Can You Be Eating Too Much Fiber? What Effects Can It Have on the Body?
Looking at the population of the United States as a whole, no one would really argue that there is a problem with too many people eating too much fiber. The opposite problem is much more persistent in that many of us aren’t getting enough fiber, however some of us do in fact consume too much.
While the impacts on our health from eating too much fiber aren’t nearly as bad as what happens to us when we don’t eat enough, it is something we all definitely want to avoid if possible.
What Health Impacts Does Eating Too Much Fiber Have on Us?
This one is an obvious one however many people commonly misdiagnose the cause. This is because all fiber is not one and the same, there are two major different kinds.
One type is called insoluble fiber, which the body cannot digest. The other is called soluble fiber which the body can in fact digest, and this type of fiber plays a huge role in the formation of the bowel.
Eating too much soluble fiber in foods such as oats, peas, nuts, seeds and other foods which we generally consider to be healthy may be causing a person to experience constipation. Reducing consumption of these high fiber foods can help reduce the occurrence of constipation.
This condition is one that most of us would never think would be associated with eating too much fiber, however it most certainly is. Diarrhea can be caused by eating too much insoluble fiber, which essentially expedites the bowel movement.
This type of fiber is found in many different types of grains, in fruits, seeds, and in some vegetables. This insoluble fiber comes from the cellulose part of the plant, the part that makes the distinctive crunching noise as you chow down on your favorite fruit or vegetable.
Another potential problem when it comes to consuming a lot of fiber is digestive discomfort, gas and bloating. If you are just starting a new diet and are just beginning to convert to eating more foods high in fiber, you want to choose your food choices wisely at first.
Make sure that the foods you are eating are higher more so in soluble fiber than insoluble fiber, as the latter will cause more issues with digestion.
Many of us are already deficient in more than one important nutrient our body needs, and the last thing we need is to be losing more nutrition through the digestive process. This is possible by eating too much fiber, as fiber tends to bind to certain nutrients, minerals in particular.
This is usually not a problem if a person is eating a healthy diet and has the proper variety in their foods, however it is still a potential problem. This is especially true for people who are eating diets high in insoluble fiber, which can be tied back to certain types of grains and breads in many cases.
While eating plenty of fiber can provide us with many health benefits, doing so can lead to dehydration as well. This all stems back to the digestive process, and how the body moves the bowel through the system.
The more fiber you eat, the more binding that is going to occur in the formation of the bowel. Without getting too graphic, this causes it to harden, making it more difficult to pass. To compensate for this, the body adds water to move it along, which can cause dehydration.
This is because the body is going to supply this needed water to the digestive tract no matter if you are providing it with the additional water to do so or not. If not, it is going to pull water from other systems like the circulatory system, which can cause thickening of the blood among other issues.
Drinking more water here is the easiest and most obvious solution to correct this problem. Just remember to increase your intake of water if you are changing your diet to one that contains a good amount of fiber.
How Can You Correct the Problem?
The best way to deal with a diet too high in fiber is to drink more water, exercise more frequently, and to consume more fermented foods. All of these things are done to ramp up your digestive system, and to get it working optimally.
If you are still having issue, try and elimination diet where you systematically remove one food item at a time from your diet. Doing so can help you to pinpoint the problem and help you recover faster.