Do you need fiber?

Do you need fiber?

Do you need fiber?

While checking out with 30lbs of beef at the grocery store, I realized the lack of fiber in my grocery cart.

But really… “is it necessary or is it even good?”

We think fiber is this natural pipe cleaner – it cleans my intestinal pipes as well as my artery pipes – preventing colon cancer and heart attacks. Right?

Not exactly. (r, r)

And not only is fiber not protective of disease, there is evidence that it can be harmful.

As this study shows, patients suffering from constipation experience improvements in their symptoms when they completely removed fiber from their diets.

We see that as fiber consumption goes up, so does the incidence of diverticular disease. There was a study where a couple thousand people underwent colonoscopies to find that the more fiber they ate and the more bowel movement they had, the higher the likelihood of colon disease. (r)

In fact, many gut restoration protocols used in functional medicine completely remove fiber.

A high fiber diet can even exacerbate an autoimmune condition like rheumatoid arthritis and lower testosterone in men. (r, r, r)

So why do we think it’s necessary to keep fiber in our diets?

Soluble and Insoluble Fiber

So there are 2 types of fiber and conventional wisdom tells us that soluble fiber is good for us because it slows digestion down and insoluble fiber is good because it speeds things up.

Interesting, right?

With insoluble fiber, think bark. It doesn’t dissolve in water. It’s abrasive to our intestines. And it’s basically totally incompatible with our GI tract. Even bacteria who love feasting on fiber don’t handle insoluble fiber easily.

With soluble fiber, think gel. It absorbs water like a sponge and moves slowly through the intestines.

And bacteria love this stuff.

Who really eats it?

We can’t digest these carbohydrates but the bacteria in our large intestine can.

Bacteria ferment fiber creating gases like carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and the fan-favorite methane. We release these gases as farts or they get trapped causing cramping and bloating.

I could be going out on a limb here – but should good digestion hurt?

Fiber Fallacy

Ok so where did the “Fiber = Health” myth come from?

In the late 1800s thanks to the industrial revolution and milling technology, we started stripping the bran and wheat germ away from the grain. Hence we created ultra-fine, fiber free grains – the most refined flours in human history.

This new modern diet consisted of highly-refined flours that were lower in fiber than traditional diets. And people began to notice that in areas that had not yet “upgraded” to a modern diet had a lower incidence of modern diseases.

People assumed the loss of fiber from the diet was the difference maker. We ignored the fact that by concentrating these grains we created mega-dose poisons.


The countless studies on fiber consistently show that adding fiber back in to our modern diet doesn’t restore health.

In this study of various studies – meta right – which is why it’s called a meta analysis, shows the utter lack of evidence that fiber protects us from colon cancer or bowel problems or disease.

Fiber Facts

At its best fiber is a bandaid to a bad diet that can reduce blood sugar spikes, and making us feel bloated so we don’t eat more of our modern man-made poisons.

In my opinion, the BIGGEST BENEFIT of fiber is that it helps reduce the harm caused by the plant-based foods that contain it.

So it’s good for a bad diet, but unnecessary and even harmful on a diet we are designed to eat.

If you’d like to learn more about what to look out for when doing a meat-based diet, I’d highly recommend watching the Meat Health Masterclass:

One Reply to “Do you need fiber?”

  1. Fiber also binds to the essential minerals and vitamins contained in the plants, making deficiencies even worse over time. It’s just tragic. Which is worse, soluble or insoluble?

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