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Need Fiber in your Diet? Eat a Tree or better yet eat a Coconut!

September 4, 2012

Need Fiber in your Diet?  Eat a Tree or better yet eat a Coconut!

By Joan McDaniel                               September 4, 2012

Cinnamon Tree                                                                    Fiber content 2 tsp. cinnamon it has 2.76 grams      Fiber content  48 tsp. in 1 cup equals 66+ grams.

Shredded Coconut Meat One cup has 80 grams fiber.

Also, Coconut water contains 9g of fiber in 3.5 oz. or about 20 g per cup.

Finding a List of Food with Total Fiber Counts.

 The term Fiber comes up mostly when discussing carbohydrates and processed foods. In my research I have found several lists.  These list show foods from several food groups and their fiber counts.  I thought I would provide a nice comprehensive list of fiber counts for all of us to use.  Unfortunately each list is different.  Some foods are repeated on each list but the majority isn’t.  There isn’t one list that nutritionist agree on. So I provided my own.

My List of Fiber Food Sources vs. Nutritionist Lists.

Food sources of fiber include Cinnamon, Coconut meat, Coconut water, collard greens, eggplant, mustard greens, navy beans, raspberries, turnip greens and whole grain flour, rice, nuts and seeds. Now most of the foods on my list appear nowhere else.  The whole grain flour, rice, nuts and seeds do but that’s about it.

For an example; I can’t find Cinnamon or Coconut on any list by any nutritionist anywhere. Well, that’s OK!  I know a good nutritionist would never include the coconut because we coconut lovers are just not classy enough.  No, that’s not it. It’s because coconut oil is the dreaded Saturated fat.  If there is anything a food police nutritionist hates more, is a zero carbohydrate saturated fat.  Just because over half the world consumes coconut daily, in all of its forms is totally ignored.  Just because most of the rest of the world is healthier than we are is just a fable, like Goldie Locks and the Tree Bears.  The rest of the world that is, with the exception of Great Britain and Canada for they have their own food police who dislike coconut also.

The USDA is an American Government Agency located in Washington DC and Washington DC doesn’t eat coconut so no one else should either.  Saturated fat is OUTLAWED. It has not been approved by the Food Police. Coconuts don’t grow in Washington DC therefore, they don’t exist. Olive’s don’t grow in Washington DC either but they have a powerful lobby to protect them against the Food Police. But now, I’m getting sidetracked.

Cinnamon and Coconut not listed.

But why ignore cinnamon?   I know cinnamon is a spice, but after all, it is the brown bark of a cinnamon tree. Now that is fiber in my book and I wonder why it isn’t listed.  Maybe it’s because the USDA doesn’t have Spice as a food category.  See I’m even beginning to think like a Nutritionist.  Neither the coconut nor cinnamon fit into any of the government’s nutrition categories, so they as food don’t exist.  Just exactly what is a coconut?  Is it a Nut? Or is it a Fruit? “Some days you feel like a nut and some days you don’t”.   No one has ruled including a spice in a Fiber food list yet, so it doesn’t exist.  It doesn’t fit into a nice government category. Period end of story.

The Field of Nutrition

I guess that is why the field of nutrition is so confusing.  A great deal of it is long list of rules and regulations which need to be memorized or taken on blind faith.

It seems that what you are allowed to eat will soon to be permitted only under executive decree by the Food Police.

Well I am of the age where I can’t memorize anymore, and maybe even remember anymore (due to hypothyroid brain fog), but if I cannot explain it to myself and functionally see it like in a picture, then it’s Greek and will be forever incomprehensible to me. Nutrition in Greek; Διατροφήστην ελληνική γλώσσα.

Sample Food Nutrition label for Macaroni & Cheese

“Macaroni and cheese is one of the most popular–if not the most popular–American comfort foods.” About.com

The food label below shows the USDA’s Dietary recommendations for dietary fiber.  It isn’t the best example because the Fiber content shown is zero (0), thus, making things even more confusing.  The label should show what they mean by 5 to 20% s fiber, for illustrative purposes.  But now I’m sort of getting the “accept it on faith part.”  Something like

“Trust me, I’m a dietitian.”

Note this example contains zero (0) Fiber and 31 Grams of Carbs which converts in your body to instant sugar.  No wonder everyone loves macaroni & Cheese, it is one big sugar rush. Then after the sugar rush we can have dessert.

The recommended range for fiber is from 5% to 20%. That is roughly 6 grams, is that the best they can do? Do they recommend fiber or don’t they? My lonely coconut has 80 grams in one cup. I’m sure the USDA would shoot back THAT’S TOO MUCH FIBER. You must eat in moderation.  Nice to be politically correct at all times isn’t it.

By the Way – Why is it called a Coconut?

Just a side note: Did you know; “The scientific name for coconut is Cocos nucifera. Early Spanish explorers called it coco, which means “monkey face” because the three indentations (eyes) on the hairy nut resemble the head and face of a monkey. Nucifera means “nut-bearing.”

“The coconut provides a nutritious source of meat, juice, milk, and oil that has fed and nourished populations around the world for generations.” Dr. Coconut.

Fiber and Carbohydrates

Now the only importance I place on fiber, is to slow down the digestive process and not to increase my blood glucose when eating carbohydrates.  Dr. Mercola says “I didn’t say you can’t have any carbs, I said fiber is good. Carbohydrates are either fiber or non-fiber. Few things in life are as clear-cut as this. Fiber is good for you, and a non-fiber carb is bad for you. You can bank on that.  There is not a whole lot of middle ground. If you have a carbohydrate that is not a fiber it is going to be turned into a sugar, whether it be glucose or not.”

“The practical aspect of it is that if you are going to get carbs, there is no essential body need. Your body does not require carbs to function. In Fact, the traditional Eskimo subsists on almost no vegetables at all, but they get their vitamins from organ meats and things like eyeball, which are a delicacy, or were.”

I do use carbohydrates in moderation and use shredded coconut and cinnamon as texture and fiber.  Did you know, you can reduce the total number of Carbs? Just,  Subtract the Dietary fiber from the Total Carbohydrates listed on the Nutrition Fact Label. The intake of carbohydrates should be limited to about 50 to 100mg daily.

Tough Nut to Crack

I know the best way to avoid the sugar in carbohydrates, is to avoid carbohydrates altogether.  With me right now that’s a tough nut to crack.  I can’t give up carbs, I love them so.

So you are on your own, when it comes to the best foods with the highest fiber content.  As far as I am concerned, cinnamon and coconut meat is enough for me.  If I want to add fiber to something I use unsweetened shredded coconut meat it is on your grocer’s shelf.

A Nutritionist concern for fiber seems to be for the colon only.

The colon is of a vital concern many illness’s come from inflammation of the colon.  But that is not the only reason to eat fiber. “Fiber can be grouped into two categories: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is readily fermented in the colon into gases and active byproducts, whilst insoluble fiber is not fermented,but absorbs water as it moves through the digestive system to form the bulk of the stool. Chemically, dietary fibers consist of non-starch polysaccharides (of which the most well-known is cellulose), waxes, chitins and other plant components. Consequently, the term “fiber” is somewhat of a misnomer, since not all indigestible plant substances are fibrous.

Coconut meat is mostly non-digestible fiber with a fair amount of water and oil.  75% of it carbohydratecontent is fiber.  24% of oat bran is fiber, wheat bran is 42%, and soybeans contain only 29% fiber. Nutritionistrecommends that we get between 20 to 40 grams of fiber a day. “

I have changed the follow tables first by sorting by fiber count and by eliminating the count if it is below 3grams.

High Fiber Foods List for a High Fiber Diet

HIGH FIBER FOODS LIST with TOTAL FIBER GRAMS (g)

   Serving Size

Fiber (g)

 Raspberries  1 cup

6.4

 Pear  1 medium

5.1

 Apples with skin  1 medium

5.0

 Strawberries  1 cup

4.4

 Blueberries  1 cup

4.2

 Banana  1 medium

3.9

 Figs, dried  2 medium

3.7

 Orange, navel  1 medium

3.4

 Peaches, dried  3 pieces

3.2

 Grains, Beans, Nuts & Seeds  Serving Size

Fiber (g)

 Bran cereal  1 cup

19.9

 Black beans, cooked  1 cup

13.9

 Lentils, red cooked  1 cup

13.6

 Oats, rolled dry  1 cup

12.0

 Kidney beans, cooked  1 cup

11.6

 Lima beans, cooked  1 cup

8.6

 Soybeans, cooked  1 cup

8.6

 Quinoa, cooked  1 cup

8.4

 Brown rice, dry  1 cup

7.9

 Flax seeds  3 Tbsp.

6.9

 Pasta, whole wheat  1 cup

6.3

 Quinoa (seeds) dry  1/4 cup

6.2

 Garbanzo beans, cooked  1 cup

5.8

 Almonds  1 oz.

4.2

 Pumpkin seeds  1/4 cup

4.1

 Pistachio nuts  1 oz.

3.1

 Walnuts  1 oz.

3.1

 Sunflower seeds  1/4 cup

3.0

 Vegetables  Serving Size

Fiber (g)

 Avocado (fruit)  1 medium

11.8

 Peas, cooked  1 cup

8.8

 Kale, cooked  1 cup

7.2

 Winter squash, cooked  1 cup

6.2

 Carrot, cooked  1 cup

5.2

 Sweet potato, cooked  1 medium

4.9

 Potato, baked w/ skin  1 medium

4.8

 Corn, sweet  1 cup

4.6

 Broccoli, cooked  1 cup

4.5

 Spinach, cooked  1 cup

4.3

 Beet greens  1 cup

4.2

 Cabbage, cooked  1 cup

4.2

 Cole slaw  1 cup

4.0

 Green beans  1 cup

4.0

 Swiss chard, cooked  1 cup

3.7

 Brussels sprouts, cooked  1 cup

3.6

 Pop corn, air-popped  3 cups

3.6

 Cauliflower, cooked  1 cup

3.4

Other List for Fiber PDF

Soluble Fiber & Insoluble Fiber Foods List
High Fiber Foods and High Fiber Supplements

Sources

http://fooddeception.com/resources/understanding-nutrition-facts-labels-3/

http://southernfood.about.com/cs/casserolerecipes/a/macncheese.htm

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2001/07/14/insulin-part-one.aspx

http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/newsletter-sample.htm

http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/

2 Comments
  1. silver knight permalink

    excellent article. glad I found your website.

  2. Thank You Silver Knight

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