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

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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.