Could High Fiber Diets Be Aggravating Autoimmune Conditions?

We’ve long been told by mainstream nutrition experts that we should be getting high amounts of fiber in our diets to lower our cholesterol (not always a great thing see here), improve digestion, and to generally optimize our health.

While some fiber in the diet through quality sources (like organic fresh fruits) is not always a bad thing, new research shows that high fiber diets may be aggravating autoimmune conditions. Specifically, an autoimmune condition known as rheumatoid arthritis.

The research shows that high fiber, plant-based diets can aggravate rheumatoid arthritis through the fiber’s effect on our gut microorganisms.

I’ve longed talked about the importance of our gut health and how it impacts every other aspect of our body (see gut-brain connection webinar).

Take a look at the research:

To Summarize:

Fibrous components of plant foods feed specific bacteria. These specific bacteria then produce inflammatory chemicals that can worsen the symptoms of those with rheumatoid arthritis.

The question then becomes: does this apply to ALL autoimmune conditions?

I can’t say for sure, but I have a hunch that regularly consuming large amounts of fibrous plant foods is not the ideal diet for any human and is probably NOT ideal for those with active autoimmune conditions.

I’ve previously discussed what I believe the optimal diet for humans is (see here).

Plant foods inherently contain chemicals that are not beneficial to humans, including endocrine disrupters like goitrogens (in broccoli) and oxalates (in leafy greens and nuts), phytic-acid, which blocks enzymes and prevents nutrient absorption, and proteins like lectins (legumes) and gluten (grains) that are generally damaging to our gut cells and promote inflammation and leaky gut.

Fruit generally has less of these not-so-great chemicals, and thus I consume them more regularly than vegetables.

When it comes to nutritional density and bioavailability of those nutrients, animal fats and proteins are king, which is why the bulk of my diet consists of them.

Remember, everyone responds a bit differently to different foods. In general, including some properly prepared organic veggies in your diet for variety isn’t always a bad thing. However, I do NOT consume them in excess.

2 thoughts on “Could High Fiber Diets Be Aggravating Autoimmune Conditions?

  1. Dr Arns,
    I look at Lexi’s diet and go WOW! She really has near perfect diet. No chips, soda, ice cream, junk! She has autoimmune, I’m sure the extra chromosome screws things up? I don’t try to figure it out anymore because it never works 🤪 I have cut back on veggies because they mess up my digestive system and I thank you for pointing that out; that veggies are not the #1 Great Food

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Deb,

    Yes, obviously a unique situation with Lexi from a genetic stand point, but optimizing her health potential is still the goal, and you are doing that. Great work!

    It’s hard for most people to grasp veggies not being ideal human food as that’s what we’ve been told forever.

    I would say veggies are certainly better than processed grains, snacks, candies, soda, anything with vegetable/seed oils and other junk food, but still less than optimal due to internal and exogenous sources of toxins (lectins, phytic acid, goitrogens, oxalates, gluten, and pesticides/herbicides).


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