Can You Eat Too Much Fiber?
By Sara Butler
Fiber is really good for your health and wellness, but you can get too much of even the healthiest things sometimes. Experts recommend women get between 21 and 25 grams of fiber per day while men need to shoot for between 30 and 38 grams. It's far more common for people to not get enough fiber in their diet, but overcompensating with too much fiber, even over a short time, can be an issue. Here are a few signs that you may be getting too much fiber in your diet.
Too much fiber can create very uncomfortable issues such as gas in your digestive system and bloating. This often occurs when you eat too much fiber too fast because the fiber cannot be broken down appropriately during digestion. So, the bacteria that live in your colon feed on the excess fiber and before you know it, you're the honorary mayor of Gastown.
You Have Abdominal Pain
Along with all that bloating and gas, you can also get cramps in your belly when you eat too much fiber. This is because too much fiber can cause your entire digestive system to slow down, having the opposite effect of what you'd hoped, which was probably to help you keep things moving.
You're Deficient in Certain Minerals
Fiber binds to things, including nutrients. This can cause them to be eliminated by your body before it's had the chance to absorb them. Fiber can lead to deficiencies in chromium, zinc, calcium, copper, and iron. You may be able to offset this binding issue by reducing the amount of fiber you eat and eating animal protein and getting plenty of Vitamin C.
What Should You Do?
If you're having these symptoms and expect that it's because you're eating too much fiber, then there are a few things you can try.
First, try changing up your source of fiber. There are some types of fiber that can cause these symptoms but switching the source might help them go away.
You can also slowly decrease the amount of fiber you eat over a week or so. When the symptoms subside, then try to slowly add more fiber back in to help you understand where you limit may be between healthy and bothersome.
Finally, drink more water. You have to balance the amount of fiber you eat with enough water in your diet, so make sure to drink enough to keep things moving right along.
Fiber is a healthy part of your diet, but don't go overboard!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Buford, Ga.