By Kennedy Shelley
One of the biggest attacks on the Keto and Carnivore diet is that you won’t get enough fiber, and therefore end up constipated.
But is there any scientific evidence to prove that.
The assumption and standard doctrine is you need fiber not to be constipated. But where is the data to support this idea?
Well, there is one randomized controlled study that sought to prove this idea, and the results will shock you.
In this randomized controlled study that looked at people who were constipated they tested to see which diet worked to get things moving again.
The study was published in 2012. They recruited 63 constipated people. They were broken into three groups.
One group ate high fiber. One group reduced the fiber in their diet and the final group got zero fiber by only eating meat.
The zero-fiber group was the only one that got better.
What we consider dietary fiber can only come from plant sources. It is not digestible, and everyone thinks it helps make our digestive system work better.
But this study showed it didn’t.
Those who ate the high fiber diet only pooped once in 6 days on average.
Those who reduced the fiber saw an improvement by going to the bathroom from 4 days to 2 days.
Those who eliminated fiber were no longer constipated and pooped every day.
The results happened in two weeks.
Now, why do we think fiber helps?
We think fiber will attract more water to the digestive system, it doesn’t.
We think that adding bulk will get things moving, but that’s akin to thinking putting more cars in a traffic jam will make everything speed up. It doesn’t.
Nearly 42 million Americans suffer from constant constipation according to U.S. News and World Report.
That’s a big number of stopped up people who probably believe that their only answer is more fiber.
Why does this myth persist?
Well, part of it is the legacy of John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943) and his roots in the 7th Day Adventist Church.
They believed that meat was bad because it made men stronger and therefore more likely to be amorous and lustful, so they pushed a vegetable-based diet to calm lust.
They noticed that when you get more vegetables, stool size got bigger and they assumed that was healthier.
The problem is the digestive system is only so big, so bigger isn’t better, especially if you are constipated.
Again, you can only get fiber from plants, so you can try an experiment where you eliminate all plants from your diet for two weeks and see if you are still stopped up.
One other note, adding more water to your diet will not change the amount in your intestines.
This is a self-regulating system that maintains its own equilibrium and fluid balance apart from added water.
If you find any contradictory studies that show that the results of this study were wrong, please put those in the comments below.
While many people have opinions on fiber this was the only study, I was able to find that actually put the fiber theory to the test, and Zero Fiber won in the end.