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Thread: Protein on a low fiber diet

  1. #1

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    Default Protein on a low fiber diet

    Hey guys, first post. Went vegan nearly 4 months ago now. Everything's gone pretty well until the last few weeks. I started reacting much stronger to certain foods and it got so bad I got very very sick. Did some googling and I'm pretty sure it's down to too much fiber. I cut out high fiber foods and am feeling a lot better. Though if I eat the wrong thing once in a day I still react. Now obviously I will be trying to gradually re-introduce some of these again... but in the mean time... since I'm not able to digest beans, lentils or brown rice very well I'm wondering about ideas for getting enough protein. I'm fine with nuts/seeds, so just looking for some suggestions to make it easier for me!

    Thanks!

    cheerip

  2. #2
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    Hello. Tofu and things made of it don't have too much fibre I don't think. Also some of the vegan convenience foods, although I wouldn't say they were a very good basis for a healthy diet.

    Some people do have a bad reaction if they up their fibre intake too fast I think, and have to do it gradually, so as you say you may be able to phase these foods back in. Personally I don't get on very well with "insoluble fibre" (wheat bran and stuff) so avoid too much of that but get plenty of "insoluble fibre" from fruit veg etc.

    Having said that, it might be worth talking to a doc if poss to make sure your self-diagnosis is right.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    Hi harpy, thanks for the reply! For whatever reason, despite obviously hearing about tofu a lot - I hadn't considered it!

    Yeah I am planning to go to my GP soon so will mention this as well but in my experience they're not all that helpful with things like this. While it's possible it's something else, either way I'm not able to eat those things I mentioned and it still creates a protein issue. So yeah... tofu. I'll give that a go. Thanks.

  4. #4
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    Good luck cheerip. Hope you have fun experimenting with tofu

    I don't think you are that likely to go short of protein really because a lot of foods (other than the ones we think of as protein sources) contain some - even potatoes do. I expect you've seen the various lists e.g.

    http://www.vegansociety.com/lifestyl...n/protein.aspx
    http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.htm

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    Hi
    Firstly welcome to the forum

    Secondly, along with tofu (which is probably the easiest to get) their is also Tempeh, Seitan and as Harpy said there are some vegan convenience foods that are high in protein. I often get things from Veggiestuff.com, they sell loads of stuff from a company called Viana and their products are quite high in protein (the cowgirl steak has 29 grams protein).
    There is also Quinoa, its a grain like rice but contains all 8 amino acids needed to make it a complete protein.

  6. #6
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    Yes, seitan should be good. I would be a bit careful with tempeh, though - I think it may be fairly high-fibre as it's made with whole beans.

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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    Hey again. I actually had some quinoa last night and maybe a few too many cashew nuts. And I ended up pretty sick again. I'm not sure which it was or if it was both. Have made a doctor appointment for tomorrow anyway. I'm afraid of trying anything which might set me off, it's really quite a horrible feeling.

    Thanks for welcoming me to the forum! Glad one exists

  8. #8
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    That's rotten, I hope you get it sorted soon cheerip.

    If the GP agrees it's diet-related then you could try to get a referral to a dietician although it would be better to try for one that knows something about vegan diets if poss. In the meantime maybe you could try just eating things you know you're OK with and then adding one thing at a time to find out what you can handle - sort of elimination diet?

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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    A dietician referal is a good idea. Probably wouldn't have thought to ask about that. And yeah elimination diet... I'm pretty much convinced of avoiding everything that I think could set it off for now. At least I have my potatoes! I eat them all the time

    Anyway I'll let you know how it goes.

  10. #10
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    Yes, please do cheerip.

    Potatoes are a good thing to have as a fallback - I've known people who seemed to manage to live on them though I don't think it's recommended!

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    Cheerip, welcome to the forum!

    One question - how much protein do you think you need?

    There are many voices that say you should get at most 10 % of your calories from protein, at most another 10 % from fat and at least 80 % from carbohydrates. That would mean that if you only ate a varied diet of fresh fruit and raw vegetables, you would be absolutely fine.

    It is a well established myth - thanks to the billions and billions of advertising and lobbying money spent by the meat and dairy industry that most 'normal' people believe that not getting enough protein is a serious issue for many people. Well, it is not. There is a terrible disease called Kwashiorkor caused by consuming too little protein. While it is a terrible disease, it also occurs very seldom in developed countries (less than 10 respectively less than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per year - compare that to the occurence of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity, which are conditions that are normally caused by consuming too much protein and fat - especially of animal origin).

    I would not worry too much - may I suggest to you the book 'Eat to live' by Dr. Joel Fuhrman? I find it very helpful in explaining which foodstuffs carry lots of nutrients per calorie (in general green vegetables and fruits) and therefor should form the staple of your diet.

    Best regards,
    Andy

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    Hey guys.

    So I went to the GP yesterday. She said it was probably IBS and it would go away on its own and to take a multivitamin (in response to my concern about protein??) lol. I'm not convinced yet. But we'll see. I'm getting a second opinion from someone else tomorrow as I seem even worse today. Running out of 'safe' foods. I specifically avoided EVERYthing I knew triggered the symptoms today and everything I've eaten has caused problems. All of which had never caused issues before.

    So this thread is turning into something a little other than just 'how to get protein' ... it's more like 'how to eat food when I can't eat food' haha.

    Thanks for all the replies anyway. I imagine if I stress how bad it is tomorrow that I'll actually get some tests of some kind and get to the bottom of this eventually. It's getting too bad to be just googling and experimenting so I won't be bothering ye any more!

    And thanks for the advise Andy_T - I've read a handful of similar books to that one and have some idea of the protein myth but I guess it still seems I'm not getting enough at the moment. Maybe I am! I'll probably do some estimated calculations later. But yeah thanks for the reminder.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    Hello Cheerip. You just reminded me of a vegan friend whom eventually identified the culprit of onion powder, hiding among things which are not always mentioned in processed food ingredients lists.

    As for proteins without fibre, you could get some pure amino acid preparations, they are expensive, but you only need a gram or three of certain of the essential varieties.
    Problematic is waking someone whom pretends to sleep.

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    Cheerip,

    did you ever try to increase your consumption of leafy, green vegetables? (if you can eat fruits, you can have them in a delicious green smoothie if you do not feel like eating salad).
    According to many sources, those are the most nutrient dense foodstuffs you will find (nutrients/calorie ratio) and what is missing in most people's diet.

    Best regards,
    Andy

  15. #15
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    I hope the second opinion was helpful, cheerip - sounds a bit grim what you've got. Are they going to run any tests?

    I've read that IBS can be the aftermath of an infection http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/ibs/ - although if the infection's already gone by that stage I don't know how helpful it is to know that :/

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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    Hey guys. Sorry I disappeared there for ages. If anyone's interested, I got that second opinion and she also agreed it was likely to be IBS. After doing more reading about it it seems to fit exactly. I'll be getting tests eventually to rule out anything else too.

    I still have the same problems unfortunately. But it's not gotten any worse at least. And I've figured out how to make quinoa and tofu properly so they actually taste good (I had a few failed attempts before and gave up on them). So I think I'm fine for protein. I do need to eat more greens though. For a while I was making green smoothies using bananas (can't eat them now) so I'll have to figure out another way to make them creamy. Or not be so picky

    Thanks for the replies!

  17. #17
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    Glad you're getting somewhere, cheerip. Can't remember what you decided about tofu, but if you're OK with it then you could perhaps thicken your smoothies with silken tofu? Or would that be horrible?

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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    Interesting idea, I'll have to try it. Thanks. Tofu is growing on me.

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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    I was also thinking about silken tofu, but it tastes pretty bad on its own. How about soya yogurt?

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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    Actually soya yogurt should have been obvious to me as I already love the stuff. Thanks.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Protein on a Low Fiber Diet...

    Cheerip - ever since I've been vegan, I've definitely noticed my bowels are more active. I was always one of those people, before, who went to the loo extremely rarely - maybe 3 to 4 times a week. so when I became vegan, and started going daily, I was so pleased! However, I became less pleased as my bowel movements became less normal, I began to suffer stomach cramps, fluctuating between diaorhrea and constipation, and horrible bloating (and the socially unpleasant consequences of that). This has been on going for all four years I've been vegan, and while I didn't want to be 'unvegan', I have got to the point (after a month of extremely loose movements and cramps) where I really felt I needed to do something about it. So this morning I went to the doctor, and she gave me a thing for a low-fibre diet (so sounds like you're doing the right thing!), though of course, when we went through it, we noticed that there wasn't really a lot on there that allowed vegan protein. Even allowing for the fact we don't need as much protein as we think, all the 'stealth' protein, such as potato skins and brown bread, are in the 'do not eat' list due to fibre content.

    the one thing that isn't on there, I noticed, was soya products, so I did some googling, and the general concensus seems to be that soya products, and Tofu, are ok. good luck with the diet - the advice from my GP was to go low fibre for 4 weeks, then gradually reintroduce things to see what level of fibre I could tolerate (I have a plan, if you'd like it). She also gave me a prescription for methylcellulose, which is a fibre tablet that you crush, and apparently is better recommended by gastroenterologists than the fibre gels and capsules you can get in health food stores. worth trying to ask your GP - it's also worth noting that many GPs do not understand gastroenterology that well, and are bad about properly treating it and taking symptoms seriously...

  22. #22

    Default Re: Protein on a low fiber diet...

    Have you looked into leaky gut syndrome and candida? Your situation sounds very similar to that of leaky gut syndrome. I think it would be a really good idea to consume fermented foods including raw sauerkraut, rejuvelac, homemade [soy almond or cashew] yogurt, homemade fermented almond cheese and other fresh fermented foods. Unfortunately probiotics in this situation do not work. You could also use fresh kombucha as well.

    As your digestive system heals you will be able to consume beans and other highly 'fiberous' foods without feeling so ill.

    Just a thought.
    thepeacefulkitchen.blogspot.com

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    Default Re: Protein on a low fiber diet

    Hey guys.

    flying plum - that does sound very very similar to my situation. And that's exactly what I was worried about with the lack of protein. Though after doing more reading I'm less worried about it and I think I get enough with what I'm eating at the moment. I do eat more tofu than I did before - and that's one thing. I'd be very interested in seeing your plan though - I could always use more information. Yeah I've had bad experiences with GP's in the past and never implicitly trust them. Some of the ones I've seen seem afraid to admit they don't know everything. And it's always infuriating to not be taken seriously!

    peacefulkitchen - I am quite sure it's not candida. The symptoms just don't fit right. I did consider it - but ruled it out. Thanks for the suggestion & recommendations.

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