These days everyone seems to be running around worrying about whether they are getting enough protein. It seems everyone wants more – why I am not sure – but it is the trend of the day.
The fact is, that unless you are starving, you are going to be getting enough protein. In the US 97% of adults eat enough protein, and in Australia it is extremely rare to find anyone who is protein deficient. Protein is not what we should be worried about, as generally if you are eating you are getting enough.
What we should be worried about is FIBRE!!
Diets low in fibre have been linked to not only the obvious constipation and haemorrhoids, but to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and various cancers such as breast, colon and colorectal cancer. Yes, all the nasty kinds of lifestyle diseases that we all want to avoid.
Yet nobody is talking about the fact that the vast majority of Australians are fibre deficient, eating well below the recommended amount of 25-30g per day. Our low fibre diets are a disaster in the making.
And compared to the amount of fibre that we humans have evolved eating, even our national recommendations (which most of us don’t meet) look a little paltry. Check out this video from the wonderful Dr Greger all about the fibre found in paleo poo . It shows our paleo ancestors were eating over 100g of fibre per day! For 99% of human existence this is the kind of diet we have been living on – one filled with whole, fibre filled foods.
But unlike the current rise to stardom for protein, fibre just isn’t fashionable. Nobody is talking about it. It isn’t even on the radar of the great majority of people, even those that are genuinely concerned about health. Many people don’t even know in what foods fibre is found, let alone how much they are eating or how much they should eat.
But luckily it is easy. Fibre is found in plant foods – fruit, vegetables and whole grains. It is not found in animal products like meat, dairy and eggs. Eat a diet rich in plant based foods and you will easily reach your fibre targets.