Right, we’re going to move on now from the thorny topic of portion control to fibre.
I wrote a piece about 6 months ago for The Times about how carbohydrate is “back”, (yes I know, but that’s how newspapers talk), and in the course of my research talked to lots of totally delightful nutritionists about carbohydrate and the importance of fibre.
I was anyway casting about to make some changes to my boring diet and speaking to a few experts convinced me that not only was my Atkins-type diet really boring, it was bad for me and my whirling, clattering hormones as I head towards 40.
It lead me to re-read that 80s classic book, the F-Plan, which was all about a low-calorie, high fibre diet (notoriously nicknamed the Fart-Plan because of the side effects).
If you’re interested, read F2, which is the updated book – but all it seems to be as far as I can see is a bit of science that I didn’t totally understand, plus endless charts of exactly how much fibre is in everything.
I also think that the meal plan they advocate is a little extreme, followed to the letter I think you’d be a walking whoopee cushion and get the most terrible stomach cramps.
What I took away from it was that I was going to forget about Atkins, (except the low-sugar thing), and for my general health concentrate on a plant-and-fibre based diet. Red meat sometimes, fish sometimes and plenty of CHEESE. And wine.
So far, it’s working. I will be posting some good high fibre recipes in the coming weeks but the good thing about fibre is that because it includes wholewheat pasta, rye bread and grains like bulgar wheat and baked potatoes, making meals is far more straightforward than the meat-and-veg tedium of a high-protein approach.
This is particularly key at lunchtime, when you don’t want to do loads of elaborate cooking, you just want to bung a bit of (wholewheat) pasta on or eat crisp breads and cheese and miso soup and then have an apple and be done with it. (I find lunch annoying, can you tell.) Someone did once tell me that highly baked foods like crisp breads give you bowel cancer, which is slightly bothering me. Can that be true?
And that’s all I have to say about it really. A few weeks ago, The Times ran a piece on the importance, specifically, of fibre in your diet and they had a handy cut-out box listing all the highest-fibre foods by category, which I re-post below for your general amusement.
The original article about fibre can be found HERE for any Times subscribers.
Just a quick note on the breads section… for anyone who was traumatised in the 80s by a rye cracker bread like Ryvita, there are now loads of others available that taste completely different; I like Finn Crisp, which is available on Ocado and I’m sure elsewhere.