Truth about Fiber  
The Truth About Fiber

Is it all that it's touted to be?
Here is what we do and do not know...

     Fiber has been touted as a means of reducing weight and the risk of developing colon disorders and cancer, as a remedy for constipation, as a preventer of hemorrhoids, and, thanks to The 8-Week Cholesterol Cure, as part of a cure for elevated cholesterol and heart disease risk.  After an extensive survey of current medical research literature on the role of fiber in human health, we came to one certainty: no one really knows exactly what fiber is, what it really does, or how it works.  But there is one consensus on the notion that fiber does improve bowel function by adding bulk to the stool and speeding it more quickly along.  These properties prevent or lessen constipation and discourage the formation of hemorrhoids.

     The story on cholesterol reduction is less clear, with some studies showing a reduction from fiber intake while others do not.  There probably is some benefit here in that fiber may bind with cholesterol in the intestine and prevent its re-absorption.  Fiber does help to stabilize blood sugar by slowing down the absorption of dietary carbohydrates.  Slower absorption may blunt the blood sugar rise and the insulin response to it, resulting in a lower, more constant blood sugar level.

     Although great hoopla surrounded the news that fiber exerts some protective effect in preventing colon cancer, based on the huge Harvard Nurses Study, in truth, the difference in colon cancer between those women who ate the most fiber and those who ate the least was three cases, an insignificant number.

     Our nutritional regimen gives you a wide variety of choices of fruits and vegetables that will provide you with far more fiber - without the metabolically active carbohydrate - than all the bran muffins you could eat.  For instance, a bowl of raspberries contains more fiber than ten of the basic-recipe bran muffins described in The 8-Week Cholesterol Cure and almost no usable carbohydrate.

     Because the fiber content of foods is not metabolically active, you can subtract the grams of dietary fiber from the total carbohydrate content of foods you eat.  We call what’s left the Effective Carbohydrate Content of Food (ECC). So there you have it. Further research is needed before any definitive answers can be given as to its ability to help lose weight.


Here are some articles you can read regarding research on fiber benefits:

Toward Healthier Bread And Other Whole Grain Foods

Diabetics On High-fiber Diets Might Need Extra Calcium

Reducing Sugar And Increasing Fiber Intake May Improve Diabetes Risk Factors In Latino Teens

Penn State Study Says Preschoolers Not Getting Enough Fiber

Coffee: Aroma, Taste And Dietary Fiber