You Asked: Is It Possible to Eat Too Much Fiber?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Fiber plays an important role in your health. Most adults need to eat between 25 and 35 grams of fiber each day. (To learn more about fiber sources and health benefits, read Figuring Out the Facts on Fiber.) Despite all its health benefits, you can overdo it on fiber. Eating more than 50 grams of fiber a day might…
  • decrease the amount of vitamins and minerals your body absorbs, among them zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium.
  • move food through the digestive tract too quickly for some nutrients to be absorbed properly.
  • cause gas, diarrhea, bloating, diarrhea or stomach discomfort.
  • decrease your appetite for other nutrient-rich foods that are needed by the body for proper health.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above due to excessive fiber consumption, take a look at your daily diet. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are the most common foods that contain fiber, and while they are an important part of a healthy diet, they should be eaten in balance with other foods, such as lean protein, heart-healthy fats, and low-fat dairy. Take a peek at your macronutrient balance. Are you getting adequate protein and fat? If not, cut back on the fiber-rich foods and ramp up your consumption of fats and protein, both of which have important health benefits in their own right.

Are you eating exclusively whole grains? While whole grains do have more health benefits than refined grains, if you're eating too many of them, you might end up consuming too much fiber. Dietary guidelines established by the U.S. government in 2005 recommend that half of your daily grains servings should be whole grains. That's at least three servings of whole grains per day. The rest can be refined carbs if desired.

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KATHYJO56 5/27/2020
I have trouble getting enough and I eat as much of a plant based diet as I can. I'm not sure about this article. Report
PATRICIAANN46 5/20/2020
Thank You................ Report
PATRICIAAK 5/16/2020
:) Report
EBBYCHIN 5/5/2020
Interesting information. Thank you for the advice. Report
MUSICNUT 4/19/2020
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
PATRICIAAK 4/14/2020
:) Report
PATRICIAAK 2/16/2020
:) Report
NASFKAB 1/21/2020
Great Report
GEORGE815 1/20/2020
Thanks Report
CECELW 1/11/2020
i didn't know there was such a thing. I definitely know I sure don't over do with fiber Report
The UK is now stating we need higher fibre intake, most people eat far too little. If we eat the 10-a-day vegetables and fruit we should be, we will be getting more. Report
thanks Report
Yes it’s possible....and you will know it!! But you find your right amounts, can only help your body Report
Thanks for sharing! Report
Thanks Report
I know if I am getting too much when I have very loose bowels when eating healthy.
When eating fatty foods, I get the same result. That’s why I track. Report
interesting Report
This article sounds like propoganda for meat, dairy, and processed food companies. . What on earth did humans ever do before white bread? Report
Very useful Report
thanks Report
Too much of a good thing is rarely good! Report
I also find Spark articles may not be well researched & unfortunately use out dated material Report
I range from 25 to 65 grams of fiber. I take calcium and magnesium as well as many other vitamins/minerals! Report
Interesting Report
I'm a vegetarian. My protein, therefore, comes from whole grains and legumes which -- guess what -- have lots of FIBER. That's on top of the fresh fruit and vegetables I eat every day. I'm absolutely NOT going to switch from fat-free to low-fat dairy products; I cook with olive oil, and the legumes, nuts, and soymilk I consume already contain fat. I seem to average about 50 grams of fiber per day. I have NEVER experienced ANY gastrointestinal issues, and since I also take vitamin and mineral supplements, I'm pretty sure my body is absorbing enough of those nutrients too. So no; I'm not worried about eating too much fiber. Most Americans don't get enough. Report
Strongly agree with those questioning the validity of this piece. Many doctors recommend a higher than 35 grams-per-day fiber intake - particularly for diabetics. And take a look at this from Diabetes Canada:
"For adults Diabetes Canada recommends 25 to 50 grams of fibre every day."

It's frustrating that many SP articles don't cite sources, and yet present information as fact, especially when so many studies and medical authorities contradict each other and recommendations vary so widely.

TL;DR: can site many sources recommending higher intake. Report
Need your fiber. Report
I do not eat more then 30 grams of fiber daily, I think any more would not be good for you. Report
Thanks for sharing. Report
Doubt a balanced diet could have too much fiber. Report
I have to be careful with my fiber intake. My history also includes some lactose intolerance. I use kefir in smoothies and can get along quite well, however a full serving of yogurt can give me problems if I also have too much fiber that day. I recently read about a study comparing low fat dairy and whole fat dairy in the development of Type 2 diabetes. Low fat or skimmed milk may not be the present day recommendation. I have to be extremely careful with micronutrients such as magnesium because that contributes to my digestive issues. I want to choose foods healthily, that do not give me bouts of diarrhea or other symptoms of IBS, but it's been a difficult time figuring out what to choose. When I restricted gluten I suffered the loss of B vitamins - not a healthy decision for me. I'm still trying to figure out what to eat in moderation and what combinations are not good for me... Report
Okay, this is a highly exaggerated article. I highly doubt any of you are over doing fiber. These facts only apply to, say, individuals with eating disorders who actually overdue fiber intake for the purpose of extreme weight loss. I'm guessing if you all cut out meat and dairy you'll feel lots better and the fiber is not to blame. Report
Well i think i have finally found my problem I have had chronic diarrhea for over a year now seen doctors for it and the only thing they could tell me was to take a over the counter medicine but reading the article and looking at my records i have been in-taking to much fiber and i have been doing this for a very long time now because people tell i am not getting enough fiber and that is why i am having the problem and it looks like it is actually causing the problem i will know for sure because i am going to cut it down and see what happens Report
Too much fiber is a big problem for me. I really have to balance low fiber with high fiber, especially avoiding insoluble fiber. 25 grams is very easy to get, I often go over 35 grams a day, and I pay for it. Like so many things, people go overboard, too much of a good thing is still too much. Report
Completely agree with Yoga Chica. Milk and meat? As soon as I dropped both those poisons I dropped 124 pounds. I have been eating upwards of 50-60 grams of fiber a day for 18 months with no side effects other than feeling better than ever. Is high fiber and plant based the solution for everyone? No, but neither is milk and meat. One persons ideal food is anothers poison. Report
I'm a vegan and I only eat whole grains and fruits, veggies, and all the other good stuff we need. This article is very interesting. I kept going over my calorie goals simply because I tried to squeeze in too many whole grains for my fiber intake.This is good to know! Now, since I know I am overdoing it with my fiber I can drink more non-dairy milk to help increase my "dairy" intake which I know I was not getting nearly enough of.

What about adding psyllium husk (not nasty Metamucil, which has added processed, bone char sugar)? Is that a good source of fiber? Report
Being a vegan, I don't eat anything from animals,tons of fruits and veggies, no processed grains, or processed fats.My lean protein comes from beans.My fiber, really high, but so is my water, 8-12 cups a day. I think this study needs to be revisited. Report
So the advice is to eat refined grains in place of whole grains if desired, to avoid the overconsumption of fiber???
I think we need to think about the bigger picture here. Even if too much fiber can indeed cause problems, i don't think the solution is to eat refined grains; these things play havoc with insulin and stuff, and they just equal sugar. there's no study whatsoever proving that one needs to eat refined grains= no benefits for your health!
i'd say try to eat less (of fiber-rich) food, if you think your fiber overload could be causing you problems. don't opt for simple starches, it is one of the worst things you could do for yourself. Report
So, are you saying that a vegetarian or vegan diet is unhealthy? That one must eat meat (what you call "lean protein") and dairy in order to be healthy? I would love to see the citations for these claims from reputable scientific journals. I eat more than your recommendation for fiber, I do not eat meat or dairy, and I never eat refined, highly processed grains. Since adopting this eating style, I have never been healthier. I suggest you do some further research and rethink the irresponsible claims made in this article. Report
Most Americans don't eat too much fiber. I eat pretty well and still I don't get the recommended 25 grams per day. Report