Posted by: 4pack | February 28, 2010

“Ideal Diet” Book Review: “The F-Factor Diet” Champions Fiber As Part Of An Everyday Combination With Lean Protein


Decrying fad diets, board-certified dietician Zuckerbrot devised a diet that emphasizes fiber consumption without worrying much about carbs, fats or calories. The key, she asserts, is combining fiber with lean protein at every meal.

Besides all the health benefits fiber provides-discussed here at length-an additional benefit is that, since fibrous foods are more filling, diners feel full more quickly and are likely to eat less. Zuckerbrot lays out a step-by-step plan, complete with recipes and menu suggestions for eating at home and dining out.

Yes, there’s a recipe for healthful standby Cabbage Soup, but there are also recipes for Broiled Salmon with Dill, Tandoori Chicken and Breakfast Burritos. Even those who don’t follow Zuckerbrot’s regimen will learn much from her professional insight (she has some choice words for doctors-including bestsellers Dr. Atkins and Dr. Agatson-posing as nutritionists), as well as the fiber and carb content for a huge list of foods. Zuckerbrot’s sensible, educational approach and easy-to-follow diet plan make this book worthwhile.

Q. What is the optimum amount of fiber for weight loss?

A. The optimum amount of fiber for weight loss is 25-30 grams of fiber per day for women and 38 grams of fiber per day for men. The good news is that it’s almost impossible to get too much fiber. In fact, many of my patients consume 50-60 grams of fiber per day. The more fiber you eat, the fuller you feel and the less likely you are to snack in between meals or overeat at meals. Fiber is the secret to losing weight without hunger and without having to cut back quantity.

Q. How does increasing fiber help weight loss?

A. Increasing your fiber intake helps weight loss because fiber contributes bulk to foods, which gives you the satisfaction of chewing, plus the feeling of a full stomach without adding any calories. (Fiber is indigestible and therefore calorie free). In addition, fiber acts like a sponge in your digestive tract, absorbing other molecules likes carbohydrates, fats and sugars — along with all their calories — and prevents them from settling on your hips.

In fact, a study conducted by David J. Baer of the USDA’s Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Md., found that women who doubled their fiber intake from 12 to 24 grams per day cut their calorie absorption by 90 calories daily. That’s a 9.4 pound weight loss in a year!

Q. What are some foods that can give you the most fiber bang for your buck?

Fiber winners
Food Grams of fiber
Raspberries, 1 cup 8
Pear 5
Spinach, 1 cup cooked 4
Whole-wheat spaghetti, 1 cup cooked 6
Chickpeas, 1 cup 11
Lentils or split peas, 1 cup 15
Pistachios, 1 ounce 3
Popcorn, 3 cups popped 7


Q. There are so many products now with added fiber — from juices and breads to sugary cereals and pastries. How can people make the best choices?

A. With the addition of inulin, a soluble fiber that can be added to foods without changing taste and consistency, it seems like many products are considered as “high fiber.” Foods containing 5 grams of fiber or more are considered “high fiber,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are good choices. Ultimately, fiber is a good thing, but if it’s paired with excess calories and fat, those negatives outweigh fiber’s health benefits.
Therefore, aim for healthy foods that are naturally low in fat and calories, and if they have fiber added to them, what a bonus! Check out the new fiber-fortified products on the market such as Splenda with Fiber. If you sweeten your morning cup of coffee, Splenda with Fiber packets are a great way to get some extra grams of fiber doing something you’d normally do anyway! A healthy snack or food that is fortified with fiber is a much smarter choice than a sugary pastry or cookie that doesn’t contain any fiber.



  1. What a great list of fibre rich foods, thanks for this!

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