Fiber Fueled 

Dr Will Bulsiewicz

2020 365pp

 Eat a diversity of plants.

⭐️ Interesting, readable, friendly, (a little geeky) take on everything gut health

🤷‍♂️ Recipes not low fat WFPB

📖 If gut issues or questions

Dr Will Bulsiewicz is a gastroenterologist in South Carolina. Fiber Fuelled is his New York Times-bestselling first book. The first two thirds build Will’s case for a diet incorporating a diversity of plants. The final part introduces us to his plan for putting this into action, including a ‘Fiber Fueled 4 Weeks’ kickstart, complete with recipes including ‘Plant Points’ ratings.

My first impressions of the book were great. This is hands down one of the more interesting and readable books on plant-based nutrition recently. Despite Bulsiewicz’s strong background in academic writing his book has a friendly tone and he comes across much as I suspect he does in person: intelligent, earnest, and helpful, albeit a little geeky (the book is peppered with pop culture references, slang, and ‘Dad joke’ humour that may not always hit the mark). 

Although brief, the first part provides a wonderful summary of Will’s knowledge and experience from a clearly well-read and evidence-based perspective. If you don’t already know, like, and trust ‘Dr B.’, you will by the end of these 200 pages. There is valuable information and advice to be found here even for those familiar with the topic. Will gives his take on all gut health topics du jour including gluten, fermented foods, those allegedly evil lectins, and naturally prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics have their own chapter.

Unfortunately the recipes (developed by Alexandra Caspero of Plant-Based Juniors fame) while certainly plant-diverse and appetising require substantial time commitment. They often include exotic (read: scarce and pricey) ingredients that I suspect we’d be lucky to find anywhere outside of a well-stocked US Whole Foods Market. While the recipes are plant-based, almost all include high fat plant foods in addition to olive oil. There is seemingly no attempt to keep the fat content in check (‘full-fat coconut cream’ makes an appearance in one recipe). 

The message of Dr Bulsiewicz’s book is very simple: eat a diversity of plants. Those who have gut issues and questions are most likely to find Will’s advice and principles useful. Those who don’t and are already plant-based are less likely to find this a ‘must-read’. It is unfortunate that the recipes are not consistent with a low fat WFPB eating pattern and require a lot of commitment. So if you’re looking specifically for a program to improve your gut health I’d recommend looking elsewhere (for example Dr Alan Desmond and Rosie Martin’s ‘Gut Health Revolution’ collaboration with The Happy Pear).

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