Dear Jonny, Dieting Question…
I’ve got a dieting question. In the morning I usually consume oatmeal with almonds, maybe a banana and an apple. Then, mid morning, I usually eat some protein, low fat chicken most often. That will usually sustain me until dinner, which varies, but is usually healthy, and if I do snack it’s on flat bread and hummus. I suppose my question is this. I am relatively balanced in what I eat, but I hear crazy suggestions that I eat too much fiber, or not enough protein, mostly by people who eat only or none of the the above mentioned substances. What do you think? (I realize that you are much bigger than the average Joe, so I’m asking for a guy, late 20’s, who is pretty active every day.)
While your way of eating is different than my own, let me say that anyone who labels your diet as having an overabundance of fiber and insufficient protein has absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. As you alluded to, they’re probably passing judgement as a result of the guilt they harbor over what they, personally, do and do not eat (most Americans eat far less fiber than is recommended). Fiber eliminates constipation, helps prevent colon cancer and heart disease, and improves glucose tolerance – Who wouldn’t want that on their side? Eating in excess of 50 grams per day can lead to interference with vitamin/mineral absorption, as well as flatulence and bloating, but based on your diet – 6 or 7 grams for the apple and the banana, 5 or so grams from the bowl of oatmeal, 3 from the almonds, and 4-6 from the hummus and flat bread + whatever fiber you eat with your dinner (which should be mostly lean protein) – I don’t see you getting much past 25-30, which is a good spot. As for the protein in your diet, you’re getting it from oatmeal, almonds, chicken, chickpeas, and whatever you have for your last meal of the day. Only bodybuilders, competitive athletes, and those working serious hard labor are in need of high amounts of protein. As a “pretty active” 20-something, you should be fine. Bottom line: If you’re physically healthy and feel well the majority of the time, there’s no good reason for you to stray from your routine.