Lower-fiber vegan foods
March 4, 2014 12:12 PM   Subscribe

I just started a low-fat, vegan diet for health reasons, and I think I overdid it on the fiber. I had chickpeas for dinner last night, raisin bran with flax milk for breakfast, lentil soup for lunch... and now my tummy hurts. In a poopish sort of way, except I don't have to actually go, if that makes any sense.

I mean, I'm sure I will go when I get home from work, but at the moment it's not pressing (ahem.) Hahahaha... I kill me. Anywho...

What are some vegan foods with less fiber I could add to my diet to fill me up so I'm not getting so much fiber all at once? I am under the impression that my system will "adjust" eventually but maybe I need to take it a little slower right now at the beginning. I need ideas for both meal-type foods and snacks.

I'm supposed to be eating mostly low-fat and low-GI, so foods with those characteristics would be great, but if I have to break those rules somewhat at first while I ease into things that's ok too. So, what can I eat that won't hurt? I am eyeing the apple I brought for a snack pretty warily right now.
posted by sock puppy to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
How about (vegan versions where applicable obvs)

White bread
White rice
Soy yogurt
Soy cheese
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 12:19 PM on March 4, 2014

The BRAT diet is for gastro-intestinal distress. And it's vegan:
posted by Houstonian at 12:31 PM on March 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

You might be just fine if you substitute some other cereal for the raisin bran. That's powerful stuff.
posted by Corvid at 12:35 PM on March 4, 2014

Agreed; I view raisin bran as basically a dietary supplement more than a food.

I would also disagree with chesty a bit and recommend the brown versions of those foods - brown rice and whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pasta for that matter. It is true they are relatively higher in fiber than their white counterparts, but they are also higher in protein, which will help with the GI score, and are nowhere near as fiber-full as beans (including chickpeas) or bran cereal.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 12:40 PM on March 4, 2014

Well, the chickpeas and the lentils together in the course of 24 hours are a lot of fiber if you are not used to it. (Personally, I like chickpeas, but even after years of eating them I still find them a bit too filling.)

Tofu is great - protein-rich, virtually no fiber. Tofu scramble, tofu in ramen type broth, tofu in stir fry...

Honestly, probably keeping the legumes to one 1 cup serving a day for the present will help a lot - they have so much more fiber than just about everything else you are likely to eat that you can probably just eat as normal otherwise.

Why not have some toast and peanut butter? Some of that Swedish ryekrisp stuff and a spread of some kind? Guacamole and tortilla chips? Polenta (make it with buttery spread and nutritional yeast).

How much cooking are you comfortable doing? There are lots of soy and mock duck dishes...or rice dishes, I make a really delicious rice/basil/olives/tomatoes risotto that I have the recipe for at home. Or baked vegetables (vegetables are not actually giant sources of fiber, for the most part - they're fibrous, but not wildly so)...why not get some big tomatoes, split them in half and squeeze out the pulp/seeds (which you can drink), top them with breadcrumbs, olive oil, dried basil and oregano and then bake at 425 for an hour?

Honestly, any vegetable bake will be tasty - I like to lightly saute some onion, red and yellow bell peppers and mushrooms or frozen artichoke hearts with garlic and tomato paste, add a few spices and then lightly dust with breadcrumbs and bake at 425 for an hour.

Or just have a green salad with chopped nuts - contrary to popular belief, greens aren't hugely fibrous.

My takeaway here is that beans are very fiber dense and almost anything else you eat as a vegan will be less so; moderate your intake of beans and all the rest is simple.
posted by Frowner at 12:42 PM on March 4, 2014

Response by poster: I did not realize greens were light on fiber... that is good to know, so I can have a nice salad for dinner. I also have some pasta and marinara, and a banana for dessert. That takes care of supper, at least.

I am sad to learn that raisin bran is part of the problem... it is one of my favorite cereals. But I am sure I will find something else. I do have some oatmeal at home.

And then going forward just go heavy on the veg & grains, moderate on the beans, and it sounds like I should be good. Thanks for all the good ideas!
posted by sock puppy at 2:01 PM on March 4, 2014

As your body grows more accustomed to a high-fiber diet, you'll have fewer problems. Start lower and work up, and you'll be good as gold.
posted by moira at 3:00 PM on March 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Which I somehow missed that you already knew, sorry. So I'll just nth other answers that BRAT is the way to go right now, and that grains (and especially non-whole grains) are generally lower in fiber than other things you'll be eating. If you want to check the fiber content of what you're eating, have a peek at NutritionData.
posted by moira at 3:08 PM on March 4, 2014

Plain starches not derived from grains or legumes can help: potato, tapioca/cassava/manioc (different names for the same tuber), white rice (though grain derived, it's the closest thing you can get to 100% pure starch), plantain and plantain flour. Any ethnic market near you will be a great resource, since most of Earth's population has consumed starches other than wheat for most of history.

When I ate a low carbohydrate diet, I consumed very very little fiber, even though whole fruit and vegetables were the bulk of my diet by volume. Legumes and grains are what provide fiber in any appreciable amounts, so even if you eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, you will probably not get all that much fiber if you reduce grain and legume consumption.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 4:34 PM on March 4, 2014

As a recentish victim of lentil-induced distress I would recommend trying cooking and preparation techniques to reduce or break down what causes that crazy extreme gas,. Cooking with kombu, rinsing rinsing rinsing my beans, quick cooking, etc. But yeah, that is a lot of fiber for starters, so you prob can try revisiting those foods again,just not all on the same day!
posted by NikitaNikita at 7:47 PM on March 4, 2014

This shake was surprisingly tasty in unsweetened vanilla almond milk and made my tummy feel nice. It's not particularly low in fiber, but it wouldn't cause the same kind of distress as bran and lentils.
posted by magdalemon at 8:05 AM on March 5, 2014

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