OK, Iíve been doing some research on fiber and cholesterol. It looks like soluble fiber is the only type that helps with cholesterol. Insoluble does nothing for it:
Dietary Fiber: Insoluble and Soluble Fiber
Here are the sources of soluble and insoluble fiber:
ē Sources of soluble fiber: oatmeal, oat cereal, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, oat bran, strawberries, nuts, flaxseeds, beans, dried peas, blueberries, psyllium, cucumbers, celery, and carrots.
ē Sources of insoluble fiber: whole wheat, whole grains, wheat bran, corn bran, seeds, nuts, barley, couscous, brown rice, bulgur, zucchini, celery, broccoli, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, raisins, grapes, fruit, and root vegetable skins.
Itís obviously not 100%, but it seems like the bulk of the insoluble comes from grains, which are not part of my diet. While Iím only getting 25 grams of fiber, is it likely that the bulk of this is soluble fiber?
If a more traditional diet yielded 40 grams of fiber, how much of it would be soluble? 50%? If so, that is 20 grams. If the fiber Iím getting is predominantly soluble, I could be near 20 grams right now. So maybe Iím ok?
I should also mention two things I noticed after doing this 10 day analysis of my diet via fitday:
1. I was getting less than the RDA of potassium
2. My calories burned regularly exceeded my calories consumed.
Part of the reason I meticulously tracked my food intake on fitday was out of concern over getting enough vitamins and minerals, since Iíd cut out one entire food group (grains). I was pleased to see that I was doing well on all the micronutrients but one, potassium. Falling short in one category shouldnít be too hard to fix, right?
Point 2 above is a concern for Iíve lost all the weight I care to lose, I love this weight, yet I keep getting lighter! Clearly I need more calories. Mark Sisson recommends 100 to 150 grams of carbs a day to maintain weight, but for more active people they might need closer to 200. (Iím pretty active.) If you need more, he recommends working in some starchy tubers. I looked up the stats for a sweet potato, and if I add it daily to what Iíve been in eating, in addition to bringing up my carbs, it brings my potassium intake up to the RDA almost to the milligram, and low and behold it is one of the best sources of fiber to boot, weighing in at 13grams! This brings me up to 38 grams of fiber a day. The link above recommends 30-38 for men, so Iíd be at the upper range. Since I donít eat grains, Iím guessing a larger proportion of that 38 is soluble, so 38 should be enough to regulate my cholesterol, hopefully.
The last week or so Iíve been adding a whole sweet potato each day to my diet. Itís been a little difficult to do this in addition to all the food Iíd been eating, as opposed to in place of some of the food I had been eating before, as sweet potatoes are very filling and I was not going hungry previously. I ate as much as I wanted, so long as it was a paleo approved food. Iíve managed to do it though, and at least so far my weight has become stable. Weíll see where itís at in a few weeks.