130 grams of fiber, 2400 calories

How do I eat ~100 grams of fiber, on average, every day? Here’s my full dietary breakdown from December 30, 2015:

my diet 12-30.png

Green tea is associated with reduced all-cause mortality risk (https://michaellustgarten.com/2015/10/20/drink-green-tea-reduce-and-all-cause-mortality-risk/), so I start every day with  green tea + lemon.

Then, I ate a giant salad (https://michaellustgarten.com/2015/10/09/what-i-eat-giant-salad/), consisting of pickles, lettuce, tomato, purple cabbage and corn, and topped with a blended dressing of fresh lemon, sesame seeds, cumin, jalapeño, and raw garlic.

Also on the list were sardines, which I eat every day. Snacks in between bigger meals were carrots, 1 whole red pepper, mushrooms, and a Brazil nut.

Then I ate a big bowl of broccoli topped with cherry tomatoes. I added mustard powder after the broccoli and tomatoes were done cooking (~10 minutes), because broccoli’s sulfurophane content decreases with cooking time (https://michaellustgarten.com/2014/08/13/restoring-boiling-induced-sulfurophane-depletion-in-broccoli-with-mustard-powder/).

At some point after that I had cod liver oil, to get my daily dose of Vitamin D and the fish oil fatty acids, EPA and DHA. I just (last week) sent my blood for analysis of my circulating Vitamin D, so I may need to increase my vitamin D intake based on what the result shows.

Next I had my beet-berry smoothie (https://michaellustgarten.com/2015/08/09/beet-berry-smoothie/).

For dinner I had my barley-veggie mix (https://michaellustgarten.com/2015/10/08/what-i-eat-barley-cauliflower-collard-tomato-celery-onion-corn-mix/), including barley, cauliflower, celery, tomato, corn, collards, onions and olive oil. Also, with an orange for dessert!

In sum, 2400 calories, 130 grams of dietary fiber, and maximal nutrition!

fiber 130

7/2017 Update: When considering the link between linoleic acid and all-cause mortality (https://michaellustgarten.com/2015/12/20/the-essential-fatty-acid-linoleic-acid-dietary-intake-and-circulating-values-whats-optimal-for-health/), Ive increased my intake of omega-6 fats, almost exclusively from walnuts, while cutting my carbohydrate intake to try to stay calorie neutral. In doing so, this change increased my HDL from 28 to ~50, while keeping my total cholesterol < 150, and LDL < 70.

If you’re interested, please have a look at my book!

Michael Lustgarten

Ph.D, Physiology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 2009 B.S., Biochemistry, Queens College, 2003 B.A, English Textual Studies, 1994, Syracuse University

30 thoughts on “130 grams of fiber, 2400 calories

  1. Thanks for sharing your diet. It’s interesting and nutrient dense.
    Any adverse effects? GI issues or GERD?
    Do you usually plan out your meals, or eat more or less the same daily, or do you find you can hit your calories without thinking?

    1. I do indeed plan my meals for the day. I have a variety and range of foods that I choose from on any given day. I generally plan it on the same day, not the day before, based on what I feel like eating within my range of foods. As you can see from my 130 g of fiber post, I have a large range of foods that I like to eat, so I am generally satisfied and satiated from the dietary volume. Other foods, like Yacon powder and some nuts like walnuts (rich in LA) weren’t on the list for that day, but generally are.

      I can’t hit my macro and micro-nutrient goals without some thinking and planning-using the nutrition tracking program is essential for my success!When I first started tracking, my daily macro and micro-nutrient intake wasn’t as good as now-I’ve gotten even better at optimizing my nutrient intake.

      There aren’t any adverse effects-I’ve never felt better!

  2. That more than 5 kg food/day if I’m not mistaken – you need to be careful to not chew up the time this diet hopefully buys you 😉

    Do you know the approximate cost/day?
    Are you concerned by any of the nutrients in the red, or the large amount of fiber interacting with e.g. calcium absorption?
    What software do you use to track this?

    Thanks for sharing!
    Cheers, Johan

    1. Yes, it’s a lost of food, and yes (unfortunately), a lot in terms of $. Cost per day ~$25-30. We evolved eating a diet (https://michaellustgarten.wordpress.com/2015/07/17/on-a-paleo-diet-not-if-you-fiber-intake-is-less-than/) that is similar to mine (with perhaps a bit more animal products), so I’m not worried about the supercharged micronutrient composition, or the fiber-calcium interaction, for example. In fact, the opposite:there’s lots of evidence to support higher than the RDA values for many micronutrients. Have a look on my site here, as I present that data!

      I use chronometer.com to track it all.

  3. You didn’t enter the vanilla from the smoothie. I made the smoothie today and couldn’t find vanilla in cron-o-meter so came to see what it’s called 🙂

    1. You’re right, Gerard! The cost of vanilla beans, more than $20/lb exceeds their use for taste. I haven’t been using them lately, they’re not essential for the smoothie. In the chronometer, it’s “Ojio, vanilla bean, ground”.

      1. I made my own extract with beans and wodka. Easy to make. Vanilla extract in the supermarket rarely contains vanilla.

  4. Did you really start your day with 46 oz (almost 1.5 quarts) of green tea, or is that a typo?

    1. Ha, that’s not a typo, almost every day I drink ~40 oz. of green tea! What is different, though, is I’ve added 30-35 g of walnuts, 30-35g of Yacon powder, and 10-15g of raw, ground cacao every day.

      1. Must admit I had to look up Yacon! I reckon you’re eating it for the fructooligosaccharide content?

  5. I know that exceeding the RDA should not be a problem for most of these items but – are you not worried about your calcium and, especially, phosphorus intake being too high? And phosphorus being *way* too high in relation to calcium? Or your total iron being 5x higher than the RDA?

    1. Some I intentionally make sure are greater than the RDA, like Vitamin K (I have a post on that). Do you have data on the dietary phosphorus/calcium ratio and heath-related outcomes? Also, my circulating biomarkers are close to that of a healthy 20yr old (with the exception of my liver enzymes, which are a little higher than I’d like-for now-I’m working on that, of course!). So, if my nutrient excess (in some areas) was detrimental, you’d expect to see some sort of negative effect on my circulating biomarkers, wouldn’t you? But that’s not the case…

      1. Well if those biomarkers include serum parathyroid hormone and urinary calcium excretion, and both are normal, then I guess you are right and you have nothing to worry about 😀

        BTW most of what I have read on the ideal dietary calcium:phosphorus ratio was on animals, so it may not apply to humans. But most recommended a Ca:P ratio of 1:1 or higher – which is admittedly difficult to attain in the human diet unless your primary calcium source is collard greens.

      2. Have you considered choline deficiency as the cause of your suboptimal liver enzyme readings? “The liver is damaged when humans consume an otherwise adequate diet that is deficient in choline, resulting in elevated alanine aminotransferase levels in blood.” (Quoted from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK114308/). See, in particular, figure 12-3 from that paper. Although it is not visible by default, you can track choline through cronometer. Just go to the profile tab and check choline in the vitamins tab.

      3. Hey Adrian, I have indeed considered choline deficiency. I’ve been tracking my choline intake for ~4 months, and I average more than 500 mg/day. That’s not a choline-deficient amount. My latest hypothesis is that it’s exercise-induced muscle/liver damage. I have 5 blood test measurements on Monday, which is the day after my 2 highest volume and intensity strength training exercise days. On my next 2 blood test measurements, if it’s exercise induced, I’ll measure on Wed. and Friday. If my ALT, AST come down, it was the exercise, as Mon and Tue are low-intensity walking, and Wed. is a low-moderate volume+intensity strength training day…

    1. Clearly, both calcium and phosphorus are important nutrients for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. However, my understanding is that when dietary phosphorus is persistently high relative to dietary calcium, the imbalance may cause calcium to leach from your bones into the bloodstream and to be excreted in the urine, leading to all sorts of ailments from osteoporosis to calcification of the kidneys. One paper expressly states that “[a] Ca:P ratio of 1.3 or greater works well in the prevention of nephrocalcinosis in female rats when fed for 16 wk”. https://pubag.nal.usda.gov/pubag/downloadPDF.xhtml?id=45202&content=PDF

      As to animals in general, another document entitled CONTENT OF CALCIUM AND PHOSPHORUS AND THE CA:P RATIO IN SELECTED SPECIES OF LEGUMINOUS AND HERBACEOUS PLANTS – found at jsite.uwm.edu.pl/index/getfile/1214 – says, “[t}he Ca:P ratio of animal feeds should range from 1:1 to 2:1”, with a reference to a book entitled Forages. Vol. I. An Introduction to Grassland Agriculture, pages 79.91.

      Now, two questions emerge.
      1) Does this apply to humans?
      2) If so, does it still hold true if, as in your case, the intakes of both minerals are above the RDA?

  6. My average dietary Ca intake over the past 822 days (you know I track every day!) is ~1330 mg, which still puts me at reduced all-cause mortality risk (albeit a very small potential reduction).

    So what about dietary phosphorus? That’s a bit more complicated. There is indeed data showing that high dietary phosphorus intakes are associated with increased all-cause mortality risk, but what are the main sources for P in these subjects? Meats and sodas…That’s not where the majority of my dietary P comes from, with the exception my daily sardine intake (~400 mg P/day). The other ~1600 mg of P comes from fruits, veggies, and nuts. of In other words, the dietary quality of those reported in the dietary P studies is atrocious (i.e less than 20g fiber/day).

  7. Also note that this day that I’ve posted is one of my best for fiber intake and nutrient density (with the exception of omega-6, which I now cover with walnuts every day), but it’s not representative of my average intake. For ex., my average dietary P intake over the same 822 days is ~2140 mg/day.

  8. Hi Dr. Lustgarten,

    Are you still eating sardines everyday? I’m really curious why you added fish to your diet and whether there are any health benefits.

    Also, a lot of people are recommending beef broth. Are there any health benefits associated with beef broth?


      1. Ha, for the taste. Sure, I could add the bones, but it wouldn’t taste as good. The sardines are there mostly for the protein, B12, and omega 3s. I get plenty of calcium, ~1300 mg/day without almost no dairy (a small amount of cheese every week)

    1. I took out the sardines when I went full vegan a few years ago, and my triglycerides and HDL went in the wrong direction. When I added the sardines back in, my TGs and HDL went to levels where they should be.

    2. In terms of beef broth, it’s all about the biomarkers…How do they look when it’s in or out of your diet? That’s more important than my opinion on it!

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