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You Asked: Is It Possible to Eat Too Much Fiber?

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/1/2012 12:00 AM   :  5 comments   :  9,906 Views

Fiber plays an important role in your health. Most adults need to eat between 25 and 35 grams of fiber each day. (To learn more about fiber sources and health benefits, read Figuring Out the Facts on Fiber.) Despite all its health benefits, you can overdo it on fiber. Eating more than 50 grams of fiber a day might…
  • decrease the amount of vitamins and minerals your body absorbs, among them zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium.
  • move food through the digestive tract too quickly for some nutrients to be absorbed properly.
  • cause gas, diarrhea, bloating, diarrhea or stomach discomfort.
  • decrease your appetite for other nutrient-rich foods that are needed by the body for proper health.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above due to excessive fiber consumption, take a look at your daily diet. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are the most common foods that contain fiber, and while they are an important part of a healthy diet, they should be eaten in balance with other foods, such as lean protein, heart-healthy fats, and low-fat dairy. Take a peek at your macronutrient balance. Are you getting adequate protein and fat? If not, cut back on the fiber-rich foods and ramp up your consumption of fats and protein, both of which have important health benefits in their own right.

Are you eating exclusively whole grains? While whole grains do have more health benefits than refined grains, if you're eating too many of them, you might end up consuming too much fiber. Dietary guidelines established by the U.S. government in 2005 recommend that half of your daily grains servings should be whole grains. That's at least three servings of whole grains per day. The rest can be refined carbs if desired.


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Comments

  • 5
    I'm a vegan and I only eat whole grains and fruits, veggies, and all the other good stuff we need. This article is very interesting. I kept going over my calorie goals simply because I tried to squeeze in too many whole grains for my fiber intake.This is good to know! Now, since I know I am overdoing it with my fiber I can drink more non-dairy milk to help increase my "dairy" intake which I know I was not getting nearly enough of.

    What about adding psyllium husk (not nasty Metamucil, which has added processed, bone char sugar)? Is that a good source of fiber? - 7/21/2014   7:31:26 PM
  • 4
    Being a vegan, I don't eat anything from animals,tons of fruits and veggies, no processed grains, or processed fats.My lean protein comes from beans.My fiber, really high, but so is my water, 8-12 cups a day. I think this study needs to be revisited. - 5/19/2014   10:40:21 PM
  • 3
    So the advice is to eat refined grains in place of whole grains if desired, to avoid the overconsumption of fiber???
    I think we need to think about the bigger picture here. Even if too much fiber can indeed cause problems, i don't think the solution is to eat refined grains; these things play havoc with insulin and stuff, and they just equal sugar. there's no study whatsoever proving that one needs to eat refined grains= no benefits for your health!
    i'd say try to eat less (of fiber-rich) food, if you think your fiber overload could be causing you problems. don't opt for simple starches, it is one of the worst things you could do for yourself. - 5/19/2014   3:28:03 PM
  • YOGA_CHICA
    2
    So, are you saying that a vegetarian or vegan diet is unhealthy? That one must eat meat (what you call "lean protein") and dairy in order to be healthy? I would love to see the citations for these claims from reputable scientific journals. I eat more than your recommendation for fiber, I do not eat meat or dairy, and I never eat refined, highly processed grains. Since adopting this eating style, I have never been healthier. I suggest you do some further research and rethink the irresponsible claims made in this article. - 5/19/2014   7:53:18 AM
  • 1
    Most Americans don't eat too much fiber. I eat pretty well and still I don't get the recommended 25 grams per day. - 5/19/2014   7:49:44 AM

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