Why a High Fiber Diet May Not Cure Irregularity!
A high fiber diet is touted by the medical community as a solve-all for irregularity. However, too much of a good thing can have disastrous consequences for the bowels for far too many people. In a few instances, more fiber can cure occasional constipation. However, for the rest of us, it can have an opposite effect.
One reason that folks have a hard time with fiber (pun intended), is that products like Metamucil and psyllium husk must be taken with ample amounts of water. IF you do not drink enough, the bowels will become sluggish and blocked.
Modern day Western medicine and the mainstream media seem intent on pushing high fiber consumption! Constipated? You obviously aren’t getting enough fiber in your diet. We’ve all heard it!
"Eat more fiber" and "eat more whole grains"! Till death us do part!
But is all that fiber really doing us any favors? I’m not convinced! ... but today’s marketplace has a solution! Miralax, Metamucil, and Benefiber have your number!
So you faithfully shove them down your throat and wait for miraculous results! The sad part is that most of us don’t get good results from said products. Instead, all you get is bloating and discomfort as bowel movements elude you!
So for those of you who are tired of shoving copious amounts of fiber down your throat, here’s some food for thought about consuming a high fiber diet.
Why a High Fiber Diet May Not Cure Irregularity!
Whole grains do nothing good for constipation! I learned this when I switched from a whole grain bread to regular white bread. Neither one improved digestion or elimination but I had fewer symptoms (gas and bloating) with white bread.
Whole grains can increase inflammation and block the absorption of vital nutrients. Furthermore, muscle-stimulating laxatives are addicting and cause the bowels to become weak and lazy.
Consuming a high fiber diet throws off gut flora and can have devastating results in the digestive tract. Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride in The Gut and Psychology Syndrome, states that:
"A diet high in fiber from grains (brans and breakfast cereals in particular) has a profound negative effect on the gut flora, gut health and general body metabolism, predisposing the person to IBS, bowel cancer, nutritional deficiencies, and many other problems. Fruit and vegetables provide a much better quality fiber that is not as harsh on the digestive system".
Did you know that more than ninety percent of Americans suffer from low stomach acid? It seems impossible with the rampant amounts of people suffering from heartburn but it's true!
Your gut is supposed to be an acid environment. When acids are low, food is incompletely digested and that leads to bloating, gas, and heartburn.
Grain fiber contains large amounts of phytic acids, which lock onto beneficial minerals like zinc, iron, and calcium. Eastern cultures ferment their foods or soak their grains to reduce the phytic acid content, which leads to mineral bioavailability. Modern grains are not properly prepared and thereby contain large amounts of phytic acid.
When stomach acids are sufficient for proper digestion, acids break down phytic acid, making minerals available to the rest of the body. When stomach acid is low, phytic acid takes over and minerals are lost. When whole grains are limited, stomach acids increase and digestion is improved.
High fiber cereals, bars, and other refined foods line the shelves of grocery stores. You buy them and eat them thinking they’re going to help you! Then they don’t and you’re left wondering what the heck?
Rats fed a diet of vitamins, water, and puffed wheat died within the first two weeks. The autopsy revealed dysfunction of the pancreas, liver, and kidneys. However, your doctor isn’t going to tell you this!
As Sally Fallon explains:
"Results like these suggested that there was something actually very toxic in the puffed wheat itself! Proteins are very similar to certain toxins in molecular structure, and the pressure of the puffing process may produce chemical changes, which turn a nutritious grain into a poisonous substance".
The results speak for themselves! Highly processed foods and products that are [supposedly] nutritious and beneficial are often times not! This is why it’s advantageous to look before you leap and rethink reaching for high fiber bars to do the work for you. When it comes to fiber, think quality instead of quantity!
Although a high fiber diet is often touted as being a great way to stay regular, that's a load of malarkey. Turns out the early high fiber studies done were done on young, healthy individuals that already had regular bowel movements. Current studies reflect that consuming a high fiber diet can actually exacerbate constipation.
The role of fiber in treating chronic constipation has also been overly amplified. A low fiber diet has NOT been proven to cause constipation and the success of fiber as treatment is thereby modest. The study review conducted by Voderholzer et al showed that only twenty percent of patients suffering from irregularity benefited from a high fiber diet. Further studies suggest that while some patients may benefit from more fiber, some people experience more intestinal symptoms when increasing their fiber intake.
The notion that humans require 25 – 30 grams of fiber daily is untrue. For thousands of years, human beings have survived and thrived with very little fiber in their diet at all.
Weston A. Price, a 19th century nutrition pioneer, traveled the globe to discover the diets of successful cultures. the Masai tribe in particular thrived on virtually no fiber at all. Their main diet consisted of the meat, milk, and blood from their cattle. They grew exceptionally tall with well-developed bone structure and perfect teeth.
Another native tribe, the Inuits, also grew strong and healthy on an animal-based diet of fish, fish eggs, seal oil, and caribou; supplemented with plant products like kelp, berries and nuts.
Fiber myths run rampant among medical doctors. In his book "The Fiber Menace" Konstantin Monastyrsky points out that:
- Fiber produces more gas, bloating, and abdominal pain because of the fermentation of gut bacteria.
- Fiber can have dangerous consequences including constipation, hemorrhoids, and fissures. It also contributes to the development of disorders such as colitis and crohns.
Further, studies point to the idea that a high fiber diet may increase the risk of developing both diabetes and heart disease. A high fiber diet that is also abundant in grains, can cause inflammation of the gut and wreak havoc on blood sugar levels.
Soluble fiber is NOT the bad guy here. It's found in fruits and vegetables is extremely gentle on the digestive tract. Small amounts act as food for both friendly and unfriendly gut bacteria. This kind of bacteria is called a prebiotic.
On the other hand, insoluble fiber is Dennis the Menace. It is found in fiber-fortified foods, fiber supplements, and whole grain items, cereals, breads, rice, and pastas. Modern grains in general cause problems along the digestive tract and should be strictly limited or avoided altogether.
Like so many folks, i used to think that consuming a high fiber diet was good advice! However, not anymore! In fact, when I limit fiber and increased fat, my intestinal symptoms pretty much disappeared.
Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.
Related Pages on This Site
Eat Fiber Rich Foods to Lose Weight
Avoid Digestive Problems by Eating Right!
Constipation Relief from the Kitchen
Natural Constipation Remedies and Tips
Which High Fiber Foods are Best For Elimination?
Death by Fiber: Why a High Fiber Diet is Killing You (And Why a LOW Fiber Diet Will Cure Constipation & IBS)
Why High Fibre Isn't The Answer to Gut Problems
Are You Fiber Obsessed?
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