Vegetarian Daily Fiber Estimate

Hanging Fiber

Fiber has five key health purposes if I recall correctly from my nutrition course: 1) Prevents constipation, 2) Prevents colon cancer, 3) Lowers bad cholesterol, 4) Helps control weight, 5) Wards off diabetes. And the day I wrote the post about counting my daily grams of protein, it occurred to me when people learn I'm a vegetarian and ask if I get enough protein, I should be asking them "Do you get enough fiber?" Being from south Louisiana, my experience has generally been that people will down meat before they pick up a fork and down salad. In fact, many people I know would vote meat and potatoes over quality fruits and vegetables. Anyway, as long as I was counting and am not so interested in counting calories because I am not trying to lose weight, I thought I'd better check our fiber intake along with our protein intake. Sadly, this takes a good bit of time; so I'm a week later typing this than the words been mulling around in my brain.

Notice, I am using the same menu as I did with my protein count. I did that intentionally to see if it would be as easy to get my fiber as it seemed for me to get my protein.

Menu and Fiber Estimates

Breakfast

  • 1g English Muffin with Butter
  • 1g MorningStar Farms vegetarian Bacon Strips
  • 10 ounces Milk
  • 2.5g Kiwi and 2.5g half a Pear

Lunch

  • Tabouleh (1g Parsley, 0.25g Onion, 1g Paprika, 1g Couscous)
  • 2g Hummus
  • 1g Indian Flatbread
  • 4g Avocado slices
  • 2g Carrot sticks, 0.3g cucumber slices, and homemade Ranch dressing

Dinner

  • 3g Worthington vegetarian Skallops dipped in cornmeal and deep-fried with ketchup
  • 2g Carrot sticks, 0.3g cucumber slices, and homemade Ranch dressing
  • 0.75g Peaches
  • 4g Pumpkin Bread with 1g in Peanut Butter

The grand total is 28.3g of fiber for the items I could easily determine a fiber value for. Naturally, my tabouleh has more than parsley and onion in it, but it was hard to calculate the amount of fiber in the tomato, chives, lemon and oil. A few items amazed me, like how much fiber is in pumpkin! Yet, it's such a clear way to explain the importance of quality grains and fruits and vegetables in the diet. Otherwise, there would be little fiber in my diet and I would be more concerned about the five benefits mentioned above that I could be missing.

What I have learned from this personal growth study is to change a few things in my diet. I will learn to exchange some of the all purpose flour in things like banana bread with whole wheat flower. I will learn how to cook brown rice better and to be more creative with how I use it. And, I just might consider occasionally switching to whole wheat pasta instead of semolina. But, I know it would have to take the right recipe to make that work. Looks like I have a new-year's resolution in the middle of the year!

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