Fiber is an essential carbohydrate

Some bariatric physicians are fond of saying “there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate“.

Not true!

Fiber is an essential carbohydrate.

Not only that, but for most people reading this:

Fiber is the most essential macronutrient of all.

In other words, if you live in the West or otherwise are not malnourished,

  • You are getting plenty of fat.
  • You are getting plenty of protein.
  • You are not getting enough fiber.  The more you eat, the longer you live.  There is no known upper limit to how much fiber is healthy.

What is fiber?

Fiber is the type of carbohydrate that is indigestible.  Actually, it is digestible with a little help from our bacterial friends in the gut microbiome.

How much fiber do you eat per day?

Relative risk for each disease goes down when fiber consumption is increased

Balance of Evidence

We estimate that 99.9% of research published on dietary fiber indicates that it is beneficial to health in the general population. (It’s hard to find a topic in nutrition that is less controversial!)

If you (like 97% of Americans) eat a diet deficient in fiber, then you are suffering the effects of malnourishment.

You have an increased risk of suffering from chronic disease including our leading killer (cardiovascular disease) as well diabetesbreast cancercolon cancer, obesitybrain diseaseslung disease, and many other.

Photo credit: BlueRidgeKitties via / CC BY-NC-SA