Carni and Fiber

(KM) #1

Getting back into nutrition again and looking into new research, I keep seeing docs (Lustig among them) promoting fiber as essential nutrition, not for us but as food for our “gut bugs” and perhaps a barrier to prevent leaky gut and the ensuing inflammation and immune system reaction of undigested food breaching the gut epithelium.

As carnivores, anyone concerned, or is the idea more or less N=1 and if it feels ok, it probably is, fiber be damned?


No, fiber isn’t essential but some people seem to need it just like some people need more carbs.
I couldn’t care less about my fiber intake, never did, always worked well with all including zero (though I never did that for long - or ever, I have at least tiny plant matter - but others did so I don’t expect problems).

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #3

Some people absolutely require fibre to feel healthy. Other people find that fibre greatly worsens their irritable bowel syndrome, their diverticulitis, or their Crohn’s disease. A lot of other people are fine with or without fibre.

The experience of people who remain on a carnivore diet for years is that they are just fine without fibre.

I just watched a conversation between Dr. Paul Mason, a sports and exercise doctor, and Dr. Anthony Chaffee, a neurosurgeon, both in Australia. Dr. Mason’s take is that there might be something to the notion of feeding one’s intestinal bacteria, but that we don’t know enough about the gut biome yet to be able to say. (I was glad to hear him say it, because that’s how I feel, too.) What we do know is that our bacteria will adapt to the food we give them. And there’s no guarantee that the bacteria that feed on fibre are good for our health—though there’s no reason to believe they’re not, either.

But Dr. Mason is against the idea that consuming fibre is a good way to deal with constipation. He says if there is no pain and no difficulty moving one’s bowel, that’s not constipation, in the first place. Going several days without a bowel movement is perfectly normal for carnivores, since meat is almost fully digestible. On the other hand, he says, when one is constipated, adding fibre to your diet to help with that is like putting more cars on the road to clear up a traffic jam.

My own experience is that if I get enough salt and fat, I have no digestive troubles. I find that fibre is okay for me, but not necessary.

(Robin) #4

Plant fiber in any significant amount will bring on a flare up of my diverticulitis.
And I was vegan for years. Go figure.

(Megan) #5

I have no issue with eating zero fiber (carnivore for 7 months now). My bowel definitely went thru an adjustment period for about a month though (diarrhea - possibly caused, in part, by the carb “eating” bacteria dying off).

(Alec) #6

My view is that there is currently zero science that says we need to ingest any plants at all (fibre only comes from plants). Doctors can speculate all they like, but they are regularly wrong when they do so, even our low carb heroes. The doctors I like the best are the ones that admit they have changed their view with additional data… Doctors Berry, Mason and Noakes come to mind.


From what I have read I think Dr. Mason is on to something. The fibre in the gut will produce butyrate. This is a very good bacteria to have in the gut. There is a list of issues that it helps with, including insulin resistance. The healthiest individuals have higher levels of butyrate. Meat can also produce butyrate. However, I am not sure if one is better than the other. based on where in the intestines/colon the butyrate is produced. I think in time it will be shown that we need both to optimize. Just my 2 Cents.


Many people do horrible without the fiber, and I’m one of them. Screwed myself up bad going years with close to none, and yes, my gut still isn’t right because of it. Also screwed up my insides which the colonoscopy I earned doing so proved. Years of gross problems fixed in a couple days with fiber being added back in!

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #9

And I have heard there are data to the effect that the ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate is even better than butyrate for the intestinal lining. So pick your expert and choose your studies.

(Megan) #10

So true :crazy_face:

(Jamie Brown --Carnivore Corp) #11

The only fibre I eat is muscle fibres :wink:
Fibre is not essential & It’s contraindicated in the human diet.
watch this short by Bart kay

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #12

There’s some disagreement about this. People like Paul Mason and Jason Fung say we need no fibre at all, whereas Robert Lustig feels it’s necessary. On the other hand, while Dr. Lustig approves of keto, that is not his main focus, which is on eating real foods, whether one’s diet is keto or not. He’s definitely not talking about carnivore!

Dr. Phinney doesn’t outright say we don’t need fibre, but he does comment that β-hydroxybutyrate, one of the principal ketone bodies, is as good as or better than butyrate for the bowel (butyrate being the chemical produced by our intestinal bacteria that is supposed to be so good for our colon).

Of our members who eat keto but not carnivore, there are some who feel that fibre is essential to their bodies. On the other hand, just as many feel that fibre aggravates their irritable bowel, leaky gut, or Crohn’s disease. The majority of us don’t seem to notice an effect one way or another.

But the long-term carnivores I’m aware of, if they talk about fibre at all, say they have no digestive problems from the lack of plant fibre in their diet. I suppose the quantity of fat in the diet lubricates things? Also, meats are close to completely digestible, so there is much less residue, and what there is of it is easy to evacuate. Don’t confuse constipation, which is difficulty or strain while moving one’s bowel, with a lessened frequency of the need to evacuate. The latter is perfectly normal (except in the eyes of a laxative manufacturer trying to sell product, lol!).