A colleague recently turned me on to the daily videos published by Michael Greger, MD of nutritionfacts.org.
Dr. Greger’s entertaining video snippets do an outstanding job of summarizing the vast amount of published nutrition research, delving into what the studies really say (and don’t say) – and saving you a boatload of time by not having to navigate the peer-reviewed published articles in journals yourself.
I was intrigued by a video this week called “The Five to One Fiber Rule” – which basically advocates for every 5 grams of carbohydrate aim to get at least 1 gram of dietary fiber.
Example of a food that meets the 5:1 fiber rule – Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted 100% Whole Grain Bread - it has 15g carbohydrate and 3g dietary fiber for a perfect 5:1 ratio:
Now, to be fair, Greger certainly isn’t the first one to advocate a carb:fiber ratio (see previous post on Harvard’s 10:1 ratio); but as a hard-line plant-based diet guru, he gets strict on the quality of your carbs.
This 5:1 ratio rule helps eliminate junky carb foods that start with the first ingredient including the word “whole” and then contain, as Dr. Greger puts it, “corn syrup and a chemistry set”.
Greger is one of those rare doctors who definitely gets it when it comes to fiber, highlighting a number of research studies extolling the benefits of more dietary fiber. These benefits include:
- Less constipation (could save $80 billion/year in the US on reduced constipation rates)
- Lower risk of heart disease (9% risk reduction with each additional 7 grams fiber/day consumed)
- Lower risk of type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, weight gain, obesity and diverticular disease
- Noting also that, as fiber intake goes up, metabolic syndrome risk goes down
And just how can the medical community help lower chronic disease risk with diet? Another study highlighted in Gerger’s video implores clinicians to, “Enthusiastically and skillfully recommend that patients consume more dietary fibre.”
You do that by eating more whole plant foods:
- Getting soluble fiber from oats, nuts, seeds, legumes and most fruits
- Getting insoluble fiber from whole wheat, wheat bran, brown rice, other whole grains and most vegetables
If you’re interested in more of Dr. Gerger’s refreshing takes on whole foods and nutrition research, check out his information-rich site at nutritionfacts.org or his new book “How Not to Die” (…review coming to the fiber blog soon!)