21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: Main Kickstart Forum: New - question about malabsorption and fiber
Created on: 02/18/13 01:08 AM Views: 1874 Replies: 8
New - question about malabsorption and fiber
Posted Monday, February 18, 2013 at 1:08 AM

Hi there! I'm new to the vegan diet and eating low fat. I've been doing lots of research to make sure I get all the good stuff my body needs. So far everything is going very smoothly with the switch I just had a question: When does fiber cross the line into too much fiber?

I keep track of what I eat every day on myfitnesspal and so far I'm going over what they reccomend (20g) by at least 10g each day. I have looked a bit around the web but I can't really find a straight answer. From what I can tell malabsorption from fiber is not a very scary risk but it is possible.

I'm sorry if I'm being a bit paranoid! In doing research for the vegan diet I found SO many people so heavily against it, swearing that I'll slowly kill myself over the years and get sick. I don't think it's true that a vegan diet, done right, will hurt me at all. In fact I'm getting much more of what my body needs now than I ever was as a lacto/ovo vegetarian and before that a meat eater (my gallbladder was removed so a low fat diet actually improves what I can absorb, I think). I just have a very, very anxious brain and it won't shut up about the fiber! Confused

I do realize that a lot of dietary things aren't super black and white and perhaps the reason I can't seem to find a straight answer is because there isn't one. I guess I can always go see my doctor to find out, I was just hoping some of you fine folks might know!

RE: New - question about malabsorption and fiber
Posted Monday, February 18, 2013 at 8:53 AM

I'm confused about who's recommending 20g of fiber daily as a max. I'd thought that on this way of eating, 40g was considered a good number to shoot for daily.

Jennifer

RE: New - question about malabsorption and fiber
Posted Monday, February 18, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Hi! You are fine. I'm not sure of your age or gender, but the recommendation is about 14 grams per 1000 calories consumed; this means most adult Americans should be eating about 24-38 grams per day (http://www.iom.edu/Global/News%20Announcements/~/media/C5CD2DD7840544979A549EC47E56A02B.ashx)! Compare that to the 12 grams Americans eat on average TOTAL - yikes!

PCRM recommends every adult aim for about 40 grams per day. This will easily be achieved when choosing whole plant foods throughout the day.

You are not in danger of overconsuming fiber at any of these levels. The only consideration may be working your way up to this amount without gastrointestinal distress. Your body needs time to adjust to the new healthful foods it is receiving!

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: New - question about malabsorption and fiber
Posted Monday, February 18, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Yeah, I'd think you'd feel a bit of distress before you got to "too much" - gas, bloating, intestinal slow down, etc. Then you back off a little and you're set.

--DebR

RE: New - question about malabsorption and fiber
Posted Monday, February 18, 2013 at 9:52 AM

I'm not sure, but I've never heard of anyone getting too much fiber unless they are not drinking enough water, but I have heard of skeptics. Eating is so personal, I found that doing something different from the norm brings out another's fears.

Over the past few years I've studied the history of our food and fought to have labels on our food. The nutritional pyramid of the US was designed to promote the meat and dairy industry. Many generations have believed a meat and dairy based diet is the way to health.

Sometimes it's hard to stand in alone in truth when there are so many that truly believe different. What I noticed after becoming vegan is I could finally eat and have my ideal weight be a possibility. I am under 5 feet tall so my daily calories is around 1100 to maintain my weight which is another's diet. Now, I don't count calories and I don't worry about everything that goes into my mouth other than where it came from. Life is easier now and a lot more fun.

One thing that does kinda make me mad. I love a good nap in the middle of the afternoon and now I forget to take one!

RE: New - question about malabsorption and fiber
Posted Monday, February 18, 2013 at 9:52 AM

yikes

Edited 02/18/13 10:41 AM
RE: New - question about malabsorption and fiber
Posted Monday, February 18, 2013 at 9:52 AM

oops

Edited 02/18/13 10:40 AM
RE: New - question about malabsorption and fiber
Posted Monday, February 18, 2013 at 11:41 AM

I have to chime in and let you know I have been eating this way for over 22 years and am still around, no ill effects from my eating habits and no matter what I have eaten over the years have suffered no ill side effects from too much fiber. Too little though is another story! Smile

Always offer kindness and a soft word to the beings around you; You do not know their journey. Your words can be the hug they need or the shove that breaks them.

RE: New - question about malabsorption and fiber
Posted Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 12:05 AM

Thank you all for the replies! Definitely put my mind at ease! My brain gets quite nervous when trying new things and every once in a while I come across some sensational things and my mind just clings to it! Nutrition seems so complex sometimes I feel like my body is like a house of cards. I remember the first time I saw an interview with the author of The Vegetarian Myth I just about had a panic attack! It took me a while for my mind to calm down so logic and reason could evaluate the arguments and ultimately find her argument against the vegan diet very flawed.

For the most part the changes I've been seeing have been very positive and sometimes I don't even realize they're happening! Yesterday I was quite hungry for a good half of the day and I was so confused because the days before I hadn't been hungry much at all! So I thought to myself, I already ate breakfast, lunch, dinner and some snacks... how am I still hungry? So I decided to just eat a bunch and I sat down with a handful of nuts, an orange and some tea and then I looked down at my food and was dumbfounded! This is what I grabbed to binge on?! Then I started thinking about everything else I ate that day and I suddenly realized that I was naturally going for smaller portions and getting full much quicker! I had a veggie burger for lunch that day and I'm pretty sure it was the first time in my life I didn't have some sort of fries or chips with a sandwich! It may not seem like that much, but I've been dieting my whole life and always struggled with portion control and cravings. Now it's like a non-issue! Just like that! Something I thought I would have to fight with for my whole life kinda just poofed! Hopefully these new habits are here to stay! Very Happy

By the way I'm eating more little meals through the day instead of trying to stick to a few bigger ones and the hunger isn't an issue today. Wink

Edited 02/19/13 12:07 AM


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