Oct 24, 2007

Addendum H: Fiber Problems

LOW-FIBER PROBLEM SOLVED. With few exceptions, my anti-itis diet includes only foods low in "dietary" fiber, compared to oats and beans, for example.

Some alkaline-producing foods are relatively high in fiber compared to potatoes. Examples of relatively high-fiber foods, that are still PRAL-acceptable, are parsnips, pumpkin (but not all other winter squashes), and artichoke hearts (which I buy quartered, in cans). Such foods -- plus high-fiber or otherwise laxative fruits (prunes, cherries, berries) -- help speed passage of food through the gut. Also, I am learning to make soups and sauces from pumpkin (with garlic and lemon juice, for example).

OAT BRAN caused a rosacea/eczema type reaction on my skin when I tried the standard test (1 teaspoon/meal, for 6 meals in a row). I suspect that other forms of bran (rice, wheat) would produce the same result. Is the bran in grains a big part of what makes them acid-producing? I don't know, but I intend to continue avoiding all grains -- even white rice, the least acid-producing of all the grains.

Burgess Laughlin
Author of The Power and the Glory: The Key Ideas and Crusading Lives of Eight Debaters of Reason vs. Faith, www.reasonversusmysticism.com/


Mike W. said...


I was interested in whether you eat the skins on potatoes and apples because my research shows that when people with colitis are in a flare, elemental diets seem to help. Sometimes they are called low residue diets. Of course many there would eat meat but that is not what my wife or I want to do.

Thus on these diets, often things like pears are recommended without skins. Although some fiber is present I have seen recommendations for peeling potatoes as well.

You are a good man.

Stay well, Mike W.

Burgess Laughlin said...

I have no reason to think that such skins would cause -itis problems. However, I did stop eating skins of potatoes. The reason was not a flare-up in itis problems but a feeling of queasiness in my gut, a kind of sourness. I stopped eating the skins, especially of sweet potatoes, and the problem went away.

BTW, I have zero reason to believe that fiber--as part of a whole food that is not otherwise acid-producing--is anything to be concerned about.

Of course, if you are concerned about skins, you can always start with everything peeled. And then if all goes well try eating one of the foods with the peel and see what happens.

Also BTW, did you notice that the McDougall elimination diet is quite low in fiber? No grains (except rice, which is low fiber anyway), no beans or peas, and no nuts. Those are all the main sources of fiber -- but they are not present in the ED.