In One Hole and Out the Other – Week 3 Challenge!

by Bethany Vessey, Registered Dietitian on January 17, 2013

First let me start by saying sorry for the delay in the release of this weeks challenge. Yesterday was not a great day! I thought baby Vessey was making his appearance for sure! I was mistaken however, which I guess I might as well get use to seeing as I am a first time mom and not knowing what is really happening with my body. I most likely should just get comfortable as 75% of all baby’s come post due date!  Anyways on with this weeks Challenge!

This weeks challenge is all about FIBER! Currently the daily recommended  amount of fiber for adults is*:

Men 19-50 = 38 grams/day
Men 51 and older = 30 grams/day
Women 19-50 = 25 grams/day
Women 51 and older = 21 grams/day
Pregnant Women 19 and older = 28 grams/day
Breastfeeding Women 19 and older = 29 grams/day

*Keep in mind if you have been advised by your doctor to lower your fiber intake this is not the best challenge for you! There are many possible GI conditions that could result in someone needing to reduce their daily fiber intake so if you are uncertain, be sure to check with your doctor before beginning this challenge!

From the lastest survey results released in 2004 by Health Canada and Stats Canada, as of 2002 women were only consuming  between 14.3 to 16.6 g/d and men were only consuming from 6.5 to 19.4 g/d (Table 8.13, CCHS 2.2, Health Canada and Statistics Canada, 2004). Considering all the great health benefits of fiber this is a real shame!

There are 2 types of fiber, soluble and insoluble and both have their own benefits to the body as it moves through your digestive tract. It is important to note that the above daily recommendations are for TOTAL fiber intake. Currently there are no recommendations for the individual fiber types.

Unlike the other 2 of 3 types of carbohydrates, fiber is not absorbed into the body, it literally enters one hole and exits out the other! Along it’s journey each type of fiber does it’s own magic. Soluble fiber, as it moves through the body, helps to lower blood cholesterol levels but absorbing and ridding the body of extra cholesterol. Also since soluble fiber is not absorbed into the body through the intestines it also helps control  blood sugar levels, which EVERYONE should aim to achieve as the body is all about maintaining balance!

Common sources of soluble fiber are: Vegetables, Fruits, Oats, Barley, Psyllium, Beans, and Legumes

The other type of fiber is insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber’s main function to to promote regularity and healthy digestion. This type of fiber can help protect your body against such illnesses as, colon cancer.

Common sources of insoluble fiber are: Vegetables, Fruits, Whole grains, Wheat Bran

The other great benefit of fiber is that it can help keep you feel full for longer, which can help your goal of maintaining or achieving a healthy body weight.

Considering all the great benefits of consuming fiber and the reality that many of us are not getting enough my challenge this week is to “Record daily how many grams of fiber you consume, trying to achieve your above daily recommended intake.”

“I will be looking daily on our facebook group and this post for your daily fiber intake numbers.”

So for example my daily recommended intake for fiber, being a pregnant women over 19 years of age is  28 grams/day. So far today I have consumed 20 grams of fiber before noon, see below.

2 pieces of Squirrely bread = 12 grams fiber
1 tbsp peanut butter = 1 gram
1 orange = 3.6 grams
8 low sodium triscuits with 30g of cheese = 4 gram

To help you all figure out your daily fiber intake I have added some resources below.

The link  below will connect you to the Nutrient Value of Some Common Foods Booklet, which will give your fiber amounts of foods with no labels.

This link below is for Dietitians of Canada Eattracker. This resource is free to the public. Through this site you can record what you ate daily and also analyze your recipes. This would be a great resource to let you know if you are meeting your daily fiber intake.


Remember each of our previous weeks Challenges continue as we work through the 20-13 challenge! Therefore, it is VERY important that you continue your Week 1: Water Challenge and Week 2: Omega 3 Challenge! The water challenge will be especially important to continue as water is critical when increasing your fiber intake to help in healthy digestion. If you do not consume enough water daily while increasing your fiber you could risk problems with your digestion, such as constipation.

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