Side effects of eating too much fiber.
There are two kinds of fiber: insoluble and soluble. Consuming high fiber foods do have many benefits, such as lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and breast cancer. Why should fiber matter to good nutrition, since it doesn’t provide any calories or nutrients? Fiber helps keep your intestines working comfortably and helps prevent many diseases.
Insoluble fiber, found in wheat bran and some fruits and vegetables, cannot be dissolved in water. This type of fiber is made up of cellulose and hemicellulose, substances that offer rigidity to plant material. Insoluble fiber acts as a natural laxative, giving stool the bulk necessary to move quickly through theÂ gastrointestinalÂ tract. In addition to preventingÂ constipationÂ andÂ hemorrhoids, insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of colon cancer by speeding the passage of food through the digestive tract.
Soluble fiber, found in beans, oats, and some fruits and vegetables, is fiber that can be dissolved in water. Marie Boyle notes that, because it reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood, soluble fiber can reduce the risks of heart and artery disease and atherosclerosis. When consumed in large amounts, soluble fiber absorbs water in the intestines, mixes the food into a gel, and thereby slows the rate of glucose digestion and consequent absorption in the bloodstream, which can be helpful in treating diabetes. Finally, a diet high in fiber may also promote weight control and reduce the risk of developing obesity.
How much fiber should I get?
It is estimated that most Americans only get 12-15 grams of fiber per day. This is not nearly enough. People in China consume as much as 77 grams of fiber per day.
Adequate Intake Recommendations:
Women <50>50 years: 21 grams
Men <50>50 years: 30 grams
Side Effects of Eating Too Much Fiber
- Constipation. Actually, when people eat fiber in sufficient and appropriate quantities, then the fiber will clean the dirt in the stomach and intestines can become softer. But if you eat more fiber than what your body needs, it can cause the faecal material to harden making it painful to pass or causing injuries when passing stool. Severe cases can lead to a blockage and will require surgery to remove the blockage. This is because fiber absorbs water passing through the digestive system. So if people consume too much fiber, water in the digestive tract will be too much to absorb. Dietary fiber will prevent constipation but if over consumed, the result can be constipation.
- Diarrhea. Diarrhea is an increase in the frequency of bowel movements or a decrease in the form of stool (greater looseness of stool). Absolute diarrhea is having more bowel movements than normal. This involves loss in important liquids from the body, salts and other nutrients. Common causes of chronic diarrhea are severe constipation, and constipation are the result of to much eat fiber. By blocking the colon, hardened stool can lead to the same problems as colon cancer. It may even turn fatal. But even in mild cases, it causes a lot of discomfort. So can you eat too much fiber? No, absolutely not.
- Dehydration. Excessive fiber absorbs excessive water which may lead to constipation and dehydration. DehydrationÂ is the lack of ample amount of water in the body. With dehydration, more water is moving out of our cells and then out of our bodies than the amount of water we take in through drinking. So try to drink at least ten glasses of water per day distributed uniformly over the day. Although, drinking too much water can also have side effects so watch the amount of water you drink.
- Flatulence. Flatulence is the state of having excessive stomach or intestinal gas. This can result in uncomfortable feelings of bloating, as well as increased belching (burping) or passing of gas from the rectum. Everyone has it. Most people think they have too much of it. And passing gas in the wrong place at the wrong time can cause great embarrassment. Excess fiber can cause abdominal bloating because intestinal bacteria digests fiber excessively, thus making the gas as a by-product. To avoid this side effect, simply gradually increase your fiber intake so the natural bacteria can adjust to the fiber.
- Weight gain. People generally eat lots of fiber in hope to maintain weight. But the fact is that consuming too much fiber can cause people to gain weight. This happens because a lot of fiber means absorbing much water. So the amount of water that are not needed may be stored in the body, which is called water retention. This retained water that eventually makes you gain weight.
- Malabsorption. According to Colorado State University, consuming excess fiber can have adverse effects on the body’s ability to absorb other nutrients. Because fiber binds, a side effect of eating too much fiber can be binding between excess fiber and nutrients like iron, zinc, and magnesium. This may lead to deficiencies in these nutrients if they are not consumed sufficiently and fiber intake remains excessive over an extended period of time. Despite this side effect, this malabsorption is typically so minimal that it does not cause for much concern.
- Difficult in getting Pregnant. Research shows that consumption of too much fiber can reduce levels of estrogen and some other reproductive hormones such as progesterone, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. High fiber intake, especially from fruits are also associated with high risk of havingÂ anovulatori menstrual cycles, which is when the ovaries fail to release the egg. These findings have been reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Avoid getting fiber from supplements, but instead choose natural, whole grain foods high in fiber. Fiber is very beneficial for the body, but it must be remembered that something which is excessive of course also brings bad effects. Try to stay less than 50 grams and you should be clear of any of these side effects. So eat in moderation, drink water in moderation, and also exercise in moderationÂ according to the needs of your body.