If feces is the bits of food that our body couldn’t digest or use, is it possible to eat a diet that our bodies can use 100% and never have to defecate? And, if so, could such a diet ever be healthy or would it always be deficient in some nutrients?

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If feces is the bits of food that our body couldn’t digest or use, is it possible to eat a diet that our bodies can use 100% and never have to defecate? And, if so, could such a diet ever be healthy or would it always be deficient in some nutrients?

In: 90

Feces isn’t just food, it’s waste in general. So even without food and water, you’ll still shit until you die from starvation and dehydration.

Where do you think all the dead microorganisms from our GI tract go? Some bits are ‘recycled’ by their brethren, sure, but something is gonna be coming out when it’s all said and done.

Ignoring water and focusing on the solid mass, more than half of your feces is composed of bacterial corpses and waste. The rest is about one quarter plant matter you couldn’t digest mixed with some complex carbs that weren’t fully broken down, and the remaining quarter is divided between protein and fat that wasn’t fully digested/absorbed; the exact fraction depends a lot on the person and their diet.

Back to the top though, healthy stool is 50%-75% water, so really your feces consists primarily of water, bacterial biomass, and indigestible fiber. Even if the remaining bits could be *perfectly* digested and absorbed, you’d still have the same need to poop.

We are not able to get to 100% but there have been a lot of research into low residue diets. This is used as part of some medical therapies as well as by the military. It mainly consists of reducing the intake of fiber as well as a few other adjustments. And you are right that it is not something you would want to maintain for long periods of time. But almost all food have at least some fiber, cellulose, or other hard to digest substances. And if the food does not have it the bacteria in our gut will make these things. So it is impossible to have a diet that reduces your feces to nothing.

Simple answer: No it’s not possible. There’s a lot more going on than “food that our body couldn’t digest or use” going on. Even with “human optimized” foods like Soylent or its EU variant JimmyJoy you still have waste, with the addendum of making your stomach and intestinal tract lazy because you don’t eat solid foods making “going back” to real food an actual pain.