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Is Eating Too Much Fiber Bad?

Is eating too much fiber bad? This seems to be the question on the mind of many fitness freaks. Let's find the answer to this question.
Dietary fiber is highly useful to the body as it improves the bowel movements and decreases the risk of colon cancer. Fiber is very essential for many other bodily functions also. It has become the new mantra in many weight loss programs. Because including more fiber in your diet helps you lose weight by giving you a feeling of fullness for longer durations and improving your digestive system.

Although, as in the case of any other nutrient, excessive consumption of fiber can also be harmful. So the answer to your question 'is eating too much fiber bad?' is yes. It can have bad effects on your body.

Side Effects of Eating Too Much Fiber

An average individual requires approximately 25 grams (for women) to 30 grams (for men) and approximately 20 grams (for kids) of fiber daily. Side effects are mostly noticed in people who consume higher, that is about 45 grams of fiber in a day. Let's see what happens if you eat too much fiber.

Constipation
Actually, eating the correct amount of daily fiber can ensure that your bowels are cleansed properly which results into a soft stool. But if you eat more fiber than your body demands, you may end up having constipation. The reason being that fiber absorbs a lot of water while it is passing through your digestive system. So if there is too much fiber in your diet, it will absorb too much water and you will spend a lot your morning time in the restroom. Thus, you should team up high amount of fiber with a lot of water. But the best way is to eat it in moderation.

Dehydration
An important symptom of eating too much fiber is dehydration. Actually, the explanation for this is the same as in the previous paragraph. Excessive fiber absorbs excessive water which may lead to constipation and dehydration. Dehydration is the lack of ample amounts of water in the body. So try to drink at least eight 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 emission of a combination of gases that are byproducts of our digestion process. The flatulence problems occur because the bacteria in our colon can digest this excess fiber, thereby making gas as by-product. Also, this can be caused by any type of fiber as the bacteria can absorb them all. So are you still wondering is eating too much fiber bad? I hope not.

Diarrhea
As you may be already be knowing, diarrhea is a condition in which you are subjected to fluid-like bowel movements. This involves loss in important liquids from the body, salts and other nutrients. 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.

Weight Gain
People who eat too much fiber in the hope of losing more weight should know that it doesn't work that way. On the other hand it may lead to weight gain. The reason is simple. Extra fiber absorbs extra water. So unnecessary amount of water may get stored in your body which is called water retention. This retained water will add to your weight. Therefore, you should eat fiber in moderation and drink ample of water to facilitate its working.

So, is eating too much fiber bad? I hope you have found the answer now. A high fiber diet is good, but the important thing to remember is that anything in excess is harmful. So eat in moderation, drink water in moderation, and also exercise in moderation.
By Pankaj Chobharkar
Last Updated: 10/15/2011
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