I Need Your Fiber-ific Questions!

by Jenn (eating bender) on March 17, 2009

We interrupt the usual “once a day” posting schedule with a request for your questions :) I have the opportunity to interview an NYC dietitian, Tanya Zuckerbrot, about the benefits of fiber and, more specifically, her F-Factor diet. It’s all part of Fiber One’s new Fiber Friend Face-Off. Check out that link because it looks like you can win some prizes if you enter!

I’m really excited about the interview, but I wanted to give you a chance to chime in just as you did with the Jen Perez interview. It makes reading the answers more fun, right?

So tell me, what are some of your burning questions about fiber? Do you want to know why it’s so important? What exactly it is? How you can best integrate it into your diet? Ask anything! I’ve included a bio about Tanya below so that you can get an idea of her background:

Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a nutritionist and the creator of The F-Factor Diet, an innovative nutritional program she has used for more than ten years to provide hundreds of her clients with all the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, and improved health and well-being.  The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss (Putnum, 2006) appeared in hardcover in stores January 2007.

Tanya regularly appears on FOX News and has been a guest expert on the Today Show (NBC), The Rachael Ray Show, MSNBC, ABC News, CBS Evening News, VH1, iVillage Live, Life and Style (WB), Living It Up with Ali & Jack (ABC), The Food Network, Good Day New York, and FOX News’ Street Talk.  Tanya has conducted wellness programs and lecture series for NBC studios, and The Discovery Networks.  In May 2006, Discovery Network’s Miami office implemented The F-Factor Diet for their employees to help them lose weight and improve their energy levels.   The average weight loss was seven pounds after two weeks, and 16 pounds after two months, on The F-Factor Diet.  Tanya was a nutrition instructor at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and conducted nutrition seminars for the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) and the YWCA in New York.

Tanya is an Advisory Board Member and regular contributor to Men’s Fitness magazine.  She contributes advice to readers and answers their questions on health and diet in her monthly column.  In addition, Tanya has been quoted and/or profiled in the following publications: New York Magazine (twice for cover stories), Ladies Home Journal, Prevention, Elle, Shape,Glamour, People, Weight Watchers,Redbook, Shape, Women’s Wear Daily, Health, Ocean Drive, New York Post, The Daily News, Washington Post, Women’s World, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Teen Vogue, Star, Elle, New York Resident, The Miami Herald, and Muscle and Fitness Hers.  Tanya has also been quoted on the following websites: AOL’s Home Page, ivillage.com, and about.com.

Tanya completed her Master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Studies, graduating with honors from New York University and completing a Dietetic residency at NYU Hospital.  She is an accredited member of the American Dietetic Association and the Greater New York Dietetic Association.  She is a member of Nutrition Entrepenuers, Dietitians in Business and Communications, and Weight Management Dietetic Practice Groups. In 1997, she received the Julia Child Award for Healthy Cooking from New York University’s Department of Nutrition and Food Studies.

After receiving her degree, Tanya founded Tanya’s Tastees™, a low-fat, healthy cookie company that developed a lucrative distribution into more than 200 national stores.  At the same time, she built a flourishing private practice in New York City.

She is one of the few NYC-based dietitians with experience in treating clients with cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  She advises the patients of several Manhattan cardiologists affiliated with Mount Sinai, Lenox Hill, and New York Presbyterian hospitals.  Tanya also counsels patients with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS and Crohn’s disease, and has provided nutrition counseling to HIV-positive patients participating in the government-funded Momentum AIDS project.  She has expanded her practice to offer prenatal nutrition workshops for pregnant women to ensure a healthy pregnancy for mother and child.  In addition to her adult patients, Tanya counsels children and teens who struggle with their weight and body image.  In February 2007, she appeared as an expert on the Today Show to discuss the growing problem of childhood obesity.

Tanya lives in Manhattan with her husband and children.

I’m looking forward to interviewing such a well-known dietitian. Leave a comment on this post if there is a question you want to have answered.

“See” you later :)


1 krissyrigo March 17, 2009 at 10:45 am

Is it possible to eat too much fiber?

2 coco March 17, 2009 at 10:47 am

I’d ask what if we take too much fiber? will it inhibit food absortion? How can we know if that is ocurring even though we don’t feel specially bloated?
looking forward to read about the interview! 😀

3 Haleigh March 17, 2009 at 11:08 am

How can you avoid bloating after eating too much fiber?

4 brandi March 17, 2009 at 11:15 am


What does she think about foods with ADDED fiber? Like…I don’t understand the need/charm/health benefits of Splenda with added fiber. If it’s not naturally occurring fiber, what is the point and is that healthy at all?

5 Betsy March 17, 2009 at 11:27 am

I’m always confused about the difference between soluble & insoluble fiber… which one should we be looking for??

6 Heather Eats Almond Butter March 17, 2009 at 11:28 am

I always get insoluble and soluble fibers mixed up. What is the deal with them and how much should I be getting of each daily?

Thanks Jenn!

7 Heather Eats Almond Butter March 17, 2009 at 11:29 am

Oh, and I’m curious. Is it possible to have too much fiber in your diet? Fiber overdose perhaps?

8 Brooke March 17, 2009 at 11:37 am

Yeah, I’m curious too…is chemically created fiber (like fiber in Splenda)…does that actually work like “real” fiber found in whole grains, fruits and veggies. To tell you the truth, the “fake” fiber really freaks me out…should it?

9 c March 17, 2009 at 11:37 am

My question is about fiber / nutrition labels / calorie absorption. High fiber products today claim such small total calories on their products because supposedly we do not absorb the calories from fiber. Total calories = (fat grams x 9) + (protein grams x 4) + [(carb grams – fiber grams) x 4]. But is this really correct? You can see this on items like Fiber One, La Tortilla Factory and pretty much all ‘low carb’ /high fiber products. But then there are products whose labels do NOT subtract the fiber when computing total calories (e.g., pumpkin in a can; fruit). So which one is it? Do we absorb any fiber calories? Should fiber grams/calories be counted or not? Why do some food products take fiber calories into account while others do not? I want to know how this works from both a food labeling law perspective and an actual nutritional perspective. Thank you! Hope this makes sense.

10 eatingbirdfood March 17, 2009 at 11:44 am

Where is most of the fiber in a potato, in the skin or flesh?

11 Holly March 17, 2009 at 11:54 am

Is it true that fiber keeps you from absorbing a certain amount of calories?

12 Maureen March 17, 2009 at 12:01 pm

What IS fiber? How can companies ‘inject’ fiber into their product, like a fiber one bar? I understand fiber in an apple, but not in something processed…

13 Diana (Soap & Chocolate) March 17, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Can you become “desensitized” to fiber? As in, if you have a daily diet that is very high in fiber, will it eventually lose its effect on you? Would it cease to “keep you regular?” :)

14 Pearl March 17, 2009 at 12:06 pm

how should we casually incorporate more fiber into our diet? i know that it should be done slowly, but approximately how much time?

thanks for this great opportunity!

15 ksgoodeats March 17, 2009 at 12:26 pm

All of the questions I would have brought up have already been presented so I just wanted to say that I think it’s so cool that you’re getting the chance to interview all of these amazing people!

16 Maggie March 17, 2009 at 1:14 pm

I’m with the other people – is there such a thing as too much?

Also – maybe talk about the difference between insoluble and soluble, and what diseases can be prevented by having enough fiber (stomach cancer I’m guessing? or some kind of intestinal cancer?).

I’m giving away greek yogurt coupons if you’re interested!

17 Sarah March 17, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Yup same questions: Is too much fiber possible? Do some people need more fiber than others? What is her understanding of the net carb effect due to fiber content in foods, and is this legit? Do some foods really have a negative caloric effect (i.e. celery) because of their fiber content?

This should be really interesting…thanks Jenn!

18 Kelly Turner March 17, 2009 at 1:25 pm

oh man ill tell ya right now you can TOTALLY eat too much fiber…

19 VeggieGirl March 17, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Which is better to focus on – soluble or insoluble fiber?

20 Erica March 17, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Fabulous! What is her favorite ways to sneak fiber into a diet?

21 lily March 17, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Does fiber cause gas? And does your body get used to a high fiber overtime?
what exactly is fiber, btw?

22 finkleberry March 17, 2009 at 3:12 pm

those blackberries you ate for breakfast looked DEVINE! Also, I think that peanut-butter scone thing looks delicious as well!

23 Erin March 17, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Okay, here’s something I’ve always wanted to know. I asked my dietitian and she said it’s a myth, but still.
CAN YOU EAT TOO MUCH FIBER? Like, is 100+ grams too much? I don’t mind being bloated and farting.

24 Lizzy March 17, 2009 at 5:04 pm

i got a little bit too much of the az sun myself today and i look like a big red lobster haha

25 peaceandpeanutbutter March 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm

how much fiber do we need in a typical day? are there certain sources of fiber that are better than others? (i.e. whole grains, complex carbs, supplements, etc)

thanks for including us, Jenn!

26 RuntoFinish March 17, 2009 at 7:13 pm

ohh i don’t have a good question, but I love what I’m seeing from everyone so I can’t wait to see the answers

27 K March 17, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Ooohhh, an opportunity to have my “fiber debate” with my boyfriend solved!

First of all, I have been trying to gain about 10 pounds to reach a healthier BMI. During this process my boyfriend and I have been having an on-going argument about my tendency to eat almost 50 grams of fiber a day. He thinks eating this much fiber is hindering my weight-gain goals (and fertility-restoration goals – I have had amenorrhea for a number of years).

He thinks my high consumption of fiber absorbs too much of the fat, saturated fat, etc. that I do eat (since I eat pretty healthy) and that that is not helping me raise my body fat and estrogen levels. Is this true? I have recently read that women who are trying to increase their fertility should opt for full-fat dairy products, indicating that that particular type of fat is GOOD for women. It’s so hard to eat large amounts of healthy food (I average about 2,500+ calories a day) without going overboard on the fiber!

So, is my boyfriend right, and is my high-fiber consumption inhibiting my weight gain and fertility goals? Or is it perfectly fine for me to eat almost 50 grams of fiber per day? (I track my daily eat on thedailyplate.com, and I shoot for 50% carbs, 20% protein and 30% fat daily, and lately have been trying to eat a little more fat (full-fat dairy, nuts, oil, etc.) I also have been continuing to workout daily. Yeah… I know I could reach my goal faster with just lessening that, but it’s another struggle of mine…)

Hope you can help. Thanks ahead of time!

28 rhodeygirltests March 17, 2009 at 8:04 pm

What is the best source of fibre?

29 Katie R March 17, 2009 at 8:43 pm

I had heard / read somewhere that one type of fiber actually slows digestion down leading to ‘unregularity’ :). Is this true?

30 Hangry Pants March 17, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Everyone asked the questions I had about soluable and insoluable fiber and how some fiber is subtracted from total calorie counts.

– Heather

31 Shannon March 18, 2009 at 5:55 am

Hi there! I’ve always been a ‘lurker’ on your blog — I love your jokes and sense of humor– not corny, so cute!! I’ve started a blog of my own — hope you check it out 😉

32 Kate March 18, 2009 at 7:12 am

I would say how does eating fiber in comparison w/ the amount of fat in your diet affect your stomach? Is it sometimes necessary to eat more or less fat to avoid fiber making you feel a lil bloated….ew.

33 Sarah March 18, 2009 at 7:19 am

whats her daily diet look like?

34 Judy March 18, 2009 at 7:25 am

We are all pretty familar with the traditional sources of fiber like freggies and whole grain products. What are some surprising and not so well known sources of fiber? and how do they compare to the other sources of fiber?

Thanks for the opportunity Jenn! Good luck!


35 elise March 18, 2009 at 9:13 am

fiber tends to have a binding effect in me because i eat SO much and dont drink enough water. is there a water (or any liquid) requirement per gram of fiber? also, where does flax fit in?

36 Lara (Thinspired) March 18, 2009 at 11:11 am

I am with Heather–I am confused about soluable and insoluable. Is one better than the other? Do they each serve a different purpose? Should I seek one out more than the other?
Looking forward to this! Thanks, Bender!

37 Lesley Borger March 18, 2009 at 12:14 pm

That’s neat! I had a question but I see it’s been asked multiple times already (how much is too much?) …. so I won’t ask it again, though I kind of already did ; )

38 Sophia March 18, 2009 at 12:47 pm

I too am interested to know if you can have too much fiber…also I know the skins of potato and sweet potatoes have fiber in them, but do they have nutrition too?

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