Can You Eat Too Much Fiber?
By Sara Butler
Fiber is important to a healthy diet as well as your overall health. But is it possible to get too much of a good thing -- can you really eat too much fiber? Adults only need between 25 and 35 grams of fiber per day to benefit health. If you get more than the recommended daily allowance, then you may be causing some issues that can impact your health.
Should You Load Up?
You may think that because fiber has so many health benefits, that too much is better than not enough -- but you can overdo it. If you load up on more than 50 grams per day, then it can have a negative impact on your health by:
- Impacting nutrient absorption – The zinc, calcium, iron, and magnesium in your diet may not be absorbed correctly if paired with so much fiber.
- Moving things through your digestive system too fast – The absorption of nutrients happens in the intestines. If food is moved through too quickly, then it doesn’t have a chance to absorb all it could.
- Causing stomach upset – Too much fiber can cause gastrointestinal distress that can make you very uncomfortable and perhaps a bit unpleasant to be around.
- Reducing your appetite – It may not seem as if appetite reduction is a bad thing, but if you’re not eating other nutrient-rich foods your body needs to stay healthy, then it can become a big problem.
How Much Fiber?
As previously stated, most adults need to shoot for 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day in their diet to stay healthy. You can find fiber in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Just make sure to balance the fiber you’re eating with other foods you need for continued good health such as heart-healthy fat, lean protein, and dairy.
If you eat only whole grains, then understand that they do have more benefits than refined grains but a whole lot more fiber. So, you need fewer of them to get the job done. Eating too many whole grains can introduce too much fiber into your diet. Only half of your daily grains need to be whole grains, according to the dietary guidelines established by the United States government. So, that’s about three servings of whole grains each day.
So, have your fiber -- but remember that there's a limit to what is good for you!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Buford, Ga.