Why You Need Protein To Get Toxins Out Of Your Body

We were sent the following email:

"I read the edited transcript of the call with JJ Virgin on detoxification. JJ mentioned that The Master Cleanse helped in getting the toxins out, but no way of flushing it out of the system.

Part of The Master Cleanse consists of having a herbal tea in the evening along with water and sea salt in the morning to flush the toxins out. Please advise if that is really true. Thanks." 

In the call linked to above JJ said:

"We detoxify in two phases. The first thing is to make them able to get out of the body. We have to free them up and make them water soluble, because they tend to store in our fat and not be water soluble.

Once we get them ready to get them out, we've got to escort them out. First you've got to get them out of the tissues, then you've got to get them out of the body. In order to get toxins out of the body you must have amino acids. You get amino acids primarily from protein.

Pea-rice protein shakes are my favorite. (They are great for vegans, vegetarians, nutritarians.) Without the amino acids you can't get the toxins out of the body. Think about that, you see these cleanses that people are doing where they do something called The Master Cleanser Drink where they do that and get some maple syrup and cayenne.

I'm trying to figure out how sugar ever could possibly be a benefit in a cleanse. Usually you start the day with lemon water. This will speed up the phase one, the release of the toxins into the body and shut off phase two, the release of the toxins out of the body. So you get more toxins coming out inside the body with no way to get out.

It leaves your body worse off. Leave them where they're going to be. If you're not going to take it all the way through it is way worse to free them up and not get them out."

As always at PEERtrainer, we look at other sources to back things we quote or link to. One of JJ's peers in this area is Nutritionist Jason Boehm: (http://www.jasonboehmnutrition.com/)

Jason pointed us to three studies that shed more light on the role of amino acids in the detoxification process:

We mention this to show you how "Nutritional Cleanses" differ dramatically from things like The Master Cleanse.

A nutritional cleanse is an extension of a nutrient dense diet. What sets the PEERtrainer Fresh Start Cleanse program apart, is the extensive coursework material, that JJ Virgin has developed over the last 15 years.



Can Someone With Ankylosing Spondylitis (Or Other Immune Diseases) Become Pain Free

This is a question that someone in the PEERtrainer community asked in response to our PEERtrainer Fitness Fusion article. We got an excellent response from our friends at the Egoscue Center, who help people get out of as much physical pain as possible.

Question: "Can someone with ankylosing spondylitis become pain free? As the joints fuse I'm wondering if Pete's method works?"

PEERtrainer Note: This is a spinal form of arthritis- and there are tons of other people with various autoimmune disorders who are in physical pain. Hopefully this advice will help anyone with an autoimmune disease. We also recommend a clean diet that is also high in micronutrients to help deal with autoimmune disease. Dr. Fuhrman's eating plan has had particular success in this area.

Answer From Pete's team: AK is a serious diagnosis. (OK, I said it...) Now let's move onto something a little more enlightening and positive. A dentist of mine said to me one time that I should only floss the teeth that I want to keep. I have adopted that saying for this discussion and I want you to think about your joints, muscles, ligaments...and other internal structures the same way that we would think about our teeth. Only move the ones that you want to keep.

Yes, AK sucks! Yes, the pain is persistent! Yes, you could gradually get worse to the point of joint and overall body deformity.

No, you don't have to let any of this happen. As you decrease your movement and your stress and emotional negativity about the symptoms increases, your immune system begins to spiral downward. Every system is tied directly to your immunity and especially your lymph system and digestive system.

Just by you being on PEERtrainer and taking the time to ask this question means that you have NOT given into this progressive, dismal diagnosis. Don't let the fear take over and get moving! I am not telling you to ignore what your very helpful MD's have told you... I am just saying that the fear tied to this can be squashed when in addition to your normal meds, you are given a dose of hope as your next medication, via the exercises, your prognosis is completely different that it was yesterday.

Get the Pain Free book, try the e-cises and if you have to decrease your reps and sets, do it.

How Mushrooms Help Fight Cancer

This is an excerpt from a new article we published on Dr. Joel Fuhrman's new book Super Immunity.

According to Dr. Fuhrman, mushrooms are a "newcomer" to the disease prevention discussion. He say that the science is just starting to be understood.

Mushrooms help with autoimmune diseases, but the role they play in destroying abnormal cells is fascinating.

To simply Dr. Fuhrman's argument compounds found in mushrooms help to identify damaged and abnormal cells and remove them. We did a quick search to back up this claim and found several very interesting studies. One in particular is titled "The Pharmacological Potential Of Mushrooms."

That article states that:

"The medicinal use of mushrooms has a very long tradition in the Asian countries, whereas their use in the Western hemisphere has been slightly increasing only since the last decades."

It concludes by saying:

"The spectrum of detected pharmacological activities of mushrooms is very broad.... a rapid increase in the application of mushrooms for medicinal purposes can be expected."

Dr. Fuhrman explains that, common mushrooms (the ones you get in the store) contain "lectins" which are proteins that bind only to abnormal cells, and marking them for death and making it impossible for these cells to replicate.

Dr. Fuhrman states that in "one recent study, women who ate at least 10 grams of mushrooms a day (equivalent to one small mushroom) had a 64 percent decrease in breast cancer."

Cooking Tip: These compounds exist whether the mushroom is cooked or not. An excellent way of cooking all these great foods together is the PEERtrainer Energy Soup, which people have been enjoying for several years. It contains mushrooms, onions, greens, good fat in the form of cococnut milk.

Read The Whole Thing


How Toxins and Chemicals Can Effect Your Endocrine System: And What To Do About It

Combinational Toxicology or "mixture toxicity" is the study of the combined
effects of certain chemicals in the body.
To simplify this as much as possible, researchers have traditionally examined
the effect of single toxins on single organ systems.
More recently, researchers have begun to focus on the effect of multiple toxins
on multiple organ systems.
As you can imagine, researchers are seeing that risk multiplies in dramatic
fashion as both number of toxins and overall toxic load increases.
The European governments are taking the lead on this issue, and basically
acknowledged the concern of scientists. 
Here is a blurb from one of the organizations that is monitoring this
"The Environment Council, composed of the environment ministers of all EU countries, has called for the European Commission to consider the cumulative (or "cocktail") effect of exposure to multiple chemicals when developing chemicals policy and risk management strategies.

In particular, the Environment Council highlighted exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals as a source of particular concern in the effort to protect public health and the environment. These conclusions reflect a growing scientific concern."
What Is The Endocrine System And Why Is It Important??
The endocrine system plays a key role in regulating mood, growth and development, tissue function, metabolism, as well as sexual function and reproductive processes.
There are tens of thousands of new chemicals that we are exposed to that
our bodies can't deal with. It is effecting our long term health, but it is also 
effects our current quality of life.
What we are focusing on at PEERtrainer right now is to bring some basic
awareness to this risk. And we are also focusing on making sure that people
know that there are steps you can take, in your everyday life, to help
mitigate this risk.
The work we are doing with JJ Virgin right now will help everyone take these
steps. What is great about JJ is that she approaches this issue in a really
easy, fun and non-scary way. She makes it easy to deal with.
This Thursday we will hosting a live call, in which she outlines the specific
steps your body can take to eliminate as much of this toxic junk as possible.
This is the start of a much bigger effort for us. The more we look at the research
and the broader discussion, the more compelled we feel to focus on this.
This is important, and we know how to make it fun and non-scary. I will be
hosting the call, and asking JJ the questions. The two of us have talked 
a ton about this with each other. Her information has changed my habits,
PS: PLEASE feel free to hit reply to this email and ask me any questions about
any of this.

Clean By Dr. Alejandro Junger: A Review Of An Important Book

"Clean" by Alejandro Junger, M.D. is an ambitious and important book. It might be the first published manual of a broad and rigorous cleanse or detox protocol.

Junger also runs The Clean Program, which is an online cleanse program that one can choose to do separately from the book.

Clean will present to you a new view of what could be possible for your body. It is a big vision. In the words of Dr. Junger himself "Clean requires a fairly radical reorientation toward food."

For those of you who have been around PEERtrainer and whose primary motivation has been to lose a lot of weight, you may already have undertaken a fairly big reorientation. Losing a lot of weight for good requires you do this.

Something like the Clean Program will help take things to a new level. It will also bring focus to some areas of health and your body that you have not thought of prior. This book will be especially important to anyone taking prescription medications

Dr. Junger goes over each common medication and then outlines the specific nutritional deficiency. Powerful stuff. The book is paperback, and available used on Amazon. You'll want to own a copy of this.



L-Glutamine: An Important Supplement For Stressed or Very Active People

L-Glutamine is an abundant and essential amino acid (which are the building blocks of protein.) What researchers and health experts have discovered over the years is that Glutamine levels in stressed, sick or very active people can easily drop.

When this happens your immune system and digestive system can suffer. Interestingly, people who take L-Glutamine in supplement form report a reduction in sugar cravings, carb cravings and alcohol cravings.

What The Researchers Are Saying About Glutamine:

1. "Glutamine supplementation has beneficial effects on morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients." (source)

2. "Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in human muscle and plasma and is utilised at high rates by rapidly dividing cells.... to provide energy and optimal conditions for nucleotide biosynthesis. As such, it is considered to be essential for proper immune function." (source)

3. "You can usually get enough glutamine without taking a supplement, because your body makes it and you get some in your diet. Certain medical conditions, including injuries, surgery, infections, and prolonged stress, can lower glutamine levels, however. In these cases, taking a glutamine supplement may be helpful. (source)

It also supports brain function. According to Jonny Bowden, PhD, in his book "The 150 Most Effective Ways To Boost Your Energy" states that "an amino acid, glutamine is a natural energy fuel for the brain, and a spoonful of the powder will do wonders for knocking your sugar cravings right out of the park."

L-Glutamine is widely available in most health food stores and supplement stores. It is relatively inexpensive and also available online. This is a link to the best selling L-Glutamine powder on Amazon. This is a link to the best selling L-Glutamine capsules on Amazon. (Both links are connected to PEERtrainer's Amazon account.) 

Related PEERtrainer Articles:

What Is The Right Way To Do A "Cleanse?"

A Doable Eating Plan By Dr. Janet Brill To Prevent And Reverse Heart Disease

This is an interview with the author of a new book that we at PEERtrainer feel that everyone should own. The list of books that we insist everyone have in their house is very short- and this book has joined that list.

The book is called "How To Prevent A Second Heart Attack: 8 Foods and 8 Weeks To Reverse Heart Disease" and is written by Janet Brill. While the book is written for people who have already suffered a heart attack (and lived), in our view the advice is something that literally everybody needs to take a look at.

The reason for this recommendation is that this book is easy to understand and hard to argue with.

Without getting into too much personal detail, a family member of ours recently suffered a moderate heart attack. To make a long story very short, we presented this book to this person not knowing what to expect. As we all know, discussions about food with people you know and love is a minefield, unfortunately.

To our real surprise, this person immediately became a raving fan of this book. In addition, the ideas presented in this book were immediately put into action. This caught our attention in a big way, because getting people to change their eating habits is often absurdly difficult.

It is true that after a heart attack, one is likely to be highly responsive to new ideas. However, when it comes to food, there is often a lot of confusion. Our family member raved about this book and said that it was very clear, easy to understand and well structured.

We were able to interview Dr. Janet Brill, and we structured our questions based on our own recent experience. But our observation is that literally anyone, at any age, can benefit from this book. Please buy a copy and keep it in your house. If there is ever any discussion about food that comes up, you'll have an opportunity to refer to the book. It literally could save someone's life.

Key Point: This book is easy to understand and hard to argue with.

Q: What is the role that genetics plays in heart disease- and how do you prevent people from using "genetics" as an excuse to keep eating the same foods and relying only on drugs to prevent a second heart attack?

A: We are all at risk for heart disease—far and away the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States. ALL of us (those individuals with diagnosed cardiovascular disease, those individuals with a strong family history of heart disease or healthy people who wish to stay that way) should be living the type of lifestyle outlined in my new book. Lifestyle trumps genes any day of the week!

Q: How can you convince people that dietary changes can have a meaningful impact on heart health? Odds are that someone who has had a heart attack (and lived) has been resistant on some level to the idea that diet can affect their heart health? Is the heart attack enough to convince them?

A: As a registered dietitian specializing in cardiovascular disease prevention, I have found that there is a great need among heart attack survivors that is not being met. These are the people who are the most receptive to making lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of a second heart attack. Having a brush with death bestows powerful motivation to do what it takes to live—and to hopefully prevent that second and potentially fatal cardiac event. If heart attack survivors truly want to live, I give them the best tools know to humankind to do just that.

What is the best way to convince people to make difficult dietary changes you ask? According to the most recent “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2011 Update: A Report from the American Heart Association, “Approximately 34% of the people who experience a coronary attack in a given year will die of it.” My father died from his second attack. A major cardiac event, whether it’s your first, second or sixth—is a life-threatening occurrence—therefore everyone diagnosed with the disease should do everything in their power to prevent another cardiac event from occurring.

I give heart attack survivors the best lifestyle strategy—based on mountains of scientific evidence—which combined with the best of modern medicine allows survivors to take action to stop the progression of their disease and even promote reversal and stabilization of dangerous vulnerable plaque. This approach, if followed, is the most advantageous approach for promoting a longer life among heart attack survivors. My Mediterranean-style diet and walking exercise plan have both been clinically shown to be excellent medicine for heart patients in terms of reducing progression and promoting regression of atherosclerosis—the root cause of heart disease.

Q: What are the foods that most contribute to heart disease? What "proof" exists that can be shown to people who are "hard to convince?"

A: On the first page of chapter three, I quote Hippocrates: “There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the later ignorance.” I then proceed to outline the myriad science behind dietary contributions to heart disease.

There is clearly a mountain of decades of sound scientific evidence supporting my stance on what foods contribute to plaque buildup and what foods soothe the delicate coronary arteries.

The Prevent a Second Heart Attack plan consists of removing the plaque-building foods (red meat, cream, butter, eggs, and cheese) that cause blood vessel damage and replacing them with delicious anti-inflammatory foods that facilitate the body's natural healing processes to reverse existing heart disease and restore quality of life.

To combat the confusion issue, the Prevent a Second Heart Attack Plan offers powerful lifesaving advice, translating the complex clinical findings into a simple, easy-to-follow set of guidelines, “The Eight Dietary Commandments”: (1) no more butter and cream, to be replaced by extra virgin olive oil; (2) no day without greens and other vegetables; (3) no day without figs or other fruit; (4 & 5) no meat (beef, lamb, pork), and replaced by fish and legumes; (6) no day without walnuts and flaxseeds; (7) no day without whole grains and cereals; (8) and moderate alcohol consumption, mainly in the form of red wine, recommended at dinner. (Plus a bonus food—deep, dark, sinfully rich chocolate!)

Q: Can the right diet actually help to keep the heart and the arteries free from the "junk" that starts to collect that would lead to a second heart attack? Can diet actually help to clear existing plaque?

A: That is the very question this book answers. A tremendous amount of scientific research has investigated the application of various diet and exercise plans in preventing further coronary events. I have found that the bulk of the scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports the notion that post–heart attack patients should be advised to eat a Mediterranean-style diet, be physically active at least thirty minutes a day, and not smoke. In fact, the famed Lyon Heart Study that tested a Cretan Mediterranean diet in cardiac patients reported a phenomenal reduction of recurrence rate of 70 percent compared to the control diet (a typical low-fat Western-style diet).

Thus, the bulk of the scientific research is crystal clear: a Mediterranean style of eating combined with physical activity is the optimal lifestyle plan for preventing a second heart attack and is far superior to the low-fat vegetarian diet regimens typically prescribed to heart patients in the fat-phobic ’90s (and that continue to line bookstore shelves today). I propose that a Mediterranean-style diet, as outlined in Prevent a Second Heart Attack and backed by powerful evidence, can be even more effective than the eating plans currently recommended by many cardiologists—simply because it tastes good and makes life more enjoyable. Following vegan-style plans can also reverse heart disease but only if adhered to—an extremely difficult chore for most Americans.

Bottom line: Heart attack survivors can prevent new plaque buildup and even reverse or stabilize dangerous, vulnerable plaque in their coronary arteries with a delightfully palatable lifestyle strategy where they can still enjoy the good things in life.

Q: If someone is successful in making big changes in their diet after a heart attack, how will this affect the myriad of medications that a heart patient is put on?

A: The latest research shows that post–heart attack patients should follow this general lifestyle advice to prevent “secondary” cardiac events: Eat a heart-healthy diet. Practice healthful stress management. Be physically active. Don’t smoke. Achieve a healthy weight. Take medications.

Hence it’s all about living the lifestyle IN COMBINATION with their physician-prescribed medications as the OPTIMAL approach to reversing the disease process. I quote from the final paragraph of my book:

“Know that these multiple lifestyle habits (eating the foods described in these pages and getting in your daily exercise), when practiced together with your prescription medication regimen, will provide you with the most powerful plan of action known to modern medicine to fight, halt, and reverse heart disease, making you, the “vulnerable patient,” clearly much less vulnerable, if not invincible.”


PLEASE get a copy of this book and keep it in your house. It is paperback, very cheap. The link below connects to PEERtrainer's Amazon account, so we will make a tiny amount of money, but more importantly we will know how many copies are purchased by the PEERtrainer community.

We are going to track this, and also track the success that people have getting others to digest the ideas presented in the book. Most of the "PT Lifers" are already well down a path towards nutritional excellence. We make sure that you know the ideas of Dr. Fuhrman.

This book is for everyone else, and those who are just starting down the path of making eating changes. It will help others change their behavior.

Here is the link. Even if you don't use it for a couple years, when the time comes you will have it.



"If I Cut Down on Dairy, How Am I Going To Get My Calcium Requirement?"

We are often asked why is it a good idea to cut down on dairy. This is a segment from an interview series we did with Dr. Joel Fuhrman where he presents his view on the subject of dairy and calcium:


Jackie Wicks: A popular question we get in the PEERtrainer community over and over.: "If I don't eat dairy, how am I going to get my calcium requirement. My family has a history of osteoporosis." That's been something that we've heard a lot. Would you comment on that one as well?

Dr. Joel Fuhrman: Sure. I've been working this whole last year on a video called "Osteoporosis Protection for Life". It's going to be available in about a week now, because we've been waiting forever to have it finished. That's a video with a booklet inside that gives people the best exercise, and I demonstrate the exercise and do a whole exercise class. I'm showing the strength exercises and the high impact exercises that protect against hip fracturing in osteoporosis.

And yes, what I'm saying here is that there are nutritional contributions to osteoporosis and not just the lack of exercise. And certainly, we have an epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency in this country, and Vitamin D is the "sunshine vitamin". And if you're not getting adequate sun, and if you're concerned about getting to much sun and getting skin cancer, or wrinkling of the skin, we have to realize that women especially should get blood tests and take enough Vitamin D to strive to get their blood level between 35 and 50. They want to get at least above 35, or they're going to develop weak bones when they get older. And also, they're going to increase the risk of cancer.

What's been drummed in their head is this myth that dairy products are the best source of calcium, - the only source of calcium - and that calcium deficiency is the main cause of osteoporosis. And that's just nonsense. The studies on dairy products and osteoporosis basically show that the more dairy consumed, the higher the hip fracture rates, and the higher the wrist fracture rates.

And calcium is present in oranges, and vegetables, and beans, and nuts and seeds. Just because dairy superficially looks like it's high in calcium, and because Americans are eating a processed food and meat-based diet; and meat has no calcium because we don't eat the bones associated with it; and processed grains don't have any calcium - so in that context, it looks like dairy is the only source of calcium.

But once we start eating lots of vegetables, and lot of fruits, and beans and nuts, then we're already on a high-calcium, or an adequate calcium diet. And so, calcium is not the minimal factor here that's making us lose our bones. It's Vitamin D; it's the sun. And the other issue is excess animal protein, excess salt, excess caffeine, excess sugar causes us to lose bone mass and leech out calcium.

So when you eat as much animal products as Americans eat, it causes more wasting away of their bones, because it acidifies the blood, and the body has to pour out more calcium in the urine to balance the basic minerals. And they have to take more calcium out of the bones, and lose a lot of the calcium it takes out, to balance the high acidity from all the excess animal protein you're consuming.

So the answer to that question is we have to protect against osteoporosis. We have to exercise. We have to take Vitamin D supplements. We can take a little bit of calcium, but most people take too much. Dairy is not going to be the thing that protects you. That's a myth.

On the other hand, the scientific studies show that a diet high in vegetables is more powerfully protective from all the micro-nutrients that accompany the calcium in vegetables. We get phosphorus. We get Vitamin K. We get resveratrol. We get phenols. We get antioxidants. In other words, just calcium alone is not enough.

So this again is just brainwashing by the power of the National Meat and Live Stock Board and dairy industry to make these women think they need to drink milk and that's going to help their bones. In reality, we have an epidemic of osteoporosis with more than 10,000 people breaking bones each year. I'm sorry. Not 10,000, more than 10 million people breaking their bones and having hip fractures which is a very serious problem in America today."

(End of interview segment)

Interested related read:

  How To Diversify Your Sources Of Calcium

Green Vegetables High In Calcium:

1 Cup of Cooked Spinach has 244 mg of Calcium representing 25% of the daily recommended dose.


Why Fiber Consumption Causes Flatulence...And Why You Need To "Fart or Be Fat!"

By Wendy Solganik

When I started a blog a year ago about my weight loss a few friends of mine who I haven't seen or talked to since long before high school graduation got wind (no pun intended) of what I was doing. They were very supportive, interested and inspired by how I had lost weight. So they too started to incorporate a lot more vegetables, fruits and beans into their diets (a la Eat to Live, Volumetrics, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, The PEERtrainer Cheat System and The Engine 2 Diet . . . talk about a fusion!).

Immediately, reports of digestive changes started to roll in. Let's just say their systems started to work a lot better. They weren't used to that with the Standard American Diet. But I wasn't sure if they were comfortable with the changes in their body brought about by their increase in fiber.

The amount of dietary fiber in the average North American diet is really very low. It ranges from about 9-18 grams of dietary fiber per day. This diet is however, very high in fat and processed foods that have been depleted of much of their original fiber and nutrients. As a result, we consume about 80% less of the fiber our ancestors consumed just 100 years ago. Current recommendations from the United States National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine suggest that adults should consume 20–35 grams of dietary fiber per day. But I would hardly consider those recommendations a "high-fiber diet."

The benefits of a high fiber diet are so well known that they hardly bear repeating here. But just in case you are not on the up and up about fiber, just do a Google search for "benefits of a high fiber diet" and read until your eyes glaze over! Fiber is amazing.

A few weeks ago I posted this YouTube video of Dr. Lustig about the science of sugar.

It made me think long and hard about my sugar habit. One of the most fascinating things that came out of Dr. Lustig's mouth was the following comment, which I memorized (it wasn't too hard) and can frequently be heard repeating:

"Fart or be fat."

Immediately, I thought of my old friends and how they had reacted to their change to a high fiber diet. They kind of acted like flatulence and bowel movements were weird. And even I thought flatulence was bad, a signal that you've overdone something or that a certain food doesn't agree with you. That same Google search on "benefits of a high fiber diet" will also yield you endless results on how to tame the gassy monster. So gas must be a bad thing, right?

Well, not so fast. What if what Dr. Lustig said was true, and what does "fart or be fat" really mean? What if it means "if you are not farting, you are not eating enough fiber" (you can quote ME on that!)? Maybe that's the angle we should be looking at this from.

What Is Dietary Fiber?

"Dietary fiber is found in the structural components of plants and cannot be digested by humans. Because it passes through the body undigested, it is not used for energy, but plays an important role in digestion and disease prevention," explains Lanah J. Brennan, RD, a dietitian in Lafayette, La.

Dietary fiber is divided into two categories, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Most foods that contain fiber have a mixture of the two types. "When mixed with liquid, soluble fiber forms a gel,” says Brennan. “In your digestive tract, this gel helps to keep you feeling full and slows down digestion. Insoluble fiber does not form a gel. Instead, it passes through the intestinal tract intact, keeping things in motion."

Soluble fiber comes mainly from the insides of fruits and vegetables. Insoluble fiber comes from the skins of fruits and vegetables, and from whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

Why does fiber consumption cause flatulence?

Your body does not digest and absorb fiber in the small intestine because of a shortage or absence of certain enzymes there. So this undigested food then passes from the small intestine into the large intestine, where normal, harmless bacteria break down the food, producing hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and, in about a third of all people, methane. Eventually these gases exit through the rectum.

Everyone has intestinal gas and that is a good thing. The normal amount of flatus passed each day depends on whether you are male or female (men fart more) and what is eaten. Foods that can cause flatulence (gas) in some people may not produce flatulence in others. It all depends on the amount and type of bacteria each person has in the large intestine.

How does this all affect weight loss?

Fiber alone contains no calories, and it provides the bulk to your diet that gives you the satisfaction of chewing. Fiber gives us the feeling of a full stomach sooner and stays in our stomach longer than other substances we eat, slowing down our rate of digestion and keeping us feeling full longer. Foods with fiber are satisfying so you don't feel hungry between meals. Click here to see the fiber content of a large variety of foods.  

Be sure to drink plenty of fluids when adding fiber to your diet. While fiber is normally helpful to your digestive system, without adequate fluids it can cause constipation instead of helping to eliminate it.

What's the moral of the story?

Don't fear the fiber! And if it does cause flatulence, embrace it. Like Martha Stewart says, "It's a good thing!"

Wendy Solganik writes the blog "Healthy Girl's Kitchen" where she provides healthy recipe ideas that are plant strong!