Robert Lustig says fiber is essential

(Chuck) #21

In 2011 I lost 80 pounds, I got to the same weight I am now, which is the weight I carried my 8 years in the Navy, 208. I almost starved myself to go below 200. I don’t intend to do that this time. As long as I am seeing results with my health, blood pressure, and body measurements that I am now I am happy to stay at 208. But I feel that I will possibly lose more at some point.


I agree with you Joey. I will just add I believe the body, with some training, or rather that we become better at listening to it, can and will differentiate between something which, and I tend to often use this expression, makes the body sing, both during the meal and a long time afterwards, and the sort of brief chemical-induced happiness people might experience and confuse with quality of life, as they perceive a sense of wellness from a short-term boost of serotonin, from eating say, a slice of cake.


Some things get lost for sure, Vitamin C is one of them, protein isn’t one of them, no idea about the others… Sometimes cooking helps with nutrition… Of course, cooking and very long cooking aren’t the same.
Well I can’t help my meat requires 1.5-2 hours in the oven… But sometimes I fry them :slight_smile: And of course, eggs require barely any time, I eat a lot of them raw, nowadays it’s rather the whites though, good thing my biotin intake is high so I don’t need to worry about what the biotin does :wink: Nothing can replace whipped raw whites, they are just that amazing.

I don’t think there is a problem with some good jerky, it’s fine not to get everything in top nutritional state. Whatever I do with my food, it’s still better than when I spent a big part of my energy intake on questionable food… (My diet was still quite nutritious as I overate and loved good food too… But well, I overate. I do it way better now and I can afford having not perfect items.)

(Michael) #24

My understanding is that there is no required carbohydrate requirement, and no science has ever showed that carbohydrates are essential. Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate…if carbohydrates are not essential, neither are indigestible carbohydrates. Have you found ANY science showing carbs are essential and/or required? Putting that major piece aside, Lustig discusses fiber creating a protective coating on the edit (intestinal lining )cells; I have never seen any science on this issue either. So without a shred of science to back up his claim, it seems like a bias on his behalf. Perhaps you can find the science required to even consider his suggestions.


Cake never made me happier, the same for chocolate, people are odd… But I like to eat nice things. Sugary cakes aren’t nice, it was so very easy to stop eating non-keto sweets as keto ones are so much better… I lost nothing. (Except a few times a year when I ate zillion slices of cake at once because they were there, being nice. But I lost that long ago.)
Keto desserts are just perfect, you can eat the cake and stay keto… :smiley:

Oh and I have a plan since YEARS… Carnivore ice cream cake. I never do it as I just have zero desire for such things on carnivore :frowning: But I don’t like cakes either since I overdid them on keto and had enough of them years ago. (I never had enough of them on high- or low-carb… But my keto required half-living on sweets and cakes were the easiest.) It would have been fun though, that thing would have lovely macros and egg count… I never ate ice cream cake before and it sounds nice. Mine will be only for HUGE egg maniacs who lost all interest in sweet cakes. I think I qualify. I can eat sponge cake and ice cream even if I don’t specifically desire the latter. (I don’t often desire the former either even though they have a lovely fluffy texture, I just find them super useful, I use them as bread not like I often need such a thing but even I want to spread some butter or some other spread on something sometimes.)

But nothing can top a great piece of fatty pork. Even with my huge sweet tooth, sour things and pork always was more tempting (though I stick to the former as I almost never ate any meat and definitely didn’t buy or cook any).

It just doesn’t exist. People proved it’s not essential for them so it can’t be a general human thing - but our body can make it from other things anyway. I have read carbs aren’t essential even on a vegan site, it’s just that a known thing. Glucose is extremely important for our body, we need it all the time and it’s unrealistic to get it from food all the time so our body evolved to make it for itself. It wouldn’t do to get brain damage just because we couldn’t find food for 12 hours or something :wink:

(Joey) #26

I would readily agree that fiber is not needed as a nutrient. Whether it’s needed for “mechanical” purposes remains an open question. Whether it helps/harms one’s gut biome is also an open question.

You’ve requested some “science,” so I’ve attached several research papers (my highlights added for reading convenience) that might be of interest…

DietaryFiber-Cnstipation.pdf (787.2 KB)
Fiber-ColorectalCancer.pdf (584.8 KB)
Fiber-H2O-Magnesium-Constipation.pdf (122.8 KB)

Frankly, I’m left scratching my head as to whether fiber matters, whether it is relevant for one who eats minimal carbs, and whether my gut bacteria could give a crap.


Pun! :slight_smile:

Oh whenever normal people talk about fiber, they act like it would be extremely needed for proper bowel movements… It’s probably depends not only on the woe but even the individual but it’s just my extrapolation, almost anything has an individual factor… I never had constipation, no matter how I ate but it’s possible I always ate much fiber… But maybe my body is just that stubborn and stable. I don’t know. I surely have no problem with close to no fiber on very low-carb. And that close to no is basically nothing on my carnivore-ish woe. It takes quite a few days to get 1g total carbs from plants these days…

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #28

I eat carbs, sure. It’s what works in my life at the moment. Carnivore would be significantly more difficult in my living situation.

As for whether a 0-carb allowance is healthy or not, consider that there are essential amino acids, which means we require protein in our diet. There are also essential fatty acids, though we require only small quantities to stay healthy (this is separate from our energy needs). But there is no known carbohydrate deficiency disease, and people have been looking into the matter for over a century. So zero-carb/carnivore is certainly an option.

But if you want carbohydrates in your life, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have them. It’s just that, if you want to stay in ketosis, you have to stay below your carb threshold. Though I should probably also say that vegan keto can be done, but it requires careful planning and judicious supplementation to avoid malnourishment.


Having near no fiber for years literally damaged me, physically. Some people can get by without it, many can’t. Took a colonoscopy in my 30’s to end that. Adding it back in fixed years of problems in days.

Fiber is just popular to hate in Keto circles, ignore it.

(Bob M) #30

For me, fiber is bad. Leads to all kinds of problems. But some people can handle it.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #31

And nobody is questioning that fibre is necessary on a high-carb diet. It’s the usefulness of it on a low-carb/keto diet that is the issue, and from what I can tell, the results are mixed. And for everyone like @lfod14, whose gut benefits from fibre, there is someone else who finds that fibre exacerbates their irritable bowel or their Crohn’s disease. And most of us, of course, are in the middle, with no discernible effects of fibre, whether good or bad.

(Chuck) #32

I have been logging everything I eat for over 12 years and I have to say fiber has always been one of my weak links. But since being on what I consider to be more low carb than keto and learning to create my own smoothies I have been getting more fiber intake in my life and staying within my carb limits.


Hi Chuck, I found adding just a few nuts and vegetables (in small quantities) solved my fiber issue nicely. But some of us require more fiber, some less, and some not at all. It’s highly individual. Cruciferous vegetables I find are very good for fiber. And nuts and berries of course, berries never fail me when it comes to fiber. But I am still managing to keep to below the keto limit, which I merely do to stay in ketosis. For those to whom ketosis is not so important, a lowcarb WOE can do wonders.


As to fiber not needed, I agree with Joey, it’s an open question. But I do wonder if fiber is not an issue for so many on keto or on carnivore, why I’ve often seen in the forum threads reccommendations for magnesium for constipation. And this idea that carbs are entirely unnecessary doesn’t sit well with me. My ancestors would have eaten carbs, and I’m not talking about processed foods, but nourishing intact whole foods that they would have grown or made themselves. They would have eaten seasonal berries. It stands to reason that comparing ourselves to the hunter gatherers as opposed to our ancestors might not be entirely realistic. Our biome changes with what we eat, I am not at all certain we are in any way representative of those hunter gatherers anymore. We evolve and adapt, that is what humanity does best.

(Chuck) #35

My smoothies are made from almond milk, fresh spinach or kale, a frozen berry medley, sometimes avocado, and sometimes walnuts or pecans, whey protein, sometimes added heavy cream or coconut oil, or whole milk. I like to mix things up. I don’t worry about total calories just carbs and fiber.

(Joey) #36

You likely know this, but just in case …

if you’re making smoothies in one of those high-powered blenders, you’re likely separating fiber (physically) from its intrinsic carbohydrate contents.

This serves to increase the effective glycemic index of fruits, veggies, etc. It’s why apple juice spikes insulin so much faster/higher than the same quantity of raw apple would (where the fructose comes naturally wrapped inside the fruit’s fibers).

Not necessarily a big deal if glucose control isn’t an issue. But if it is, simply be aware you’d be spiking your insulin to a greater extent.

(Joey) #37

Magnesium in large doses is prescribed (over the counter) for colonoscopy prep. For that use, it works wonders :wink:

However, in more modest amounts (i.e., what’s typically discussed on this forum) it’s not really about constipation, per se.

Magnesium is a low level muscle relaxant and, related to this, is an important and essential electrolyte for muscle function.

It’s been clearly shown to ease muscle cramps, promote better sleep patterns, reduce heart palpitations, and help address those experiencing “keto flu” during the fat-adaptation/water loss phase of carb withdrawal (when electrolyte replacement is especially important).

I haven’t seen much talk of using it as a laxative around here - although in significantly larger quantities it will readily serve that purpose.

(Chuck) #38

I don’t have that issue, and at this time I am not even trying to lose weight. I am very happy with the fact I am still slimming down, even without losing weight. Also my blood pressure and reflux are a thing of the past.


I do actually supplement with magnesium myself, and what I can say is that it has improved my sleep and relieved my leg cramps. I seemed to remember it was also suggested for constipation when I first complained of this issue starting out on keto and I’m sure I’ve seen it mentioned elsewhere, but magnesium is probably most known in the context of electrolyte issues, yes. In terms of constipation, I did find supplementing with magnesium and increasing my fat and salt intake did help, but not enough on carnivore without any fiber. In terms of electrolyte issues, I find both the salt and magnesium is helpful.


If you are slimming down, then the number of the scale doesn’t mean a thing, you are likely putting on lean mass if the scale number doesn’t change, but you are achieving body recomposition. Sounds like you are doing great. :slightly_smiling_face: