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Is fiber dangerous for us? Does it cause cancer?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 07, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Have you ever read "FIBER MENACE" by Konstantin Monastirsky? I haven't but in a few words he says that every type of fiber is bad for us and causes constipation, ibs and cancer. He recommends eating VERY SMALL amounts of fiber (only from vegetables) during our meals. Can someone explain this point to me? Paleo is based on vegetables.. So what's the truth!! Veggies: yes or no?

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on March 08, 2013
at 09:19 PM

no i mean soluble fiber. i should have said higher. that's why it digests to easily. the carb content is super high though so he stresses that low fiber doesn't have to be low carb. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5712/2

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 08, 2013
at 02:59 AM

Meat, fat, rice and the sorts of vegetables that are low in soluble fiber.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on March 08, 2013
at 01:10 AM

So then are your meals just meat and fat? I'm really curious. I feel like that wouldn't be satisfying, and kinda monotonous...

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 07, 2013
at 09:22 PM

FWIW, a cup of white rice has a tiny amount of soluble fiber. Maybe he meant resistant starch?

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on March 07, 2013
at 07:50 PM

I don't know if it dangerous, especially when it is found in whole foods, but I don't think it is all that great for us either. Peat's raw carrot seems to calm the intestines, but I don't see much use for it otherwise. We usually get enough to feed the beasties in our guts with natural diet.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 07, 2013
at 07:03 PM

*If fiber is lowering one's cholesterol, it's also throwing a wrench into your endocrine system.* This.

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4 Answers

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Medium avatar

on March 07, 2013
at 06:52 PM

I have actually heard of this guy. There are a few problems with it. Firstly, during our evolution, fiber was largely unavoidable except for those few groups on the very margins of inhabitable land. I've mentioned it before, but Marlowe describes the fiber intake of the Hadza as being much closer to that of chimps than to western humans. Given that the majority of hominin evolution occurred where they are now and involved the exploitation of close forms of many of those species, it stands to reason that their specific environment shaped us to a large extent. We also obviously have a mutualistic relationship with intestinal microflora and can thus extract SCFAs and other things from it.

That all being said, I think the consumption of mixed meals containing a lot of fiber is probably a mistake. The cholesterol-lowering effect of soluble fiber is the result of it interfering with the enterohepatic recirculation of biliary cholesterol and hormones. This is not a good thing. If fiber is lowering one's cholesterol, it's also throwing a wrench into your endocrine system. Overlap between fat and fiber obviously occurs in wild humans, but it isn't every single meal like it is with most modern humans. Simply eating fibrous foods like fruit without fat between meat meals addresses this.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on March 08, 2013
at 01:10 AM

So then are your meals just meat and fat? I'm really curious. I feel like that wouldn't be satisfying, and kinda monotonous...

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 07, 2013
at 07:03 PM

*If fiber is lowering one's cholesterol, it's also throwing a wrench into your endocrine system.* This.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 08, 2013
at 02:59 AM

Meat, fat, rice and the sorts of vegetables that are low in soluble fiber.

3
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 07, 2013
at 06:40 PM

I have not read the book. I read the summary, and the summary at least seems sane (to paraphrase): "fiber is promised by most doctors and the media to cure everything, but that's just not true."

You won't get any arguments about that statement alone from many people here.

I would not recommend focussing on eating more or less fiber. I would stick to wholesome, real foods (yes, including vegetables), and whatever fiber you get from those real foods, you get. It's that simple.

For the record, there are three many types of fiber:

  1. Insoluble fiber - "roughage", from veggies like leafy green especially
  2. Soluble fiber - especially from some fruits and berries (straberries for e.g.), and ground veggies and tubers (e.g. carrots, squash)
  3. Resistant starch - a starch that is literally resistant to digestion that is formed from being cooked, then cooled; some things contain some naturally, but most amounts are from cooking foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, taro, cassava, etc.

I mention the above, as people with issues like IBS need to be careful, as they likely will have worse symptoms with high levels of specific fiber types. I handle resistant starch and soluble fiber much better than insoluble, for e.g.

So, to summarize: don't worry about fiber. Eat real food, and you will get the appropriate amount of fiber that you may need naturally.

0
576dc803ed0dfa3616509e20f515d070

on July 03, 2013
at 06:15 PM

Interesting.

But regarding the constipation, doesn't fiber cause the opposite for many? i know it does myself.

Due to my lack of success on paleo and excessive gas from veggies /some fruit [paleo without fruit and veg to me isn't paleo - unless you have Inuit heritage maybe] i find myself asking similar things. Depends also if gas production is a bad thing, in terms of our physical health anyway, i guess.

Also i see someone mentions raw carrots. I am intrigued by Peatarianism but things like that kind of puts me off as raw carrots far from "calm" my guts - if anything they do the opposite and turn me into a gas factory.

0
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on March 07, 2013
at 08:36 PM

i read the book and gained a lot from it but i will say a lot of it is repetitive. before i was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, i was following a fruitarian diet and eating upwards of 60 grams of fiber a day. i've found the effects of this are really hard to reverse, but i am healing. the author is not paleo so don't confuse this with a paleo diet book- he just eats a regular diet but low in fiber. he says his main source of carbs/fiber is white rice because it has a high amount of soluble fiber.

for digestive disorders, he says limiting fiber is a must, especially insoluble fiber because it comes to the colon still intact.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on March 08, 2013
at 09:19 PM

no i mean soluble fiber. i should have said higher. that's why it digests to easily. the carb content is super high though so he stresses that low fiber doesn't have to be low carb. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5712/2

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 07, 2013
at 09:22 PM

FWIW, a cup of white rice has a tiny amount of soluble fiber. Maybe he meant resistant starch?

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