member Posts: 10,157Member Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    The point is that fruit, veg and nuts shouldn't be on that list at all.

    Fruit and veg are just not high-fibre foods unless you are eating specific ones - which the guidance does not specify. And any non-nutritionally-aware person who decides to add enough 'small handfuls' of nuts to their diet to significantly affect their fibre intake is going to run into weight gain issues pretty fast.

    I agree with you on the nuts, but I would respectfully disagree about fruits and veggies. Just like with protein, it's important to get the bulk of your fiber from foods with a big bang for your buck, but foods that are lower calorie but can add a couple more grams are important too. Whole grains and legumes can be calorific, so getting 5 - 10g of fiber from veggies and fruits may in fact be necessary to reach that 30g while still maintaining a calorie controlled diet. Nothing in the NHS info says you should get the bulk of your fiber from them, just that they can help.

    I would never be able to get 30g of fiber from just veg and fruit. But I also would hardly ever be able to get it without them.

    As with any generalized public health info, it is often oversimplified in order to not scare people away by making it too complicated, like listing specifically high fiber fruits and veg. I read the fact that it came in towards the end of the list as suggesting it was lower fiber but still higher than a lot of the convenience foods low fiber diets are often comprised of.

    I have never read or heard anyone suggest fruit & veg for constipation, other than prunes and bananas. Not sure why your pharmacist said that, but it's certainly not common advice.
    edited January 11
  • LounmounLounmoun Posts: 8,360Member Member Posts: 8,360Member Member
    In both links in the OP I saw tips for increasing fiber that included sample days of eating a combination of whole grains, beans or lentils, fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds. I did not see the suggestion to get all of your fiber for the day from vegetables and fruits. I don't see anything terrible in the advice. They basically said there are benefits to 25-30 g of fiber a day and here are some ways of getting more.
    If you want the benefits of more fiber in your diet then plan to eat higher fiber foods. If your current choices are not meeting your goal look at other foods you can add to your diet.
    I feel like maybe the frustration comes from wanting to bulk out your diet with very low calorie vegetables and finding that to get more fiber you might need to eat some more calorie dense choices.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 5,392Member Member Posts: 5,392Member Member
    This is one of the key issues with broad sweeping public policy statements. These are allegedly designed to influence the average consumer, but typically lacking in any substantive information or context.

    Be skeptical of all information.
  • MadisonMolly2017MadisonMolly2017 Posts: 2,302Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,302Member, Premium Member
    wj2dxzdqowk4.png

    Kashi cereal - 30-50 g
    Ezekiel Sesame 4:9 bread - 2 slices
    Nuts, unsalted, dry roasted or raw - 1-2 oz daily
    Lots of berries, minimum 6 oz daily
    2 apples a day @ 5-5.5 oz each
    Veggies: cabbage, carrots, tomatoes 1-3 3oz servings a day
    Dark chocolate - yes it has fiber .5-1 oz
    Unsalted tortilla chips - ditto (occasional)
    Peanut butter, unsalted 30g daily

    I ate 2,088 daily calories on avg in 2018. It does make it easier.

    I notice if I eat out, fiber numbers drop precipitously...

    My app says 14g fiber per 1,000 calories
    Eaten (for women)
  • zeejane03zeejane03 Posts: 174Member Member Posts: 174Member Member
    So I've been reading more on the big study/news about fiber that came out and reading through interviews with some of the authors of the study-they were emphasizing the importance of whole grains as a good source for fiber and downplayed vegetable/fruit as a high source of it. So again, I'm not seeing it recommended by any expert in the field to get a lot of your fiber from veg/fruit. Not really sure what OP is seeing that's different?

    And then from the Lancet-

    Findings from prospective studies and clinical trials associated with relatively high intakes of dietary fibre and whole grains were complementary, and striking dose-response evidence indicates that the relationships to several non-communicable diseases could be causal. Implementation of recommendations to increase dietary fibre intake and to replace refined grains with whole grains is expected to benefit human health.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31809-9/fulltext
    edited January 12
  • ceiswynceiswyn Posts: 795Member Member Posts: 795Member Member
    Interestingly, I was reading an unrelated message board where someone claimed that their doctor was being ridiculous and not listening to them, telling them to eat more fibre when they clearly got enough because they, specifically, ate vegetables with their lunch.

    So it’s not just me who’s heard a message that fruit and veg are great fibre providers.
  • ceiswynceiswyn Posts: 795Member Member Posts: 795Member Member
    (Incidentally, as I was pre-logging today’s meals, I realised that the biggest source of fibre in my diet is vegetarian meat substitutes. A serving of four Quorn crispy chicken nuggets has as much fibre as 200g of baked beans. Two Linda McCartney sausages has the fibre of three slices of multigrain bread, for half the calories. Has anyone seen this mentioned in any official guidance?)
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 953Member Member Posts: 953Member Member
    I finally went to the NHS link, and I really don't understand what's wrong with the advice:
    It's important to get fibre from a variety of sources, as eating too much of one type of food may not provide you with a healthy balanced diet.

    To increase your fibre intake you could:

    Choose a higher-fibre breakfast cereal such as plain wholewheat biscuits (like Weetabix) or plain shredded whole grain (like Shredded wheat), or porridge as oats are also a good source of fibre. Find out more about healthy breakfast cereals.

    Go for wholemeal or granary breads, or higher fibre white bread, and choose wholegrains like wholewheat pasta, bulgur wheat or brown rice.

    Go for potatoes with their skins on, such as a baked potato or boiled new potatoes. Find out more about starchy foods and carbohydrates.

    Add pulses like beans, lentils or chickpeas to stews, curries and salads.

    Include plenty of vegetables with meals, either as a side dish or added to sauces, stews or curries. Find out more about how to get your 5 A Day.

    Have some fresh or dried fruit, or fruit canned in natural juice for dessert. Because dried fruit is sticky, it can increase the risk of tooth decay, so it's better if it is only eaten as part of a meal, rather than as a between-meal snack.

    For snacks, try fresh fruit, vegetable sticks, rye crackers, oatcakes and unsalted nuts or seeds.

    It's giving ideas for small changes people could make. That's quite similar to how ours does it too.

    I think there should be more discussion of beans and lentils in particular, but one reason is this insistence on talking about food groups as a way to teach it, and so they get kind of included in vegetables, and then kind of included in proteins (where any discussion of meat substitutes would be, although ours doesn't talk about products like that, just recommends non meat sources of protein be included such soy and legumes and pulses). Since the protein category is mainly about foods with no fiber, it's not discussed there.

    I find it a little odd that the NHS one seems to focus on baked beans for beans, rather than plain beans which can be used in lots of ways. Black beans have 15 g of fiber for 227 calories. Navy beans have 19 g for 255 cal. Lentils have 15.5 for 230 cal.
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Posts: 62Member Member Posts: 62Member Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    (Incidentally, as I was pre-logging today’s meals, I realised that the biggest source of fibre in my diet is vegetarian meat substitutes. A serving of four Quorn crispy chicken nuggets has as much fibre as 200g of baked beans. Two Linda McCartney sausages has the fibre of three slices of multigrain bread, for half the calories. Has anyone seen this mentioned in any official guidance?)

    Not looking at the labels, but since you are talking about vegetarian meat substitutes, it would be fair to assume vegetables/beans most likely along with grains are major ingredients. So yes these ingredients are in the official guidance.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 8,893Member Member Posts: 8,893Member Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    (Incidentally, as I was pre-logging today’s meals, I realised that the biggest source of fibre in my diet is vegetarian meat substitutes. A serving of four Quorn crispy chicken nuggets has as much fibre as 200g of baked beans. Two Linda McCartney sausages has the fibre of three slices of multigrain bread, for half the calories. Has anyone seen this mentioned in any official guidance?)

    I wouldn't expect them to be mentioned.

    1. They're niche foods used by a relatively small minority of people.

    2. The ones you name are branded products, and the government shouldn't be boosting branded products by name. The general category "vegetarian meat substitutes" varies: Some have fiber, some don't have much at all. Tofu and seitan, for example, have quite negligible fiber, typically less than 1g fiber per 100g of the food.

    Heck, I'm vegetarian, and virtually none of my (more than ample) fiber comes from "vegetarian meat substitutes". ;)
  • greyhoundwalkergreyhoundwalker Posts: 118Member Member Posts: 118Member Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    (Incidentally, as I was pre-logging today’s meals, I realised that the biggest source of fibre in my diet is vegetarian meat substitutes. A serving of four Quorn crispy chicken nuggets has as much fibre as 200g of baked beans. Two Linda McCartney sausages has the fibre of three slices of multigrain bread, for half the calories. Has anyone seen this mentioned in any official guidance?)

    Thanks for that, I hadn't realised quorn products have so much fibre. I find them very satiating (as well as tasty) and assumed it was the protein keeping me satisfied, so now I know it's likely to be a combination of fibre and protein.
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