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Eric Bakker, Naturopath. Thanks for coming back. I’ve got an interesting comment here from a subscriber. I’m just going to read it out.
Annette Barbara. “All these tips on eating fiber, I just don’t get it. I’m sick of fiber. Like, I can’t do that. I was vegan for five years. Meat has no fiber and it’s good for my gut. I just don’t understand why everyone tell us to eat more fiber. For someone it’s good, but not for everyone.”
So, this is quite an interesting comment, here. So here we have a person who a vegan for five years, but has flipped across now to meat and is saying that fiber is not really great because meat is good. I think in this case, you want to look at a careful balance of both of those things
My question to you would be what is your bowl function like? What’s your digestive function like? What is your health like? Resistant fiber is a little bit different from normal fiber in that it bypasses the small bowel, to a degree, and ends up in the large bowel, where proper fermentation occurs.
Now, if you were a vegan for several years and then moving into meat consumption, your microbiota has to change over that period of … through that change, that period. So people who eat no meat who go to meat consumption are going to get a big change in some of the major groups of bacteria in the gut. All right?
The Bacteroides bacteria, for example, that group will start coming up with more meat consumption the Prevotella bacteria group may lag a little bit behind, because we vegans, they tend to be a little bit higher, that group. So you’re making major changes in your gut bacteria by doing this diet.
My recommendation is never to make change quick with a diet change. Always do a very slow, what I call warm turkey approach. Never just take things out and put things in. You can’t act like that when it comes to the gut.
Years and years ago, when I was a kid, I used to think that nothing was thought about the gut. It was almost thought as a dumping ground for food. In fact, when I qualified … I must tell you this, it’s interesting. I wanted to work with a doctor. This was back in the late ’80s. This was a British-trained doctor who said to me, “Mr. Bakker, I can’t see diet having much affect on your health.
Apart from maybe mediating constipation, I really can’t see it improving your health.” I mean, for goodness sakes. It’s a huge, huge, huge paradigm shift since then.
So fiber is exceeding important when it comes to our health. We know that people who have good amounts of fiber tend to have far more stable metabolic rates, more energy, better sleep, better libido.
Also, they don’t have accelerated aging, because there’s an anti-aging sort of mechanism that comes along with a good microbiota. So there are many reasons why you need fiber in the diet. Particularly for appetite regulation, okay? So it’s going to actually teach your brain and control it, when to eat and what to eat and how to eat, to a degree.
I find very healthy people have healthy digestive systems with balanced microbiota, and they eat lots of resistant fiber. Okay? Oats, brown rice. We could be looking at many other types of legumes and grains. Particularly the root vegetables like sweet potato and potato.
So a good thing for you to do, for example, if you’re not currently eating sweet potato, would be to incorporate it into your diet once or twice a week, just a small slice of it. Cook that, or you could cook a large sweet potato, cut it up, and you can have it cold and cook it the next day.
Just a small piece. Just a small round piece like that, you know? And have that, say, twice a week to begin with. And watch what happens to your gut over time, all right? It will calm down. But putting too much fiber in can definitely cause constipation, diarrhea, gas or bloating for a lot of people. So never make change quickly when it comes to fiber.
But I can assure you, fiber plays a fundamental role in health. You may be sick of eating it, but you can’t live your life just consuming meat all the time. Because meat consumption has been linked with many cancers, now. Particularly red meat, has been linked. In England, several years ago, people were recommended not to eat any more than 10 ounces of red meat in one week. Not in a day, in a week. Okay?
And that recommendation came from the top based on multiple scientific studies, European studies and US studies. And these people aren’t fools. They know that you need to be careful. So that’s my caution to you, out there, if you’re a meat consumer, is don’t consume too much red meat. Look at other forms of protein. Fish, fresh fish is a superior protein. Free range eggs. But just be careful.
Thanks for tuning in, and thanks for the question.