Why You Shouldn't Care About Dietary Fiber

I want to start by saying that the word "dietary" looks like it's spelled wrong. Every time I look at it, it looks like a mistake. It bothers the hell out of me. Grrrr.

Anyway.

Dietary fiber is pretty important for us not dying from a half dozen stupid things. The big one is cholesterol, right?
Has this happened to you? The doctor says, "Hey, fool! Your LDL cholesterol is too high! You gonna die unless you start eating fiber! And just for the record, fool, eating fiber will also help lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and help you lose weight. Fool."

So you're all like, "I ain't eatin' oatmeal because bacon." And then you die, right? Or do you?

First of all, we've got two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Both are good although they function differently and have different effects. Soluble fiber is the one that transforms into a dinobot gel in your gut and fights cholesterol and shit. (Wanna read more about it? Like sources? Dietitians of Canada have this cool document wherein I learned that in Canada they spell it "fibre.") Insoluble fiber spends a good deal of time being sad because people think soluble fiber is sexier. Insoluble fiber is all like, "But I'm still good for you, baby." And the doctor is all like, "Shut up, fool! Cholesterol, cholesterol, cholesterol!"

Oh, and heart health, right? They're still connecting dots, but scientists have found a connection between fiber and reduced risk of heart disease. Which would be cool if science were real, but it's not. It's as fake as the moon landing!

But let's say you believe in "science." How much fiber does a human actually need? According to the Institute for Medicine (who have a website so lame I'm not going to link to it but here's a link to the Mayo Clinic), recommends between 21-38 gram per day depending on age and gender. If you're a normal human and don't measure your food in grams, here's a cool list of how much fiber a ton of foods have. For example, "cream crackers" have 0.4 grams of fiber a serving.

I thought about recommending some high fiber foods, but nah. We all have different tastes and stuff. Come on, fool. Look at the list or Google high fiber foods or something. If you can't find anything you like that tastes awesome, you're probably a complaining douche in many areas of your life.

Conclusion

But seriously people, this is all fucking bullshit. You should takeaway two things from this article: 1) eating fiber can seriously help you reduce your risk for getting certain diseases and conditions as well as assist in "curing" certain diseases and conditions. That's a big fracking deal right there. And 2) DO NOT start tracking your daily fiber intake! Unless tracking things is fun for you, in which case, okay, go ahead.

Here's my recommendation. About half of what you eat every day should be non-starchy vegetables. That's it, fool! Let's say that you eat pretty poorly now, but you decide to give this a shot because I am the wordsmith of a generation. What would happen if half of your plate was non-starchy veggies?

Well, you'd still get to eat your bacon, and cake, and whatever. You would get more vitamins and minerals, thus reducing your risk for scurvy and berry-berry. You might also end up eating a little less of the shit that gave you high LDL cholesterol in the first place. You might experiment a little more in the kitchen and discover that mashed cauliflower with salt and butter is pretty awesome. If you have to eat at a drive through for lunch, you might remember to eat more veggies with your breakfast eggs and have a cobb salad for dinner.

Basically, you'd get healthier without wasting any energy worrying about fiber.

But that's not the end! Let's talk about poop!

Low-fiber intake is connected with sub-optimal shitting. However, when you look at lists like this one that lay out the fiber content in foods, you may think, "Oh, I'll just eat some Colon Blow."

 Stop! Fuck grains.

Some types of sub-optimal shitting are related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS is not treated by increasing grains. In fact, IBS in many people is caused by grains. It does sound a little counter intuitive, but if you want to firm up your poop, cutting out all or most of your grains and making half of your plate non-starchy vegetables may give you happy poop.


BTW, I find WebMD to be a pretty spammy site, but their article on fiber is pretty good.