Is Fiber Really Beneficial? Amber O'Hearn Flips an Assumption on Its Head

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #1

Maybe some of the health benefits a ketogenic diet are due, not just to the diet being low in digestible carbohydrate and thus leading to ketosis, but also to being low in indigestible fiber and thus starving certain gut bacteria.

Or, to phrase the same hypothesis differently, maybe one mechanism by which a glycolytic or high-fiber diet causes health problems is that it feeds harmful gut bacteria, and the presence of those bacteria causes the health problems.

If that hypothesis were true, it would imply that if you are eating a low-carb diet, then including a lot of low-carb vegetables would feed these hypothesized harmful gut bacteria and reduce some of the potential health benefits of a low-carb diet.

Random thoughts and question about hunger
(Kenny Croxdale) #2

Dr. Paul Mason - 'From fibre to the microbiome: low carb gut health’

This is good information from Dr Paul Mason on the Keto Diet and fiber.

Kenny Croxdale

(Old Baconian) #3

Judging from testimony on these forums, a lot of people on keto, including many with IBS and other problems, find that fibre causes them difficulties. On the other hand, there are many forum members who still need fibre on keto. This is one of those areas where a certain degree of self-experimentation may be required.

A lot of what we think we know about healthy bowel habits can be traced back to John Harvey Kellogg, an early Seventh-Day Adventist who clearly had some sexual fetishes involving defecation.


Depends on the fiber in question and what someone calls digestible fiber may not be digestible fiber for everyone.

(Old Baconian) #5

Actually, indigestibility is the very definition of what makes a carbohydrate fibre, instead of food. The belief has been that all fibre is indigestible to all people.

I have heard (note the phrasing, please) that new data exist to challenge this belief, but am not in any position to comment. I just know that I heard Dr. Westman mention the existence of such data, and a couple of other people have mentioned it, very much in passing. I haven’t seen any actual references to studies. It will be interesting to see what we learn as we go along, and whether we will end up revising our definition of “fibre,” or whether we’ll stop considering certain fibres to be real fibre.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #6

Something more recent. And Amber’s ‘translations’/comments are frequently quite funny*:



Dietary fiber appears to be protective even after a diagnosis of colorectal cancer, Giovannucci and his coauthors suggested in a recent JAMA Oncology article. Using data from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, they found that higher fiber intake after a diagnosis of nonmetastatic colorectal cancer was associated with a lower risk of death from that disease and all causes.

“Higher intake of fiber, especially cereal fiber, has been linked to improved insulin sensitivity, lipid profile, endothelial function, and reduced inflammation,” and evidence is just beginning to suggest that hyperinsulinemia and markers of insulin resistance and inflammation predict worse survival in patients with colorectal cancer, Giovannucci and his coauthors note.

Although we don’t have trials supporting high fibre diets in those diagnosed with colon cancer, we have some more weak associations that suggest it would [5]. The associations for fruit and vegetable fibres are particularly weak, even by our standards, so we won’t mention them specifically. This association might in turn be just a reflection of the association between higher fibre intake and metabolic syndrome symptoms, which is independently predictive, but instead of suggesting that we take measures to reduce metabolic syndrome, we’ll continue to recommend the fibre itself.

In other words, the explanation for why a high-fiber diet appears to be protective goes far beyond speeding stool’s conveyance through the colon. And, it turns out, fiber’s health benefits extend beyond the colon as well.


I see indigestible fiber as a sponge and when people are eating uncontrollably. Then indigestible fiber is favorable because it soaks up bile and fat from diet and lastly excretes it. This is beneficial on a mixed carb fat diet.

(Robin) #8

Oh, please… tell me more! LOL

(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #9

Some science would be useful… Or not…

I don’t track fiber… It is what it is…

(Old Baconian) #10

That JHK was one kinky fucker. In addition to his belief that a vegetarian diet would prevent masturbation (especially in men), I have one additional word for you: enemas.

And if Kellogg never jerked off, that would explain quite a bit, wouldn’t it?


Science has come to the same conclusions that I’ve observed in myself.

Warning. The following isn’t completely factual.

(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #12

Anymore stuff that isn’t completely factual?

(Robin) #13

You do realize all the tantalizing words were ghosted out! I would test out my theory that this site has a filter for certain words, but with my lucky I would be banned or have to wear a big red letter F. Sheesh.

(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #14

All you ever wanted to know about John Harvey Kellogg

John Harvey Kellogg

Kellogg is best known today for the invention of the breakfast cereal corn flakes, originally intended to be an anaphrodisiac

(Old Baconian) #15

All you have to do is to click on the blur, to see what’s underneath.

We ask people to blur their curse words (this is a family site) and their mentions of food in the fasting threads. To do so, highlight the text to be blurred, then click on the gear icon at the top of the editing window and select “Blur spoiler.” Done!

The Graham cracker was invented by Sylvester Graham for the same purpose.


I’m sure plenty since this past month.:grimacing: I had a couple tablespoons of red palm oil and just noticed it contains a lot of CoQ10(clots blood). Started having heart failure symptoms again and my brain isn’t working. I’m going to stick with fatty fish and nuts. And not take anymore recommendations by others to try certain sources of fat.


Digestible to fungi and bacteria.

Fibre cynicism was a mantra when I started in some of the carnivore challenges. I quickly confirmed my biases with the required dietary experts: Amber O’Hearn, Saladino, Georgia Edes, Zoe Harcombe, Paul Mason et al. And off I went to discover no detriment and glowing scores on the Bristol stool chart.

Then, on closer examination, it would seem that stool bulk is a large percentage evacuated microbiome (getting out of internal Sarajevo?) and some indigestible waste (possibly internalised commentary of vegan animal activists and the like).

That got me wondering more about poo, fibre and the gut biome.

Maybe we eat for what we digest and absorb for our body (small intestine), and what we don’t digest and possibly absorb from the gut biome (colon)? Fibre is not essential for us (human self body entity), but may be important for us (I am me and I am the universe I create for my micro-buddies. We, that is me, are a symbiosis).

Now I am not so adamant about the essentiality or not of fibre in the human diet and whom or what it is benefitting. Once again sliding down toward the base of Dunning-Kruger’s “Valley of Despair”.

(Old Baconian) #18

There is some evidence to show that fibre is not necessary on a low-carbohydrate diet, but I don’t believe there is much. Dr. Phinney has cited papers showing that the β-hydroxybutyrate produced in the liver on a ketogenic diet could very well prove to be better for the colon than the butyrate produced from fibre by bacteria in the intestines. (I like Dr. Fung’s line: “Carbohydrate is poison, and fibre is the antidote. If you’re not taking the poison, why would you need the antidote?”)

In any case, anecdotal evidence from these forums suggests that many people on a ketogenic diet not only have no need for fibre, but they find it actually detrimental to their bowel health. A number of forum members with such problems as irritable bowel, Crohn’s disease, and the like have noted that fibre intake seems to exacerbate their symptoms after the switch to a ketogenic diet.

On the other hand, there are also many forum members who report that their digestive systems do not run well without fibre, even on a ketogenic diet.

I suspect, but have no evidence, that for the vast majority of ketonians fibre is a neutral issue, neither necessary nor detrimental to bowel health.

So in this matter, it appears that everyone’s kilometrage varies significantly.

(Bob M) #19

Was no one around when resistant starch (and things like tiger nuts) was around? I spent months taking potato starch, tiger nuts, plantain flour, etc., along with tons of probiotics of various types. I could find no benefit, only detriments, but at the time you couldn’t say that, as everyone KNEW pre- and pro-biotics were beneficial.

For me, I will eat plants sometimes. For instance, I had corn on the cob last night and also baked broccoli last night, and had tomatoes and onions yesterday. But I usually relegate myself to low-fiber fruits and veggies. I also try to eat things only in season, and then not many of those.

(Old Baconian) #20

The whole resistant-starch thing seemed so unrealistic on the face of it that I largely ignored it. But then, when the whole discussion on these forums started heating up, I did some investigating and found that most resistant starches are manufactured to provide cheap fibre substitutes in processed food, and I really lost interest. Although, if you are willing to spend days heating and cooling your rice just right, you can raise the resistant starch content from something like 1.4% to something like 1.7%, it would seem (the rest just appears to stay regular starch). But I don’t like cold rice, and apparently if you heat it up wrong, all the resistant starch turns back into edible carbohydrate, anyway. :grimacing:

And as for pre- and pro-biotics, I have no idea whatsoever if they offer any value or not. I go so far as to buy live-culture yoghurt, but that’s about it. But it does raise the question: what about post-biotics? :rofl: