High-fiber diet ("Good For You") vs. plain old regular pooping vs. diarrhea. Why is fiber special?

From that study, what they ate:

Subjects ingested three macronutrient-matched portions of control (white bread) or oat fiber–enriched white bread (enriched with 10.4 g insoluble fiber per portion) per day for 3 days (at breakfast, lunch, and 10:00 P.M.). Fiber enrichment was within the recommended daily range of fiber intake (10). Caloric intake was adjusted by the additional intake of standardized liquid meals (Biosorp; Pfrimmer Nutricia, Erlangen, Germany) to cover metabolic rate and avoid weight loss. To individually adjust energy intake, resting energy expenditure (REE) was determined before the study and multiplied by a factor of 1.5 to adjust for light physical activity. No other meals and only noncaloric drinks (without caffeine) were allowed throughout the study periods.

Uh, just did the math. 10.4 tablespoons of Metamucil a day.

Uh, realized I was an asshole. Ignore above.

No, I’m ok. See [Fiber Guide/URL many foods (as well as Metamucil) and weights/densities (by implication) [URL=“http://www.metamucil.com/fiber-guide-fruits.php”]food chart for powdery-crumby foods.

Five cups of shredded wheat. Ten potatoes (whoops). Ten oranges (whoops). Etc.

A cup of oatmeal is 5.7 grams of fiber, while half a cup of dry roasted peanuts is 9.1?

Hot damn. Peanuts for breakfast!

Leo, this article may also be of interest to you. (Albeit it is more focused on the prevention of diabetes rather than the treatment of.)

It must be noted that psyllium is soluble fiber.

Psyllium has *both *soluble (70%) and insoluble (30%) fiber.

I sit corrected.

Well hell, that sounds important, the soluble/insoluble.

The soluble gives the colon ferment, which the jury is still out for colon cancer.
The one for lipid is … which? And the jury is a little more sure that it works.
The insoluble is for diabetes, and this jury, at least, is quite sure (I think, relative to others) that it works.

Give up soluble, give up all that nice water-absorbed poop (I have this image of those Chinese little packets you throw in water and they turn into boats).

  1. Sounds right?
  2. Insoluble fiber, what with being insoluble and all, can’t be stirred in water and drunk down. So what would be a non-crazy, non-carb-y way of scarfing some? I’m not about to live on nutrient shakes and oat-bread.

Leo, before you get too pessimistic about eating that much fiber … think of the fact that current recommendations generally include about 3 cups of vegetables, 2 cups of fruit, 7 ounces of grains (1 slice of bread or 1 cup of cereal counts as an ounce), and of course some beans, seeds and nuts, and/or animal protein each day. 1 cup of rasberries has over 9 grams of fiber. 1 cup of cooked spinach has 14 grams. A slice of whole grain bread about 3. A cup of Raisin Bran 5, of All Bran 20. Short version is that if one actually eats a variety of real fruits and veggies and whole grain foods each of those fruit, vegetable, and grain servings can easily average 3 to 4 grams a serving which adds up to 36 to 48 grams of fiber a day, over that 30 recommended number. Want to give yourself some insurance? Also buy some chia seeds, flax, hemp, and All Bran Buds or even wheat bran in bulk and make your breakfast each day a cup of Greek yogurt with those and some dried or fresh fruit and maybe some nuts or sunflower seeds mixed in. (Dilute with milk or kefir if it is too thick.) Take your one scoop of Metamucil sometime before dinner.

Actually, it can be - you turn it up, suspending the [del]sawdust[/del] insoluble fiber in the water, then drink it down before it settles to the bottom. Or I suppose you could blend it into a smoothie or something. It may not be ideal, but it will work.

If you’re pooping out boats you should visit your doctor. This may be a sign of a more serious medical condition.

If you want a meal with soluble and insoluble fiber, see this post: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=16318220#post16318220

I see Quaker Oats has some even more mondo-fiber packed cereals as well.
Highest (for both) is “High Fiber Oatmeal To Go” (I’m sure they knew about the pun), with 4 g insoluble 6 g soluble.

Oh no. See above (twice). I’m a very happy pooper, pooping-wise.

Coincidentally enough, I am getting psyched to make a couple of aspics–that is, as used in French, a dish made with gelée–so the jellying properties of aspic (English sense), from pre-made gelatin powder or made at home within a dish from bones, skin, etc. and then clarified, has been on my mind a lot recently.


I was the market researcher on Quaker Oatmeal in the 1990s, when the FDA finally allowed Quaker to make the “oatmeal can help reduce cholesterol” claims, after many years of study. What you outline above was the theory of how the process worked back then; AFAIK, that’s still the working theory.

The two specific types of fiber which have been positively linked to reducing cholesterol are oat fiber and psyllium fiber (which is what’s in Metamucil, but not necessarily in all fiber supplements); other forms of soluble fiber haven’t had the same connection established, AFAICT.

Maybe his colon is just harboring beneficial bacteria.

I’m more worried about the sloop-pooping.

see, sloop, boat, nyuk nyuk nyuk.

ETA: harboring, ha ha ha.

You know, that’s not a very good joke–explanations, and all–but I like the fact that you made it up and wanted to tell it. /not sarcasm

It’s always open-mike night here. :slight_smile: