Can You Have Too Much Dietary Fiber?

can you have too much dietary fiber

As you may already know, dietary fiber is an important part of any healthy diet. That’s why we eat fruits, veggies, and legumes. But can you have too much dietary fiber? As with all other important nutrients, the answer is yes.

How Can You Have Too Much Dietary Fiber?

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, this is what your daily intake of fiber should be:

  • Adult women: 25g/day
  • Adult men: 35g/day
  • Women over the age of 50: 21g/day
  • Men over the age of 50: 30g/day
  • Pregnant women: 28/g day

As a rule, you can exceed the recommended daily intake by a few grams. But if you go way over, you may experience the symptoms of a dietary fiber overdose. For most people, this occurs after they’ve eaten 70g of fiber, although for some even 40g is too much.

What Are the Side Effects of a Dietary Fiber Overdose?

The side effects of eating too much fiber are not the same for all people. They may include:

  • Gas and bloating
  • Constant feeling of fullness
  • Constipation or diarrhea accompanied by stomach cramps
  • Dehydration and nausea

If you continue to take more fiber than needed, you may also experience a sudden weight gain or weight loss.

What Can You Do?

Although they’re rarely severe, the side effects of a dietary fiber overdose can be very unpleasant. Luckily, you can usually remedy them by lowering your daily intake.

While the symptoms are still present, you should also drink more water to prevent dehydration. At the same time, make sure to avoid any foods that can cause or contribute to bloating. These include dairy and cruciferous veggies, as well as chewing gums and fizzy drinks.

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