managing an LCHF lifestyle in Israel
We’ve been told that we need to eat a lot of fibers to induce proper bowel activity. The idea originates from a British physician and I’ve written about it before.
Fibers are made of cellulose, which are very long chains of glucose bonded together. (Less long glucose chains are called starch.) Yes, glucose, so it is a carbohydrate though we don’t usually count it as such. That’s because we can’t break fibers down as we don’t have the correct enzymes for it. (Cows do and that’s the reason they chew their cud.)
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber creates, with water, a kind of gel that gives necessary bulk to the broken down food and let it pass along our intestines at an even pace, while nutrients and water are being absorbed. Insoluble fibers, on the other hand, are also giving bulk to the broken down foods, but will move along into the large intestine were our gut bacteria will have a feast munching on them. Causing gas and bloating in its wake.
Eating some fiber is helpful while overeating, or eating the wrong types of fibers, will cause gas. It can also cause too much water absorption which in turn can cause constipation. (One of the reasons we are told to drink a lot of water; to prevent it from happening.)
Where do we find the different types of fibers? Both are present in all types of plants, though in different proportions. Vegetables have more soluble fibers, cereals more insoluble. When we see “with added fibers” on a package of food, it is usually the latter type.
And that’s one reason for having less gas on LCHF.