Ever Eat a Pine Tree?

by | Oct 29, 2020

KABOOMERS – Do you remember a Grape Nuts™ commercial with Euell Theophilus Gibbons (yup), a popular naturalist with a moniker mouthful?  Am I inquiring because Today is National Oatmeal Day (a better source of dietary fiber as a macro-nutrient)?

YES indeed. Up-front Disclaimer – your scribe is NOT a registered dietitian, though I do have continuing education credits in nutrition.

I agree with that now-deceased author that Grape-Nuts do indeed taste better than a pine tree. Gibbons died at the relatively young age of 64 – from an aortic aneurysm.  Yes, genetics play a large role in longevity; yet so do good dietary and lifestyle habits!

A non-hyped hypothesis for benefits of dietary fiber and lifestyle, and one of Harry’s Rules offered in Younger Next Year is this,                “Don’t eat crap.”

Or, from our “paleo diet” friends:

“get back to eating real food.”


What are top “REAL” foods high in fiber, you ask?

It depends, as there are three main classes of dietary fiber: 1. Soluble, 2. Insoluble, and 3. Resistant Starches.

  • Soluble fiber foods include:
    • Berries, nuts, seeds, cucumbers, celery, apples with skins, sweet potatoes/yams with skins, roots (onions, fennel)
  • Top foods for Insoluble fiber are:
    • Cabbage, beets, carrots, and Brussels sprouts (check bruciferous/cruciferous superfoods)
  • Resistant starches (which are NOT processed pre-biotics) include:
    • pasta, unripe bananas, and navy beans.

It is fun, and perhaps constructive, to Ask Alexa this fiber question.

When I queried Alexa (via Amazon Echo), “she” replied,

“I think carrots and raspberries are pretty good, yet I like oats best…”. KABOOM for this National Day of Oats.

Proof of Alexa’s aural feedback is left to you, as your own casual observer or experimenter 😊

Top fiber foods? A 1-word answer from author, Dan Buettner, is: “BEANS.” Dan is the author of Blue Zones, and a great TED speaker, by the way.

What would Tim Ferriss think (author and blog- / podcast-meister)?

From the 4-hour body:

“rules are simple … Avoid white bread, white rice, potatoes, and other white carbs.”

An important guideline for most ANY diet initiative is to:

   Consult your doctor or certified nutritionist

Fiber is:

“dietary material containing substances such as cellulose, lignin, and pectin, which are resistant to the action of digestive enzymes – synonyms of roughage, bulk”.  Credit: Oxford Dictionary.

Our predecessors, like Clifford Caveman, or Gail Gatherer, didn’t dine on RITZ™ crackers.  Sure, we now live longer, yet how fun it might be to climb trees and try to outrun saber-tooth tigers?  We don’t find in archaeological records that Clifford or Gail made good fiber diets.   

Hmmm – what has industrialization and modern farming done to us?  Let’s go back to our Paleo Guides for a sobering thought,

The Standard American Diet, …, has nearly destroyed our guts. … a recipe for poor gut flora and broken digestive systems.”

Imagine all the surplus methane we’d generate if we COULD digest cellulose, like hooved critters. So, we evolved to let cows, cattle, lambs, and pigs tackle that cellulose, while we pursue it (plus lignin, and pectin) as PLANT-BASED fiber.

Might you hit the century mark, even if you don’t want to hit 100?

Click here for starters:

One might surmise that PLANT Based diets are “good” for most of us. Mediterranean diets have been well-documented in Blue Zone colonies of longevity by Buettner and others.  Plant fiber, good oils, moderate activity, and noble grapes are success factors in longevity (See WebMD for more).

Baby boomers want to live long and prosper, per Leonard Nimoy.

Runners in our readership might rightly say, YES BUT…” as fiber is a problem if we choose to run our way to wellness and longevity.

Right. Too much/too recent fiber can cause runners’ bouncing bowels and intentional distress.

Timing is always a good thing about which to think and to experiment.

 So What?

√ Fiber is good for you (male/female, young/old), your gut, your longevity, and your wellness.

Most Americans do NOT get their ~ 40 grams of daily fiber(males),  / 25 gm for females ( https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-13/).         

Benefits of Fiber Please recall my disclaimers:

  1. See your MD or registered nutritionist before changing wellness diets.
  2. There are “juries” still out for solid, objective benefits of fiber for humans. We suggest how “gut health” and overall wellness are related to plant-based, high fiber diets. Yes, paleo diets can and should include high fiber.

– There are hung juries about the true benefits of natural, or supplemental prebiotic ingestion.  How is your curiosity for this resistant starch sub-class of fiber?

  1. It Depends. Don’t graze on plates of fiber before tomorrow’s marathon (try to avert bouncing bowels by eating fiber earlier – say 2 days earlier). Yet, on race day, you don’t want to experience too much of a good thing with intentional distress.

There is a STRONG correlation between low glycemic index (GI) foods and goodness of fiber.

At the “almost glucose” sugary end of Glycemic Index tables is white rice.  At the approximate middle is microwaved, light popcorn.  At the favorable LOWEST end of the GI table is our previously cited BEANS.

√ In honor of David Letterman’s Top Ten Lists of yesteryear:

             A Top 10 List for Fiber “Fitness”

  1. Read food labels, carefully
  2. Increase your odds to live long and prosper
  3. Stools weigh more
  4. Fewer hemorrhoids
  5. Lower bad cholesterol
  6. Become a lucrative beano™ shareholder
  7. Be a vicarious voyager for Mediterranean mealtimes
  8. You learn that Ezekiel is more than a biblical name
  9. You’ll keep Pre-race bowels clear
  10. Spend less on corn-fed beef (and your ticker should appreciate that!)

Letterman’s bottom line? Make your microbiomes happy 😊

Foods High in Fiber


  • Most Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Brown rice
  • Lentils, beans
  • Nuts and Seeds (chia, pumpkin)

We see and hear of many fads and hypes about the next new things in miracle diets.

Buyer Beware!

  • ¾ cups of steamed broccoli offers seven grams of fiber with 30 calories vs. two slices of “whole grain” with 120 calories for the same fibers.

Listen to your bod(y).  If occasionally or regularly hit by:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Reflux
  • Irregular bowels?

Takeaway: Fiber can be of service.  And, it can be tasty as well!  Angie Dickinson was right about these GUAC beauties:

Ben Franklin was also right about An Apple A Day!

Ways to add healthy Fiber to your diet

“EASY” entries, as practical guidelines are:

  1. Make Meats as your side dishes – (re-check The Omnivore’s Dilemma)
  2. AVOID processed foods! If it doesn’t spoil – skip it.
  3. Ask, what would Clifford Caveman and Gail Gatherer, do?
  4. Go ahead, try Meatless Monday
  5. Take small disciplined steps.

A Healthy “WRAP” or your “digestion”:

Scrutinize food labels (& fast food menus).

Take a Fiber Quiz, as @ popsugar.com.

Your Gut is often telling you something important for your overall health:

  • 2/3rds of your immune system is found in your Gut.

Skip pine trees… enjoy beans and low GI foods for your GUT Health

  1. Eat Real Food
  2. Avoid white carbs (recall that there isn’t the Color White in the Rainbow for Vitamin P(lant))
  3. live like you forgot how to die (in “blue zone” France, or Sicily, or Loma Linda, CA.)
  4. Wear a Good GUT HEALTH button.
  5. Eat PLANT-based!

Hey Koach – do you eat old fashioned Oatmeal weekly?

Yup. That is, I add nuts, a bit of chia or hemp seeds, and berries while skipping white sugar…  KABOOM.

Be well, with clean macronutrients with “just right” fiber for your GUT and you.


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