One of the common questions we receive is in regard to the supposed need for dietary fiber. This recent question is fairly typical:
“Do you have any recommendations for a good daily fiber supplement
to maintain regularity and colon health?”
My response is not always what people want to hear. However, I believe it is closer to reality! It flies in the face of the usual recommendations from both establishment and nutritional circles. It is especially hard to receive by a person who has read a lot of promotional fiber hype. It goes like this…
One of the toughest things I’ve found over the years in nutrition is to sort through the promotional hype. Such is the case with fiber recommendations. Surprisingly, it comes from both sides of the table.
On the establishment’s side, they rightfully recommend adding fiber to the average person’s diet. However, the only reason they have to recommend fiber is that the average American diet is so bad. What makes it is so bad is that the bad American diet is what the establishment offers up for them! The typical processed foods offered are so stripped of natural fiber to appeal to people that they are forced to recommend adding fiber.
The Nutritional Promoter:
On the nutritional promoter’s side, there is a lot of potential fiber product to sell, money to make. As a result, I have seen an amazing amount of promotions, pictures, diagrams, etc. about how essential their process (and product) is. The funniest is the one where they tell you that the odor of your stools is evidence of the effectiveness of what their product is removing from your intestines. In reality, like anise, it is simply some of the herbs they put in it that causes the odor. Anyone will stink eating them!
The Natural Approach
I am a firm believer in taking a look at how our bodies were naturally designed to operate and what has changed in today’s world. Indeed, the normal modern diet does include much less fiber than times past. However, the natural approach isn’t necessarily adding a bunch of fiber supplements to your diet. It is eating a more natural diet that automatically includes the needed fiber! It also isn’t too difficult that would require everything organic or “living off the land” extremes. It might be less fiber needed than you have read if your information input has been promotional information you read.
A person can go to extremes if they want and, in most cases, there is usually little harm in it – other than your pocketbook. However, there are some relatively simple things a person can do that will allow better digestive system health.
Some Simple Steps
1. A person can make a good effort to radically reduce the unbleached white flour products and sugar they eat (since they are usually related). Again, the word is to reduce – not necessarily totally eliminate! The reason this helps fiber intake is that the food products that are left usually has enough natural fiber in them to do the job. Simply radically reducing unbleached white flour will automatically introduce more whole grain, veggies and fruit. (Even meat has some fiber.)
2. Another major cause (and solution) of constipation is that most US citizens are deficient in magnesium. Magnesium supplements not only help the body to function better but naturally produce more regularity. Simply back off the amount taken if stools become too loose.
3. If a person still feels the need to take additional fiber, they can occasionally take some grapefruit pectin like Profibe. One of the additional benefits is that it has been clinically shown to help reduce cholesterol and clean arteries.
4. Usually, if there are adequate (not necessarily huge) amounts of fiber in the diet, the more important issue is to have adequate probiotics. These are the good bacteria that help you digest food properly and helps eliminate bad bacteria.
Good sources for these products are listed in our Additional Supplement section (we don’t receive anything from them other than your good health).
Our best to you all.