Is the Fiber Theory Wrong?

Is the Fiber Theory Wrong?
4.6 (92%) 5 votes

The extraordinarily low rates of chronic disease among plant-based populations have been attributed to fiber, but reductionist thinking may lead us astray.

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Fiber-containing foods may not only help prevent heart disease, but help treat it as well. Heart patients who increase their intake of fiber after their first heart attack reduce their risk of a second and live longer than those that don't. But what if we really don’t want to have a heart attack in the first place? If seven grams of fiber gets us a 9% reduced risk, would 77 grams a day drop our risk 99%? Well, that’s about what they used to eat in Uganda, a country in which coronary heart disease, our #1 killer, was almost non-existent.

Heart disease was so rare among those eating these traditional plant-based diets, there were papers published like this: “A case of coronary heart disease in an African.” After 26 years of medical practice, they finally recorded their first case of coronary heart disease in a judge consuming a partially Westernized diet, having fiber-free foods like meat, dairy, and eggs displace some of the plant foods in his diet.

Were there so few cases because Africans just didn’t live very long? No, the overall life expectancy was low because of diseases of childhood, like infections, but when they reached middle age, they had the best survival, thanks in part to our number one killer being virtually absent. Of course, now, diets have Westernized across the continent, and it gets to now be their #1 killer as well. From virtually non-existent to an epidemic.

Some blame this change on too much animal fat; others blame it on too little fiber, but they both point to the same solution, a diet centered around unrefined plant foods. In fact, sometimes, it’s easier to convince patients to improve their diets by eating more of the good foods to kind of crowd out some of the less healthy options.

The ‘dietary fiber hypothesis,’ first proposed in the 70’s, zeroed in on fiber as the dietary component that was so protective against chronic disease. And since then, evidence has certainly accumulated that those who eat lots of fiber appear protected from several chronic conditions, but maybe fiber is just a marker for the consumption of foods as grown, whole unprocessed plant foods, the only major source of fiber. So, maybe all these studies showing fiber is good are really just showing that eating lots of unrefined plant foods is good.

Fiber is but one component of plant foods, and to neglect the other components—like all the phytonutrients—is to seriously limit our understanding.

Why did Drs. Burkitt, Trowell, Painter, and Walker—the fathers of the fiber theory—place all their bets on fiber? One possible explanation for this is that they were doctors, and we doctors like to think in terms of magic bullets. That’s how we’re trained—there’s one pill, one operation. They were clinicians, not nutritionists, and so they developed a reductionist approach. The problem with that approach is that if we reach the wrong conclusion, we may come up with the wrong solution. Burkitt saw disease rates skyrocket after populations went from eating whole plant foods to refined plant and animal foods, but instead of telling people that we should go back to eating whole plant foods, he was so convinced fiber was the magic component, his top recommendation was to eat whole grain bread—but they never used to eat any kind of bread in Uganda— and sprinkling some spoonfuls of wheat bran on your food.

But studies to this day associating high fiber intake with lower risk of disease and death relate only to fiber from food intake rather than from fiber isolates or extracts. It is not at all clear whether fiber consumed as a supplement is beneficial.

In retrospect, maybe it was a mistake to isolate fiber from the overall field of plant food nutrition. The evidence supporting the value of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as opposed to only fiber, has proved to be much more consistent. Whole plant foods are of fundamental importance in our diet. Fiber is just one of the beneficial components of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and beans. Much of the effort on defining fiber and studying the fiber isolate would have been better applied to a whole-plant-food approach.

What would have happened if Burkitt and others had instead emphasized the value of plant foods? The value of eating unrefined plant food, which incorporates fiber and phytonutrients, might have been the focus of attention rather than just isolated fiber, which led to people shopping in this aisle for their fiber, instead of this aisle.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Images thanks to Eric Allix Rogers and rick via Flickr, and Elizabeth Magner.

Fiber-containing foods may not only help prevent heart disease, but help treat it as well. Heart patients who increase their intake of fiber after their first heart attack reduce their risk of a second and live longer than those that don't. But what if we really don’t want to have a heart attack in the first place? If seven grams of fiber gets us a 9% reduced risk, would 77 grams a day drop our risk 99%? Well, that’s about what they used to eat in Uganda, a country in which coronary heart disease, our #1 killer, was almost non-existent.

Heart disease was so rare among those eating these traditional plant-based diets, there were papers published like this: “A case of coronary heart disease in an African.” After 26 years of medical practice, they finally recorded their first case of coronary heart disease in a judge consuming a partially Westernized diet, having fiber-free foods like meat, dairy, and eggs displace some of the plant foods in his diet.

Were there so few cases because Africans just didn’t live very long? No, the overall life expectancy was low because of diseases of childhood, like infections, but when they reached middle age, they had the best survival, thanks in part to our number one killer being virtually absent. Of course, now, diets have Westernized across the continent, and it gets to now be their #1 killer as well. From virtually non-existent to an epidemic.

Some blame this change on too much animal fat; others blame it on too little fiber, but they both point to the same solution, a diet centered around unrefined plant foods. In fact, sometimes, it’s easier to convince patients to improve their diets by eating more of the good foods to kind of crowd out some of the less healthy options.

The ‘dietary fiber hypothesis,’ first proposed in the 70’s, zeroed in on fiber as the dietary component that was so protective against chronic disease. And since then, evidence has certainly accumulated that those who eat lots of fiber appear protected from several chronic conditions, but maybe fiber is just a marker for the consumption of foods as grown, whole unprocessed plant foods, the only major source of fiber. So, maybe all these studies showing fiber is good are really just showing that eating lots of unrefined plant foods is good.

Fiber is but one component of plant foods, and to neglect the other components—like all the phytonutrients—is to seriously limit our understanding.

Why did Drs. Burkitt, Trowell, Painter, and Walker—the fathers of the fiber theory—place all their bets on fiber? One possible explanation for this is that they were doctors, and we doctors like to think in terms of magic bullets. That’s how we’re trained—there’s one pill, one operation. They were clinicians, not nutritionists, and so they developed a reductionist approach. The problem with that approach is that if we reach the wrong conclusion, we may come up with the wrong solution. Burkitt saw disease rates skyrocket after populations went from eating whole plant foods to refined plant and animal foods, but instead of telling people that we should go back to eating whole plant foods, he was so convinced fiber was the magic component, his top recommendation was to eat whole grain bread—but they never used to eat any kind of bread in Uganda— and sprinkling some spoonfuls of wheat bran on your food.

But studies to this day associating high fiber intake with lower risk of disease and death relate only to fiber from food intake rather than from fiber isolates or extracts. It is not at all clear whether fiber consumed as a supplement is beneficial.

In retrospect, maybe it was a mistake to isolate fiber from the overall field of plant food nutrition. The evidence supporting the value of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as opposed to only fiber, has proved to be much more consistent. Whole plant foods are of fundamental importance in our diet. Fiber is just one of the beneficial components of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and beans. Much of the effort on defining fiber and studying the fiber isolate would have been better applied to a whole-plant-food approach.

What would have happened if Burkitt and others had instead emphasized the value of plant foods? The value of eating unrefined plant food, which incorporates fiber and phytonutrients, might have been the focus of attention rather than just isolated fiber, which led to people shopping in this aisle for their fiber, instead of this aisle.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Images thanks to Eric Allix Rogers and rick via Flickr, and Elizabeth Magner.

Doctor's Note

My video Solving a Colon Cancer Mystery is a perfect example of the concept I presented above. If fiber was really the key, then sub-Saharan Africa would be rife with colorectal cancer these days.

For an extreme example, how about disease reversal with diet centered around white rice? See Kempner Rice Diet: Whipping Us Into Shape and Drugs and the Demise of the Rice Diet.

Wait a second, though, didn’t I just have a video saying you should specifically look for fiber? The Five to One Fiber Rule is just a way to identify less processed foods using fiber as a marker of whole foods.

For more intrigue in the world of fiber, check out Does Fiber Really Prevent Diverticulosis?

And if you’re thinking “Dr. Who?” then, for a historical perspective: Dr. Burkitt’s F-word Diet

If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

81 responses to “Is the Fiber Theory Wrong?

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  1. Another great video! As a former system engineer (now retired), I can appreciate the “system-wide” approach to studying complex systems rather than the “reductionist” approach. Complex systems are almost impossible to study by taking a reductionist approach. We always used a mathematical simulation model run on powerful computer systems. I would think the human body and nutrition would be similar since they are infinitely more complex than any man-made system, I believe it is T. Colin Campbell who is another nutritionist who agrees with the “holistic” approach.




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    1. Yes, in fact Campbell is professor emeritus at Cornell, Dr of Biochemistry specializing in Nutrition with 27 yrs of NIH funded research and did much science on the mechanism whereby cancer growth is promoted (by animal protein). He speaks a lot about reductionism in his first book, The China Study – and then his second book, “Whole” is dedicated to the paradigm, not only as it relates to nutrition and the related processes in our bodies, but also how the reductionist attitude effects the actual nutritional science being done and which studies actually get funding.




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    2. How are the mathematical simulations that you describe not reductionist? Don’t they depend on exhaustive computation based on detailed understanding of local effects? Aren’t they using the parts to understand the whole?




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      1. It would be impractical to try to give a complete response to your question in the limited space of a comment here, so let me refer you to some sources for further reading. Here is an excerpt from a Wikipedia article at the link:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_thinking

        As the the excerpt indicates, a key component of Systems Analysis as opposed to Reductionist Analysis is the existence of “Feedback Loops” in complex systems as opposed to a simple linear cause-effect relationship commonly found in most Reductionist approaches. Hope this helps.

        Begin excerpt:
        “Systems thinking has roots in the General Systems Theory that was advanced by Ludwig von Bertalanffy in the 1940s and furthered by Ross Ashby in the 1950s. The field was further developed by Jay Forrester and members of the Society for Organizational Learning at MIT which culminated in the popular book The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge which defined Systems thinking as the capstone for true organizational learning.[2]

        Systems thinking has been defined as an approach to problem solving, by viewing “problems” as parts of an overall system, rather than reacting to specific parts, outcomes or events, and thereby potentially contributing to further development of unintended consequences. Systems thinking is not one thing but a set of habits or practices[3] within a framework that is based on the belief that the component parts of a system can best be understood in the context of relationships with each other and with other systems, rather than in isolation. Systems thinking focuses on cyclical rather than linear cause and effect.

        In systems science, it is argued that the only way to fully understand why a problem or element occurs and persists is to understand the parts in relation to the whole.[4]Standing in contrast to Descartes’s scientific reductionism and philosophical analysis, it proposes to view systems in a holistic manner. Consistent with systems philosophy, systems thinking concerns an understanding of a system by examining the linkages and interactions between the elements that compose the entirety of the system.

        Systems science thinking attempts to illustrate how small catalytic events that are separated by distance and time can be the cause of significant changes in complex systems. Acknowledging that an improvement in one area of a system can adversely affect another area of the system, it promotes organizational communication at all levels in order to avoid the silo effect. Systems thinking techniques may be used to study any kind of system — physical, biological, social, scientific, engineered,human, or conceptual.”




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        1. Right, but my point is basically that emergent effects come about by the emanation of local interactions in the human body. What is ‘reductionist’ depends somewhat on the context. Proposing to simulate the entire human body at a low level is a reductionist strategy for studying human health. It proposes to reduce nutrition to mere chemistry, albeit “systems” chemistry with extremely complex feedback loops due to metabolism, hormones, and cognitive effects.

          The sort of holism that Campbell advocates, as far as I know, is grounded in population studies rather than biochemistry. There are a number of reasons that motivate the study of populations in nutrition research, but one of the most important is that it requires too much reductionist research and too much computational power to simulate all the effects of diet at a sufficiently low level.

          Instead (what I identify as the best form of) nutrition science uses a mixed approach. It tries to identify robust mechanisms of causation at a low level to better inform what data should be used to inform statistical models at a higher level, then builds predictive models from which recommendations are formed and the effects of behavior are estimated. At no point has an exhaustive simulation of all possibly relevant factors ever been done, at least not for the most important chronic diseases. I suspect that we’ll have utopia before we have the computational power and knowledge to simulate the entire human body in the way you seem to hope.




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  2. So it’s well known that domestication of animals led to disaster, but what about the domestication of crops? More nutrient dense food allows us more leisure time and reduces the risk of famine, but fiber is lost. You can’t get 100g of fiber daily anymore like they did in the paleolithic period.




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    1. I eat a diet of whole plant foods, and I average about 85g of fiber daily.

      Sometimes, on days when I work out really hard (and end up eating more because of it), I’ve gotten 100-105g easy.




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    2. Domesticated crops are not more nutrient-dense food (other than in sweet sugars such as fructose) but the other way around. That’s just a urban myth spread by GMO advocates:

      • Milton K. Nutritional characteristics of wild primate foods: do the diets of our closest living relatives have lessons for us? Nutrition (1999) vol. 15 (6) pp. 488-98
      http://2ndchance.info/wildprimatediets.pdf
      http://nature.berkeley.edu/miltonlab/pdfs/nutritionalchar.pdf
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10378206

      • Milton K. Back to basics: why foods of wild primates have relevance for modern human health. Nutrition (2000) vol. 16 (7-8) pp. 480-3

      http://nature.berkeley.edu/miltonlab/pdfs/backbasics.pdf
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10906529

      • James Kennedy. Artificial vs Natural Peach. jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com. July 9, 2014.
      http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/artificial-vs-natural-peach

      • James Kennedy. Artificial vs Natural Watermelon & Sweetcorn. jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com. July 14, 2014.
      http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/artificial-vs-natural-watermelon-sweetcorn
      URL via G+ post:
      http://plus.google.com/+CorinaMarinescu/posts/Qs9FBHnBJot

      Related G+ posts:
      http://plus.google.com/+DavidTribe/posts/HiLbP3gV2Q1
      http://plus.google.com/+Iflscienceofficial/posts/Rcuv5xieHjN

      Neil deGrasse Tyson on gmo food! Neil deGrasse Tyson Videos. July 24, 2014.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ecT2CaL7NA (2 min)
      • Neil deGrasse Tyson’s twit:
      http://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/312584976874999808

      URL source G+ post:
      http://plus.google.com/+ZephyrL%C3%B3pezCervilla/posts/XjnRMxSBvAA




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    3. I do not know how much i get now but at one time i kept up with it for a few weeks and i would get anywhere from 75 to little over 100 every day that i ate my regular 3 meals. My diet is very close to the same now as it was then.




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  3. reductionist thought
    makes it possible to be
    succinct: eat more plants.

    eating food as grown.
    nourishment from fertile soil
    makes people healthy.

    a vegan sat down
    before a chicken dinner
    and said, ‘no, thank you.’

    yes, we’re omnivores.
    but, some foods are better than
    others: eat more plants.




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    1. Well said along with HaltheVegan’s comment on complex aka adaptive systems. I would add the following comment for consideration.
      Animal biologic systems can be categorized as carnivore, omnivore or herbivore. Bears are an interesting example… Panda’s=herbivores, Polar=carnivores… most of the rest omnivores. We have the “systems” we have evolved to have but we can choose to eat contrary to the design of our “biologic” system. Melanie Joy has coined the term “carnism” to describe human’s choice to eat as an “omnivore” or in some cases as a “carnivore”. I would recommend her presentation, Carnism: The Psychology of Eating Meat”. Her 2012 presentation at the McDougall Advanced Study Weekend can be viewed at… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vWbV9FPo_Q. Homo sapiens biologic system is as a “hind-gut fermenting herbivore”. Due to the structure of plant cell walls and presence of fiber compared to animal cell walls it is more difficult to extract energy from plant food. To address this herbivores have either modified “foreguts” such as multiple stomachs or “hind guts” such as colons to extract nutrients from bacterial breakdown of fiber. Fire helps in that cooking our foods allows us to further extract about 10-15% of the energy. We can choose to “violate” our design and eat as omnivores but that doesn’t change our biologic system. Every time we eat non plant food we increase our risk of a “systems” problem. The fact that it takes years for those problems to catch up with us or that some of us can live for years without a problem doesn’t change the current scientific paradigm or the risk involved. Happy Holidays.




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      1. Excellent concise explanation, Don! And thanks for the link to the “Carnism” video … I haven’t seen that yet, but will watch it now.




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      2. I think it’s not just the fiber but being overweight that causes heart attacks. 69% of American people are overweight according to google! The reason they are overweight is not because they are rich and eat too much, but because they eat the wrong foods. meat, dairy, eggs (& processed foods like candy & coke) contain a lot of calories & very low volume. Here Dr. McDougall does a physical demonstration (starts at 1:22)
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sBrA62J43g




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    2. “yes, we’re omnivores.”

      A rabbit fed “cooked” meat could be labelled as omnivore too. Omnivores animals eat raw meat. But have you ever seen people eating raw meat? hmm Throw a raw pig heart to a baby and look for the omnivore smile.




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      1. LOL, I was thinking… put a cute fuzzy bunny in with a little baby, and watch baby rip it’s throat out and devour it! I know, not a pretty image, but exactly the kind of things I will toss out at people when they go militant with all the “we are carnivores because” nonsense, and how it gave us our big brains! My other favorite comeback when told we need to eat meat for protein or whatever is “gee, you should tell those puny vegan elephants and cows they need to start eating each other for protein so they can get a big brain like yours!” Nah, I’m not sarcastic.




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      2. Panchito: “But have you ever seen people eating raw meat?”
        — Yes, Eskimos (among other hunter-gatherer peoples). It’s also worth to mention that archaic humans cooked food (including meat) since they discovered the way to make fire, hundreds of thousands of years ago.




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        1. Sure. There were cannibals in remote islands where there was nothing else to eat. Does that mean that humans are cannibals? If you want a good laugh, give a self called omnivores a chunk of bloody raw meat with veins as snack, and look at their face.




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  4. I completely agree–fiber is just a marker for reduced disease rates. When you take the standard American diet and add Metamucil, it still doesn’t look anything like the traditional African diet of tubers, grains and vegetables.




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  5. Another great eduvideo! Eat even more plants!

    Interestingly all my patients that have taken metamucil or any other psyllium husk fiber supplement have all said it makes them feel bloated. Rarely do I get any patients saying that whole plant foods make them feel bloated. But there are two: cabbage and beans.

    Also within the bean/legume family the two that seem to cause the most flatulence and hence bloating are Green/Brown lentils and Pinto Beans.

    This resource, however, may help with the reduction of the ‘breaking wind’ syndrome:Does adding baking soda to soaking beans reduce gas?




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    1. I was very disconcerted to hear a failing diabetic friend tell me his doctor never mentions a word about diet, just told him to take metamucil, in response to my emphatic pleas to change his horrid diet! I wish there was a way for me to let her and other doctors know how much influence they could have on the health of their patients if only they would at least make the effort to stress the importance of diet, and be specific. I get that most don’t listen, but that is no excuse for not trying! All I was ever told in regards to diet was “you need to lose weight… ” but no useful direction!




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    2. Is it also possible that people who grow up eating legumes and whole vegetables (60-70% of the meal) can handle them better even when they’ve had a period of going away from the whole food diet and then return to their original diet/tradition ?
      Do you think there might be a window of time / age your ability to digest Whole food efficiently before it’s set?
      (compared to children who grow up on mostly processed food and without vegetables /Legume/Fruit etc)
      I’m wondering because I don’t have any problem with so called “roughage” .




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    3. I think you just need to eat more beans, no matter how you cook them. (baking soda, sans baking soda) I don’t even soak beans anymore before cooking them. My favorite way to cook them is in the oven slow-cooked, but I’ve also pressure cooked and cooked them on the stovetop. Whatever works! But definitely soak old beans you find in the back of the pantry or they will never cook!




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  6. T. Colin Campbell not only agrees with this, he wrote a whole book on this, called ‘ Whole ‘ on the whole system approach as opposed to the reductionist approach — boiling things down to one thing, a ‘ silver bullet ‘. Its better to get our nutrients from a whole food plant based diet than singling out the main nutrient and putting it in a pill.
    I just read the book from the library.




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      1. Joseph, We are all going to miss you so much! You shed a lot of light on our many questions. I made my donation, but alas, I cannot afford to pay your salary! Wish I could.




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        1. You are too kind :-) Thank you. All is well and for the best. I just look forward to NutritionFacts growing and continuing to spread a message of good health.




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            1. :-) I’ll still be around and check in. Thanks again for your nice remarks. I still love Dr. G and I know this site will continue to grow and remain one of the best places on the web to find real Nutrition Facts!




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  7. I was expecting Dr. Greger to then highlight a study (randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled perhaps?) pitting two groups with equal fiber intake but one from whole plant foods and the other from fiber supplements to see which had more rates of these diseases. But I’m assuming one does not yet exist or he would have found it! Looking forward to a future video that says “It didn’t exist…until now!”




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  8. When it comes to sugar isn’t the consensus that fiber sort of buffers the sugar from entering your system so that your body and your organs do not get a big shock from an artificially high “dose” of what could almost be called a drug.

    The way our good industry processes food, the delivery system is like a drug. Could it be that fiber slows down the absorption of nutrients to something that body can handle routinely over a lifetime compared to a shot and shock of refined nutrients blasting into the system?

    And then also fiber gives something for the intestines to grab onto and push through the system as it digests, so maybe digestion can be more autonomic and effective?




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  9. I LOVE this video for many reasons. One reason is that it answers the criticisms/questions that so many people have when the subject of looking at populations comes up. For example: Do we see this result simply because the people don’t live as long? Etc. This is a very comprehensive video in a short package. Great work!




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  10. Those drug store fiber shelves are almost impossible get my vegan head around. (Yes, I wasn’t always vegan and I get it completely).
    I am not a professional, but if you or a loved one is taking fiber supplements, at least consider using something like this instead. I mean, honestly, how could one go wrong with flaxseed meal? No, it’s not orange-flavored, but…
    http://www.bobsredmill.com/flaxseed-meal.html




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  11. Thank you Dr. Greger! Have you considered signing up NutritionFacts.org as a charity under Amazon Smile? That way many of us can support this incredible resource with 5% of our purchases being donated to this website/non-profit.




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    1. Aleks, yes you CAN already help Nutritionfacts already with Amazon Smile…when I bought “How Not to Die” the new book by Dr. Greger, I bought it through Amazon SMILE…and I buy my organic Ceylon cinnamon that way too…in fact, whenever I buy anything on Amazon I do it through Amazon SMILE to help the website!




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    1. I’d be very careful about taking such studies at face value. They seem to be incompatible with the fact that people have lived on high fibre, high carb diets for millennia. Not to mention the fact that primates as a whole seem to specialise in high fibre diets. None of these groups is noted for constipation problems.

      I suspect the reason for such results is that the people in these studies were advised to increase the fibre content of their diets but apparently weren’t advised to increase their water/liquids consumption. That’s definitely a recipe for trouble. You might want to read this …..
      http://www.dietaryfiberdigest.com/can-too-much-fiber-cause-constipation/




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    2. both those links are from questionable quacks. The first is a low carb dr whos unhealthy diet advice is the same psudo science we see all the time from the low carbers. the second link is just a computer programmer who has no medical background and a hobbiest website. i would not listen to those 2 quacks. they dont base anything on science.




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  12. Table 2 (minute 1.33) shows that Negroes in South-Africa who reached 50 have better chances of reaching 70 than Negroes in USA. BUT, Caucasians in South Africa, who reached 50, had LOWER chances of reaching 70 compared to Caucasians in USA… Could this be because Caucasians in South Africa eat an even sadder diet than the SAD?




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    1. Sedentary lifestyle? The life purpose of some people is to seat all day after reaching 50 while having papers and tricks to collect money. In other words, other people do the work.




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  13. Interesting. About 3 or 4 years ago, I abandoned Walter Willets, a reductionist although highly intelligent and well-informed researcher, in favor of T. Colin Campbell, a researcher with the same qualities primarily because Dr. Campbell’s arguments against reductionist diet design made so much sense to me. This video certainly supports his position, and, thus, reinforces my own thinking. Very well done, very professionally done presentation. This is my first visit to this site, but I think I will bookmark it for future reference.




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    1. Martin: Welcome to the site! In case you didn’t notice, I wanted to let you know that there are some helpful buttons to the right of each video, including ‘Sources Cited’ and ‘transcript’. New videos are published Mon, Wed, and Fri. Blog posts, which do a great job of summarizing topics and sometimes sneaking in new information are published Tue, Thr.
      Also, the daily videos are typically very short. But once a year, Dr. Greger does an annual summary that is about an hour long. These talks are *GREAT*. If you want to treat yourself




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      1. Ooops. I got cut off. I meant to conclude with: If you want to treat yourself to them, go to the bottom of the hope page and you will see the section for ‘Nutrition Year In Review’.
        Hope to ‘see’ you around these parts.




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  14. Earlier this month, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a paper on this subject based on data from the (Spanish) PREDIMED study. Apparently, the jury is still out on whether it is the fibre itself or whole plantfood which is responsible for the bulk (apologies for the pun) of the benefits (the accompanying editorial additionally provides a fascinating commentary and summary of the current state of the science on this topic). In brief, the research paper concluded:
    “When the updated dietary information was considered,participants with fruit consumption .210 g/d had 41% lower risk of all-cause mortality (HR: 0.59; 95% CI: 0.44, 0.78). Associations were strongest for CVD mortality than other causes of death.
    Conclusion: Fiber and fruit intakes are associated with a reduction in total mortality.”

    A 41% lower risk of all-cause mortality sounds like a pretty good reason for eating fruit every day! Apples seem to have been the main fruit consumed. Perhaps disappointingly, neither vegetable nor wholegrain consumption seem to have been significantly associated with lower mortality risk in this population (although, strictly speaking, fruits and grains are vegetables and other studies have found differently eg
    http://jech.bmj.com/content/68/9/856.full.pdf+html http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/383.full).

    The links to the research paper and the editorial are below:
    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/100/6/1498.full.pdf+html
    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/100/6/1409.full




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  15. Could somebody please direct me to the video where the waste removal function of the brain (during sleep) is explained. I’ve searched “sleep”, “insomnia”, “brain”, and more to no avail. Thank you very much.




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    1. Wade: I tried to look for you, but didn’t find anything. Then again, I don’t remember that video, so I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I just wanted you to know that I tried.




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  16. It is worth repeating: There is no magic bullet. There is no easy way out.
    Kylneth teaches that you need to focus on the idea that “They” are deliberately trying to kill you!
    (Not just make a buck or billion….)
    Life is all about focus, really.
    Here are three easily observable things from my own personal last almost 4 generations of observation and experience:
    1. I once lived for some time with the last of the primitive-style Aborigines in Australia.
    I asked why the bothered to go to all the trouble of finding material to light a fire when they never really properly cooked the animals they caught, anyway.
    ANSWER: The fire singed off the fur/hair and the bug infestations . Oh, and the burnt/charred bits smelt and tasted better. AND the ash never went to waste e.g. cosmetics, paint….

    2. What did they aim to eat?
    Anything. They were/are opportunists. Primitive people are programmed to keep moving – like the rest of the wildlife. They liked meat, but there wasn’t a lot around that was easy to catch – you can burn a lot of energy chasing animals and it is dangerous, too.

    3. CONVENIENCE: If it is white, in a packet, has no smell, has long shelf life, can be prepared and eaten in minutes, it is already dead and you too-soon will be too.
    ( There is no such thing as gluten intolerance – it is the frankenwheat itself. Just try some stone-ground “health-nut” flour bread made from real grains.
    Oh, but you would have to grind it yourself and make dough and bake it?
    Your little microwave oven doesn’t have a setting over 3 minutes??
    And who has time, anyway…..

    Merry Solstice to you all and whatever you do, don’t drink the water (Fluoride is more deadly than cheap booze!)

    Great info video, too, thanks!




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    1. Ricky Gladney: Welcome aboard! I’m so glad you found us. If you get a chance to watch the yearly summary videos, I think you will be equally blown away. You can find them at the bottom of the NutritionFacts home page. Enjoy.




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