A Simple Way to Eat More Fiber

chia seeds
My brain did a little explostion last week at Low Carb Denver.

The biggest catalyst was the talk by nutritionist Zoe Harcombe reviewing the scientific evidence behind the dietary guideline for fiber.

She explained that in fact there is no evidence that fiber is beneficial

Like none at all.

I know.

What about the gut microbiome?

What about keeping regular?!

It’s an interesting thought…

And while fiber may not be an essential nutrient, I’m pretty sure I feel better when I’m getting enough.

The funny thing is I had already planned to share my simple trick for eating more fiber.

Here it is…

Eat seeds.

Specifically linseeds (flax seeds) or chia seeds.

For afternoon tea every day I soak 1 tablespoon linseeds (flax) and 1 tablespoon chia seeds in 4 tablespoons water.

30 minutes is good.

Or longer if I’m organized.

Then I add a few tablespoons yoghurt and a tablespoon pumpkin seeds (pepitas) just before I eat.

So good!

Keeps me full until dinner.

And nice and ‘regular’.

Oh and if I forget to soak, I just have the seeds and yoghurt.

And drink plenty of water.

Simple.

What do you think about fiber?

Are you getting enough? Do we need it? I’d love to hear in the comments below…

More on gut health

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x

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17 Comments

  • As someone who must take opiate painkillers I can tell you fiber matters a very great deal! By far the most common reason people give for stopping opiate use is constipation and I’ve had moments when I fully understand. I like your idea for the chia seeds and yoghurt; I’ll add both to this week’s grocery list!

  • Hi Jules, I often have this for breakfast – soak chia seeds -and sometimes frozen berries – in boiling water, and by the time I’ve had my shower, it’s all done! Add Greek yoghurt, couple of walnuts, a sprinkle of hemp seeds et voila! Or omit the berries, add a little banana and some cinnamon and coconut palm sugar for a treat. Regularity is never a problem!
    I love your idea for it as an afternoon pick-me-up, Jules!

  • My husband has what they term as a lazy bowel so I make up a mixture of rice bran, slippery elm powder, psyllium, lsa mix, coconut, ginger and cinnmon powder and he has a tablespoon on his cereal (oats or whatever) every morning. It works for him and as well he adds chia seeds to his soaking overnight oats. I also love your afternoon pick-me-up.

  • Hi Jules,
    I’m sorry but the claim at the beginning “no evidence that fiber is beneficial” is simply incorrect.
    just Google Scholar on fiber and gut health or gut bacteria and you’ll find plenty of scientific evidence for that.
    The richest in fiber are lentils, humus (chickpeas) and beans.
    I don’t know how it goes with low carbs, but in a “regular” nutrition it is recommended to have then on a daily basis (see Mediterranean diet).
    Still, I enjoy your ideas of low carbs eating, and make them regularly.
    Keep on the great work!

    • Hi Sigal

      I think Zoe meant there aren’t any randomized clinical trials on the benefits of fibre – so the evidence that is available hasn’t been tested in the most rigorous way.

      If you’re happy with lentils, chickpeas and beans go for it Signal. For my I perfer to keep things low carb to manage my diabetes and get plenty of fiber from veggies and my seeds :)

  • I’ve often wondered myself about fiber. And there was a Doctor who put out a book on the subject of fiber and the fact we don’t need as much as all the information seems to think we do. That being said, I have a constant constipation problem due to my autoimmune conditions and I do try to make sure I have at least 20 grams per day but I also think we can get too much. I cannot digest beans, peas, legumes, lentils so I have to rely on regular vegetables and since I’m gluten and dairy intolerant, I have also had to just consume gluten free grains. I really like your chia/flaxseed recipe, however, I am extremely sensitive to flax but I have made chia seed puddings which are yummy.

  • I have swung to ‘Alpine Breads’ which has a 5-star health rating. They have several different styles of bread. I go for ‘Heart Fibre’. It has a patented additive called ‘Barleymax’.

    As a non-insulin dependent type-2 diabetic, I try to emphasise vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds and seldom have meat. The nutrition panel on the bread’s plastic wrapping seems impressive, although I am not a nutritionist and I am not entirely sure.

    On average per 100g, the following list is on their nutrition panel.

    Energy: 980kj
    Protein: 12.1g
    Fat total: 3.3g
    Saturated: 0.6g
    Trans fats: < 0.1g
    Polyunsaturated: 1.6g
    Monounsaturated: 1.1g
    Carbohydrate total: 34.4g
    Sugar: 4.3g
    Dietary fibre: 8.5g
    Beta-Glucan: 1.4g
    Sodium: 360mg

    What do you think of this bread, Jules?

    It is expensive. It costs $6.00 for a 680g sliced loaf of bread!

    Is this bread worth buying to maintain better health, or are there cheaper alternatives that are just as good or near enough?

    I have rolled-oats for breakfast every so often. I have combined the oats with brown flax seeds, sunflower kernels, and pumpkin seeds.

    I place my oats and all of the other 'boosters' together in a large breakfast cereal container so that I do not have to combine all of these ingredients from scratch every morning.

    It takes about 1 minute and 40 seconds to cook this concoction in a microwave with milk.

    Fibre is an essential component of a healthy diet.

    You mentioned the gut biome, and being regular.

    Fibre also keeps your appetite and hunger in check.

    Here is an extended article about a plant based diet on the 'Conversation'.

    https://theconversation.com/eat-your-vegetables-studies-show-plant-based-diets-are-good-for-immunity-107964

    One of the largest meat processors in the UK called 'ABP' has launched a plant-based meat alternative.

    https://theconversation.com/why-the-meat-industry-could-win-big-from-the-switch-to-veggie-lifestyles-112714

    • Hi John!

      Thanks for the links – interesting stuff :)

      In terms of the bread, as far as breads go it looks pretty good from a fiber perspective and the carbs aren’t as high as regular sourdough.

      So if you must eat bread, it seems like a good choice.

      However if you can avoid the bread and have vegetables instead you’ll be much much better off :)

  • I have always believed in fiber. My understanding has always been that fiber helps keep your bowels moving because it prevents waste from compacting. I couldn’t live without my veggies, and some fruits. Love your snack (teatime) idea. I’ll have to try that, because it’s a good low carb snack filled with excellent nutrients. By the way, in my experience, proper hydration is the other key to keeping your bowels in good shape.

      • I tried your seed snack today, and really like it. I decided that I wanted a little something to add flavor, so I added ? teaspoon each of ginger and cinnamon. Yum! One of the things I like is that, at least using Greek yogurt, it turns out like chia pudding. This will definitely become a regular snack for me. Thank you for the suggestion.

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