The Fiber Myth - Belly Fat versus Intestinal Bloating

Author: Dr. Eric Berg DC

Let's talk about the fiber myth. This may occur with you, or a friend or a family member that you know, where their stomach is sticking out and they have belly fat, but it looks like a basketball belly. One of the causes of this bloating belly is not necessarily always fat, it could just be bloating from your intestines. Why? Because they're consuming way, way too much fiber. Now I know this fiber myth has been around for about 30 years, but it is absolutely not true that consuming more fiber will decrease the risk of colon cancer.

That is a myth. There is no association between the two. I've created some links down below to show you that. In fact, it might increase your chance of colon cancer.

I know now you're confused even more, but just hang with me, okay? Now, when you are constipated, sometimes doctors tell you to eat more fiber, Metamucil, whatever, and the reason why that does work is because it irritates and it stimulates the colon more than anything else, to dump the waste. It's not necessarily something that is forming the bulk of your stool. Here's what really happens as far as this fiber, especially from the whole grains and the bran, like the Metamucils and the different fibers that people take. It creates a lot of inflammation in the colon. It creates a lot of mechanical damage as these fibers go through and this undigested fiber is basically food for your microbes. And when you take too much fiber, it creates gas because there's a process called fermentation. Just like if you're making bread or beer or alcohol, you get this gas that comes off.

Well, too much fiber can create an over gas situation where you're getting too much fermentation because the bacteria are going crazy and you're just bloating up like a balloon, and your stomach looks all swollen. This could be very, very damaging over a period of time. It's not necessarily always just the grains, too. It could be some healthy vegetables that you eat. The notorious ones are the cruciferous, unfortunately, because these are the good ones. That would be like kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and even avocados. Those can create a lot of bloating when you eat them.

The Fiber Myth - Belly Fat versus Intestinal Bloating

If you bloat from those vegetables, all that means is that you have not established all the good bacteria in your gut to be able to digest this yet. You don't have the microbes to balance these out. Some people can do it, some people can't.

Personally, in the past, I had the biggest problem with broccoli. If I consumed broccoli, I would have so much abdominal pain, I would just double over. It would be very, very painful. And even in traces, in certain foods, if there's broccoli in there, even broccoli soup will do that. What I did to do an experiment is I juiced the broccoli and I drank the juice. I had no reaction at all, so I knew it was the fiber.

That would be something I probably want to bring up right now. What's more important? Is it okay to juice? Should I blend my vegetables? Well, it really depends on if you can digest some of these vegetables. If you can't digest certain vegetable fibers, if you react to brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, then I'm gonna recommend juicing those, but don't juice the carrot and the fruits along with it. I don't recommend that. Just juice the green drinks and drink that if you want to get the nutrition, because there's a lot of nutrition in those vegetables, okay? But if you're okay with blending, then go ahead and do that.

I recommend a kale shake. Some people might even bloat with kale, which is the least of all ... Easiest to digest of all the cruciferous. If you're finding that you continue to bloat more than a half hour with the kale shake, then I recommend that you blend it before you go to bed, keep it in the fridge, and drink it in the morning. It's much easier to digest that, okay? And if you still have a problem, I'm gonna recommend that you switch from kale to spinach because we can't have you bloating when you're trying to lose weight. That's not going to work. A lot of people bloat unknowingly from cereals. They think cereal is good for the colon because it's a bunch of fiber.

Not good. It's going to cause a lot of distention in your gut. Since there's more nerve endings in your gut than in your spinal column -- there's like a hundred million nerve endings -- this is like your second brain, so if this is not right -- your small intestine -- your head's not going to be right. You're going to have a lot of headaches. You're going to have a lot of brain fog, ADD, a lot of attention issues. So very important to help your digestive system by making sure that the culprit is not too much fiber.

Cruciferous vegetables can also irritate you. Keep a log on what you eat and how it reacts to your gut, because we really cannot have you eat anything that is irritating the colon or gassing you out. So what vegetables should you eat? Well, number one, definitely avoid the grains and the bran and the cereal and all that, that's a given. But you might want to switch your vegetables to zucchini, spinach, lettuce, romaine lettuce, celery seems to be fine. What else? String beans, squash, tomatoes, beets are fine, asparagus is really good, cucumbers. All those are usually, they don't create reactions. But in some people they might, so you're just going to have to personally go through and find the vegetables that don't bloat you and consume that. I just wanted to touch on this because there's so many people that they think the fiber is really helping them when it's really destroying their gut.

Go ahead and make this change and watch how much better your colon is with inflammation and gas, and consistency, and you might want to seriously consider doing a good probiotic to start to enhance the flora, so you could eventually have some of these vegetables. All right? Hope you enjoyed the video, I'll see you in the next one.

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