What Eating Too Much Fiber Does To Your Body

If there's one thing you need to ensure you integrate into your diet every day, it's fiber. As Tara Menon, M.D., a gastroenterologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, explained to Women's Health, "Dietary fiber is important in our diets because not only does it help regulate our bowel habits and improve our overall gut health, but it also has other systemic benefits such as improving blood sugar control, contributing to heart health by improving cholesterol and blood pressure, and helping with weight loss and management." 


But unfortunately, there such a thing as too much fiber and it can result in side effects like diarrhea, farting, stomach cramps, constipation, and gastroesophageal reflux. "High levels (of fiber) can also interfere with absorption of some minerals, such as iron, and some antioxidants, such as beta-carotene," registered dietitian, Brie Turner-McGrievy, told Everyday Health. "It's rare, though, for people in this country to be getting too much fiber." 

Experts explain how much fiber you should eat in a day

So how much fiber do you actually need to eat every day? According to Andrew Reynolds, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Otago's department of medicine, instead you should aim for a set amount of fiber each day to ensure you don't go overboard. "Most people consume under 20 grams of fiber per day," he told Runner's World, "But our study indicates we should have at least 25 to 29 grams per day from foods such as whole grains, vegetables, pulses, and fruit." 


The best way to go about it is to simply try to include a little bit of fiber in every meal. "Spreading out your fiber intake throughout the day will allow you to avoid some of the gastrointestinal discomforts that a large amount of fiber may present," Turner-McGrievy explained to Everyday Health. And don't forget to hydrate! "We need to make sure we drink an appropriate amount of water along with our fiber intake to allow for proper digestion."