High Fiber = High Death Rate

A quick survey in a workplace or classroom will produce a convincing majority that says we need fiber. We naturally associate fiber with increasing the speed of digestion and elimination. Generally, one thinks that the longer food is in our gut (because of a lack of fiber to speed the process), the longer toxins and bacteria have to be absorbed, and cause damage.

The picture you’re likely envisioning becomes increasingly prominent when the food sitting there is meat. Not only is animal protein digested slower to begin with, but when we think of harmful bacteria and toxins, we generally think of decaying meat. Add the processed, factory-farmed, GMO crop fed, antibiotic pumped meat we (wrongfully) assume is all that’s available, and you get a pretty accurate picture of what a lack of fiber can do…supposedly.

You’ve already learned that Not All Meat Is Created Equal, so the negative vision can be partially eliminated, but there’s still a disconnect in understanding why more fiber and faster transit time isn’t always better. As I outlined in The Fiber Fallacy and Highly Funded High Fiber Fiction, eating more fiber is not associated with a decreased risk of colon cancer and heart disease, and the original evidence making this claim was severely flawed. In fact, when you look at lifespan, eating more fiber actually points to a negative impact:


In the DART study from 1989 study one group ate 2 times the fiber of a control group, and ended up with a 23% greater risk of heart attack, and a 27% increased risk of dying.

This study is especially useful, because it tests fiber intake over a considerable time period.  It’s understandable that we see a positive impact from adding fiber to someone’s diet in the short-term, as there’s a high likelihood that they’ll decrease their food intake and absorb less of the toxic crap they’re eating because of a faster transit time.

Relying on the over-consumption of insoluble fiber supplements and indigestible whole grains (like Bran) may provide favorable health benefits in short-term research studies, but over time this is not a solution for improving health biomarkers and increasing longevity, as it causes inflammation and digestive distress and compromises nutrient absorption.

Fiber is a short-term solution that creates long-term problems.

Instead of attempting to speed up digestion and elimination, we should be focusing on selecting foods that feed and support our gastrointestinal system.

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike


The Fiber Fallacy

Highly Funded High Fiber Fiction

Chronic Grain Consumption = Chronic Gut Inflammation