IS YOUR FIBER KILLING YOU? PROBABLY... NOT.
You just did an Internet search on fiber. “Wow, this article must be psychic! How did it know that?” you just exclaimed. How, you ask? Because this article is psychic. Just like it knows you’re about to find articles saying that you shouldn’t get all your fiber from fiber supplement pills. Why? Some argue that fiber supplements don’t give you the well-rounded nutritional experience a healthy adult needs as they push an ooey-gooey honey-oat bran muffin in front of you and tell you to eat up. Here’s the problem with that disgusting muffin, however. Just as readily as some people will say, “Get your fiber from food sources” other will tell you that bran muffins, wheat bread among other classic fiber sources are bad for you, too. So now you’re running your hands through your hair, biting your lip and asking, “well, what’s the real deal?!” Here’s the real deal… from your favorite psychic article.
What’s Wrong with Your Fiber?
For people who look at the Amish and say, “right idea, but too much technology,” the Paleo Diet says that mankind should be eating the way we did in the days of prehistory, back before the invention of grandparents, when there was no need for divorce because your first wife always died in child labor. That practice says that since prehistoric man did not eat dairy or wheat products, neither should his descendants. Because if there is one group that you want informing your daily decisions, it’s probably the one huddled in a group worshipping fire.
Paleo proponents say that that our bodies are not meant to handle wheat and bread. That despite what the FDAA may have said throughout its history, there’s literally no requirement in our bodies for these foods. In fact, as we take them in, we’re consuming more and more of that which our bodies can’t process, things that aren’t found in the best fiber pills. For example, lectins and gliadin.
Gliadin is a protein found in wheat products. In this day and age, people hear the word “protein” and stumble over themselves trying to get it. However some claim research indicates there’s a direct correlation between increased gliadin-consumption and rises in ADHD, Bi-Polar Disorder and a condition poetically labeled “leaky gut syndrome”. Though books and blogs site different studies to back up these claims, this is not a widespread, firmly held medical belief, only a claim that requires further investigation.
Lectin is another wheat-borne protein, one some suspect may be the real cause for many instances of food poisoning. The lectins in raw legumes and grains may cause vomiting, upset-stomach, nausea and diarrhea. Moreover, lectins slow intestinal recovery from everyday wear-and-tear. That means your guts degrade and age more rapidly than they would otherwise. Conditions like Chron’s Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome increase sensitivity to lectins, making their effects more pronounced.
Is There a Better Way to Get Fiber?
So what’s the real deal? Prehistoric man did not eat bread, no. While preliminary data (which is French for “needs more testing”, “not enough evidence” and “I know a guy who says that…”) indicates that your bran muffin may be eating you as much you’re eating it, there’s not enough evidence to really move the claim from hypothesis to scientific theory… let alone fact.
There still remain other sources of dietary fiber outside the realm of wheat and grain, which should always be at the forefront of anyone’s mind. Fiber is in no way the only priority or focal point of nutrition. However, to make sure that you are receiving all possible benefits, reduce blood sugar levels, better cholesterol, weight loss, fiber pills offer assurances that those needs can be met, essentially taking one more nutritional requirement off your plate.