A high fiber diet has been proven to have a number of health benefits:
- Lower risk of cancer
- Lower risk of diabetes
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Lowers blood cholesterol
- Keeps bowels regular
- Helps nourish cells that line the digestive tract and maintain a healthy bowel environment
“I have to eat grains in order to have a high fiber diet”
No you don’t! In fact the very things you may want to be eating a high fiber diet for may be caused by the grains you are eating to obtain the fiber – ironic isn’t it? Grains contribute to cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol and bowel problems like irritable bowel syndrome. Grains contain proteins like gluten and gliadin that can damage the digestive tract. They also contain anti-nutrients called phytates that bind to minerals so that you can’t absorb them. Chronically have low iron? Try cutting grains out of your diet and see what happens. Want to read more anti-grain sentiment? Check it out here.
Soluble Fiber vs. Insoluble Fiber
Soluble fiber is the type found in nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables and some grains like oat bran. Wheat bran on the other hand is insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber does not break down in the gut and has a harsh abrasive irritating effect on the gut, that’s how it works to keep bowels moving, it irritates the crap out of it, literally. Soluble fiber works by absorbing water in the gut causing the gut to expand and sense that there is food there to move through. Soluble fiber is the one that binds to excess cholesterol to remove it, lowers risk of gallstones, slows increases in blood sugar and nourishes the lining of the digestive tract.