Highly Funded High Fiber Fiction

Aside from the holes in the original fiber research from Dr. Denis Burkitt (or as I to call it – The Fiber Fallacy) there’s ample evidence showing no association between fiber intake and a decreased risk of colon cancer and heart disease. For instance, a 1999 paper in the New England Journal of Medicine analyzed data on 89,000 U.S. Nurses, and ultimately concluded:

“Our data do not support the existence of an important protective effect of dietary fiber against colorectal cancer or adenoma.”

Although companies marketing high-fiber whole-grains products will try to tell you otherwise, this lack of association is also prevalent with heart disease. Any reduced risk is attributed to a slight reduction in cholesterol; and as you’ve already discovered this isn’t an advantage, and doesn’t predict heart disease. Unfortunately, a large part of this reduction in total cholesterol is the result of a decrease in HDL cholesterol from an inadequate intake of saturated fat (again NOT a benefit).

Take a look at this statement from a popular 2011 research paper in the British Medical Journal, that’s often cited by those promoting whole-grains:

“Higher intakes of dietary fibre and whole grain also protect against weight gain and type 2 diabetes, and it is possible that part of the potential effect of fibre intake is mediated through improved weight control and reduced insulin resistance, although these may not be the main mechanisms.”

Unfortunately, consumer products containing whole grains run with these questionable findings and continue to mislead the general public by putting ‘lowers cholesterol and heart disease’ statements on their products. In fact, as of 2008, if cereal, breads, crackers and other grain-based products had 51% whole grain ingredients, they were allowed to put the following on their packaging

“Diets rich in whole-grain foods and other plant foods and low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.”

How’s that for false advertising?

What it should say is:

“Difficult to digest and contributes to daily carbohydrate (sugar) intake, which is associated with increased body fat, and triglycerides, raising ones risk of insulin resistance, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and autoimmune disease.”

Research has made it quite clear that obesity and a damaged gut are much bigger risk factors for colon cancer and heart disease than a low-fiber diet.  Unfortunately, we believe the information we hear most often, and this is controlled by the companies that sell grains.

As author James Twitchell puts it:

“Ads are what we know about the world around us.”

They not only dominate what we hear in commercials and advertisements, but they fund their own misleading research and donate to the governments that create the ‘supposedly unbiased’ guidelines.

6-11 servings of whole grains per day!?

Is it any wonder we have the highest obesity and diabetes rates of all time?

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike